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Improving Communication in Industrial Engineering Courses by Implementing a “Zero Email” Policy and Optimizing the Use of a Course Management System

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Industrial Engineering Division Tech Session 2, IE-ing the Classroom

Tagged Divisions

Engineering Management, Engineering Economy, and Industrial Engineering

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Paper Authors


Paul C. Lynch Penn State Erie, The Behrend College

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Paul C. Lynch received his Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. degrees in Industrial Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Lynch is a member of AFS, SME, IISE, and ASEE. Dr. Lynch’s primary research interests are in metal casting, manufacturing systems, and engineering education. Dr. Lynch has been recognized by Alpha Pi Mu, IISE, and the Pennsylvania State University for his scholarship, teaching, and advising. He received the Outstanding Industrial Engineering Faculty Award in 2011, 2013, and 2015, the Penn State Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering Alumni Faculty Appreciation Award in 2013, and the Outstanding Advising Award in the College of Engineering in 2014 for his work in undergraduate education at Penn State. Dr. Lynch worked as a regional production engineer for Universal Forest Products prior to pursuing his graduate degrees. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Industrial Engineering in the School of Engineering at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College.

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Joseph Wilck College of William & Mary

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Dr. Joe Wilck is a Clinical Associate Professor in Business Analytics and Operations Management at the College of William & Mary. He is a registered Professional Engineer. He is a volunteer leader with the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE) and the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). He is also an active member of INFORMS, MORS, INCOSE, ASEM, and TRB. His research is in the areas of applied optimization and STEM education, and he has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, DARPA, and the North Carolina Department of Transportation; among others. He primarily teaches courses in analytics, operations research, supply chain, operations management, and logistics.

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Amanda Elizabeth VanBuskirk

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Numerous research studies have shown that college students prefer face-to-face, verbal communication for their college courses, rather than social communication (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, apps, text messages); despite the fact that college students communicate more via text messages than any other communication option (e.g., face-to-face, email, text). This paper describes a study in which the instructor did not email the students, but instead communicated information face-to-face during class and kept the learning management system up-to-date in terms of calendar deadlines, assignments, grades, and course notes. The results of this study show that students were very satisfied with the instructor-student communication methods used in the industrial engineering classroom. The results show that the majority of students accessed the learning management system 2 to 3 times a week, daily, or multiple times in a day. The students reported logging into the learning management system most commonly to check grades, print lecture notes, and check the course calendar for upcoming course assessments and topics to be covered on assessments.

Lynch, P. C., & Wilck, J., & VanBuskirk, A. E. (2017, June), Improving Communication in Industrial Engineering Courses by Implementing a “Zero Email” Policy and Optimizing the Use of a Course Management System Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28488

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