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Linking Classroom Learning With Real World Practice: Strategies Used In Teaching Machining Processes

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Materials and Manufacturing Processes

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.826.1 - 8.826.11

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Paper Authors

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Yichong Zeng

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Patrick Kwon

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Muhammad Sohail Ahmed

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Jenny Wang-Chavez

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

Session 1463, paper 1134

Linking Classroom Learning with Real World Practice: Strategies Used in Teaching Machining Processes

Jenny Wang-Chavez, Yichong Zeng, Patrick Kwon, Muhammad Sohail Ahmed

Greenfield Coalition of New Manufacturing Education / Michigan State University / Wayne State University


Like many manufacturing process courses, there are several inherent challenges in teaching machining processes. This paper will use the design and development of Machining Processes course to demonstrate how Greenfield Coalition has responded some of the challenges in collaboration with Michigan State University. This paper illustrates a number of instructional strategies and samples of authentic activities. It presents how real world projects are built in the learning sessions of a machining processes course and how web-based media are used in a machining course in order to address the challenges faced by engineering programs.


The globalization of manufacturing engineering requires engineering students to be more knowledgeable in the field and more creative in problem-solving. This has raised the bar for how much students have to learn in school and how quickly they can transfer what they have learned in the real world setting [7]. Through conversations with some faculty who are currently teaching machining courses, it is known that there are several challenges in teaching this course, especially on campuses where students do not necessarily have access to machines to operate. One challenge is that despite the fact that students can grasp and retain knowledge about machining processes, they do not seem to be able to apply what was learned in class to meaningful and real world applications. The apparent difficulty of transferring their learning is partially due to the gap between classroom learning and real world practice. Very often, students received theoretical instruction on how the machines work, but do not have an opportunity to practice what they learned or solving real-world problems using what they learned. It becomes crucial to deal with such challenge because the real world requires students to be ready to execute their knowledge and skills at the new job. A related challenge is that students may know theoretically how a single machining process works, but have difficulty producing a part that requires the student to balance and incorporate multiple and different machining operations into their work processes. Students are presented with too many machining or manufacturing processes and operations without receiving guidance on how the operations are used together to produce parts. In their future jobs, they are likely to deal with the operation sequence for a given

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Zeng, Y., & Kwon, P., & Ahmed, M. S., & Wang-Chavez, J. (2003, June), Linking Classroom Learning With Real World Practice: Strategies Used In Teaching Machining Processes Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

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