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Transitioning a Manufacturing Systems Engineering Course to Student-Centered Learning

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Experiences in Manufacturing Engineering Education

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Jason M. Weaver Brigham Young University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Weaver is an Assistant Professor in Manufacturing Engineering Technology at Brigham Young University. He has a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. Jason’s areas of expertise include additive manufacturing, data analysis, manufacturing system design, and product design.

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This evidence-based paper describes the transition of a senior-level manufacturing engineering course from a traditional lecture-focused curriculum to a more engaging curriculum based on the research in student-centered learning. Many college courses have a familiar format: students listen to lectures, read textbooks, complete assignments, and demonstrate their learning through exams. Often, the instructor will structure the course for convenience, perhaps creating highly structured PowerPoint presentations and using standardized multiple choice exams to easily grade performance. Students, on the other hand, then structure their learning practices to match—trying to determine exactly how much to come to class, read, and memorize, with the end goal of regurgitating information on the exam and getting a satisfactory grade in the course. These practices are not conducive to long-term retention and application by the students, nor to accurate assessment or facilitation of learning by the instructor. But unless both the instructor and the students in a course understand and are amenable to alternative techniques, the format is unlikely to change.

There has been extensive research on techniques aimed to increase student engagement in the classroom, such as “flipping the classroom” and identifying and overcoming the “illusion of learning.” This paper describes the efforts of the author over three semesters to incorporate these tools into a senior-level course on manufacturing system design and lean manufacturing to help facilitate better learning and assess proficiency more effectively. Several techniques are used, including suggestions from the recent book Make It Stick by Brown, Roediger, and McDaniel. Student feedback and instructor observations are discussed, and future recommendations for the course are given.

Weaver, J. M. (2018, June), Transitioning a Manufacturing Systems Engineering Course to Student-Centered Learning Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--31158

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