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Implementation And Assessment Of Industrial Engineering Curriculum Reform

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

IE Accreditation and Program Issues

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.688.1 - 9.688.15



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Paper Authors

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Veronica Dark

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Mary Huba

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Kevin Saunders

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Frank Peters

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Sarah Ryan

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John Jackman

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Sigurdur Olafsson

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1657

Implementation and Assessment of Industrial Engineering Curriculum Reform Sigurdur Olafsson, Kevin Saunders, John Jackman, Frank Peters, Sarah Ryan, Veronica Dark, and Mary Huba

Iowa State University


We describe a curriculum reform project that aims to improve the industrial engineering curriculum through a web-based learning environment that engages students in active and collaborative learning. This environment focuses on engineering problems solving, increased information technology content, and the higher order cognitive skills that are needed to be a successful engineering problem solver. We describe the status of this project, which has been implemented in two courses: an engineering economy course and a manufacturing systems engineering course. One of the objectives of this new environment is integration of the curriculum, and we discuss how links were created between these two courses to highlight connections between the course contents, and how this results in rethinking and improvements of the existing curriculum. We also show how the environment encourages development of engineering problem solving skills, as well as the basic cognitive skills needed. Finally, we discuss our assessment of the new learning environment, how it has been received by students, and how it is improving learning for industrial engineering students.

1. Introduction

Using information technology (IT) to improve engineering education offers much promise for curriculum reform7,16,20. However, this also requires careful consideration of both the technical content and of the learning objectives. In this paper, we describe our work in designing and developing an IT-based learning environment for industrial engineering that both effectively delivers the desired engineering content and promotes learning that we value by improving students’ cognitive skills.

A key motivation for introducing technology into the classroom is its ability to address challenges that may be difficult to solve without the enabling technology. One clear potential for using information technology to improve upon traditional lecture classes is to use it to promote collaborative learning19 and active learning12,13. Specifically, using information technology, simulated environments can be created that allow students to address realistic problem scenarios in a hands-on fashion using domain knowledge mastered in the relevant courses4.

There are also many other challenges in education where information technology can be used as an enabler. For example, the traditional industrial engineering curriculum includes what may seem like loosely connected courses that address different elements of manufacturing and service

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Dark, V., & Huba, M., & Saunders, K., & Peters, F., & Ryan, S., & Jackman, J., & Olafsson, S. (2004, June), Implementation And Assessment Of Industrial Engineering Curriculum Reform Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13719

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