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Using A Service Learning Strategy To Enhance A Course In Concurrent Engineering

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.686.1 - 5.686.9



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Paper Authors

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Robert L. Armacost

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Robert Hoekstra

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Michael A. Mullens

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

Session 2525

Using a Service Learning Strategy to Enhance a Course in Concurrent Engineering

Michael Mullens, Robert Hoekstra, Robert Armacost University of Central Florida


This paper describes an innovative course in concurrent engineering offered by the University of Central Florida and identifies a critical challenge that has limited achievement of student learning objectives: student motivation. This challenge is not unique to our course. Higher education, particularly professional education, is struggling with students’ loss of motivation and engagement. The paper introduces the concept of service learning, illustrates how a service learning strategy has been incorporated into the design project component of the course, and provides an assessment of the impact on student motivation/commitment and attainment of learning objectives.

I. Introduction: A Challenge in Teaching Concurrent Engineering

The Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems has offered EIN 6399 Concurrent Engineering to students at the University of Central Florida since 1993. Armacost and Mullens1 describe the course, including the rationale for teaching concurrent engineering, the teaching/learning approach used in the course and a detailed syllabus. The objective of the course is to familiarize students with the underlying philosophy of concurrent engineering and the basic tools for its implementation. The one semester course is intended for graduate students and advanced undergraduate students who will be involved in the design or manufacture of products and services. Topical coverage includes the product development process, identification and assessment of customer requirements, Quality Function Deployment (QFD), industrial design, concept generation, concept selection, Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DFMA), prototyping, benchmarking, organizational issues, teaming, and statistical approaches for producibility analysis and process characterization.

To reinforce these concepts, multi-disciplinary student teams are tasked with conceiving and designing a new product and developing an α prototype. Project deliverables (Appendix A) are designed and scheduled to pace the development process and stimulate student contemplation of the process. Design teams are encouraged to generate their own projects instead of using industry-sponsored projects where the sponsor may have much of the design completed and needs help only in addressing specific design details (e.g., manufacturing). Among the more interesting products that student teams have designed are a shovel using space age materials, an executive lunch box, a personal drinking container for athletes, a drying rack for scuba gear, and a heat sensor for firemen. While adequately serving its purpose, the format of the design project has not been ideal. Student teams often demonstrate waning motivation and even apathy,

Armacost, R. L., & Hoekstra, R., & Mullens, M. A. (2000, June), Using A Service Learning Strategy To Enhance A Course In Concurrent Engineering Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8804

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