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Instructional Strategies And Tools To Teach Six Sigma To Engineering Technology Undergraduate Students

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Manufacturing Engineering Technology Curriculum

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.906.1 - 12.906.18



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Paper Authors


Sandra Furterer East Carolina University

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Sandra L. Furterer, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the Industrial Distribution and Logistics Program in the College of Technology and Computer Science at East Carolina University. Dr. Furterer has extensive industry experience in Quality, Six Sigma, and Information Systems Analysis. Dr. Furterer's research and teaching interests are Six Sigma, Quality Management, Lean Enterprise and Engineering Education.

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Sandra Furterer University of Central Florida

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

Instructional Strategies and Tools to Teach Six Sigma to Engineering Technology Undergraduate Students Abstract

This paper presents innovative instructional strategies and tools to teach Six Sigma to Engineering Technology undergraduate students. Six Sigma is an improvement methodology focusing on understanding and reducing variation in processes. Many students can easily learn and even apply the basic quality tools in a separate and non-integrated manner, but the real challenge is to help the students learn and apply the tools of Six Sigma in a synthesized way to attain the true power of an integrated approach. This paper will discuss the instructional strategies developed teaching graduate and undergraduate Industrial Engineering students and how the author adapted them to teaching undergraduate Engineering Technology students. Examples of the strategies and tools used to teach the Six Sigma Define-Measure-Analyze- Improve-Control (DMAIC) methodology and the quality concepts and tools, applied to the students’ Six Sigma projects will be discussed. The undergraduate senior-level Six Sigma course combines traditional lectures with experiential learning opportunities where the students apply the DMAIC methodology and Six Sigma tools to real-world projects within the College of Technology and Computer Science (TECS). Sample deliverables and templates from prior students’ Six Sigma projects are provided to the students to help them understand the tools and how they integrate to improve the processes. Potential challenges and roadblocks to success are discussed during team mentoring sessions to help the students better apply the problem solving methods. The real-world Six Sigma project examples that the students worked on as part of the experiential learning component include: developing student recruiting plans for the Industrial Distribution and Logistics program, and Computer Science program; streamlining the TECS advising processes to better incorporate voice of the customer requirements; development of processes to assess the college’s lab space and inventory and equipment management and control processes; developing processes to help the college’s new general engineering department with ABET accreditation. Student feedback of the learning experience, direct observation of the experiential project teams, and work product measures including exams and project reports will be presented to convey the effectiveness of the instructional strategies that were applied.


The Engineer of 2020 report identified several attributes that engineers should acquire in their undergraduate education including: strong analytical skills, communication, leadership, being able to work on multi-disciplinary teams, customerization with a focus on the customer, creativity to synthesize [3]. The National Leadership Council for Liberal Education and America’s Promise supported by the Association of American Colleges and Universities issued a report that identifies four essential learning outcomes that graduates should possess: 1) a broad base of knowledge across multiple disciplines; intellectual and practical skills such as teamwork and problem-solving; a sense of personal and social responsibility, including ethical reasoning; and experience applying what they learn to real-world problems. [4] Teaching Six Sigma with a

Furterer, S., & Furterer, S. (2007, June), Instructional Strategies And Tools To Teach Six Sigma To Engineering Technology Undergraduate Students Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1872

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