Do Process Improvement to Teach Process Improvement

Article

Gardner, L. Leslie; Georgiou, FPanayiotis   (1995, ASQC)   University of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN 46227

Annual Quality Congress, Cincinnati OH    Vol. 49    No. 0
QICID: 10228    May 1995    pp. 255-263
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Article Abstract

Business schools experiencing declining enrollment, changing demographics, and budget cuts must become more effective and competitive. The assessment movement in higher education has led many university administrators to see the value of TQM and continuous improvement. Teaching process improvement and using student feedback to improve the curriculum serves a two-fold purposeļæ½providing students with valuable skills and implementing process improvements in the curriculum.

After students were led through brainstorming exercises to address problems and obstacles to learning, they used a student survey and Pareto chart to prioritize problems. Ishikawa diagrams helped them identify and analyze causes. Finally, a process improvement exercise called for a final report that addressed planning and implementation. Evaluation, a separate exercise, asked two questions: (1) Are the students learning the continuous improvement process? and (2) Is the process actually improving classroom teaching and learning?

Improvements developed by students included a revised schedule of assignments to correct uneven workload, an instruction sheet to improve the process of printing graphs in Quattro Pro, and handouts summarizing portions of lecture notes from overhead transparencies.

Empowering students through the process improvement exercises helped them build valuable leadership skills; at the same time, the university benefitted from the implementation of continuous improvement.

Keywords

Problem solving,Ishikawa diagram (Fishbone diagram ),Education,Assessment,Total Quality Management (TQM),Process improvement


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