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A Case Study of How to Incorporate Cross-functional Components in Industrial Technology Education: Safety Metrics in the Classroom

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Abstract

Quality and safety are key factors influencing industrial productivity. Traditionally, statistical process control (SPC) has been utilized by manufacturing companies to monitor, identify and remedy quality problems associated with industrial processes and manufactured goods. The root causes of quality problems (i.e., methods, measurements, machines, materials) also contribute to the occurrence of industrial injuries. While much has been written about the application of SPC methods to safety, very little has been written about the instructional aspect of this inter- face. Current interest in the integrated development of practice to education has created cross-functional curriculum models. Cross-functional instruction has received much attention in all levels and disciplines of education (Wagner, Najdawi & Otto, 2000; DeMoranville & Aurand, 2001; Rothstein, 2002; Anthony, 2000). Educators credit its effectiveness to curricula designed to teach objectives by contextual learning (Resnick & Klopfer, 1989). Learning in context provides a forum by which students can make the connection between classroom instruction and real world environments. Recently, cross-functional education has begun appearing in Industrial Technology (IT) curricula (Freeman & Field, 1999; Meier, 2000). This paper documents a collaborative venture with industry to develop an instructional module for exposing IT students to the cross-functional nature of safety metrics.

Keywords: curriculum|quality|safety|teaching methods

How to Cite: De Leon, J. E. (2005) “A Case Study of How to Incorporate Cross-functional Components in Industrial Technology Education: Safety Metrics in the Classroom”, The Journal of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering. 21(2).