A computer-aided, total quality approach to manufacturing education in engineering

G. Bengu, William Swart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


This paper describes an ongoing study in improving entry-level engineering education through the deployment of new teaching and learning tools. We introduce a computer-aided interactive multimedia manufacturing courseware. Manufacturing has realized significant conceptual and technological advances over the past decade. Manufacturing education, however, is not current with recent advances of industry. To improve manufacturing education we need to change not only the process of teaching and learning, but also provide new tools and technology that promote efficient learning and make it widely available and continuously improving. To address this manufacturing education challenge, we are presently designing a program based on a new computer-aided education paradigm that embodies total quality management (TQM) and critical thinking (CT) concepts. An interactive multimedia manufacturing courseware lies at the heart of this new computer-aided education paradigm. The courseware targets early and comprehensive understanding of interdisciplinary applications of engineering systems with focus on manufacturing. The manufacturing engineering multimedia courseware (MEMC) includes: on-line lectures, audiovideo education tools, interactive computer software (process and equipment design, simulation and animation software), on-line assignment and exams, information about faculty, and on-line evaluation tools to obtain users' feedback to enhance teaching. It also makes access available to related academia, industry, and government research and education information through the World Wide Web. Such a learning system is also believed to be the stepping stone to one that generates and rewards "active, independent, self-directed learning" for students to gather and assess data rigorously and critically. In this paper, we briefly review the status of engineering education in the United States and describe the appropriateness of unifying the concepts of TQM and CT. Additionally, we provide details of how these concepts can be used in an educational model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-422
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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