Feedback on Learning Diary 1 ME 546 - Designing Product Families - IE 546 Timothy W. Simpson Professor of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering and Engineering Design The Pennsylvania State University University Park, PA 16802 USA phone: (814) 863-7136 email: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.mne.psu.edu/simpson/courses/me546 T. W. SIMPSON PENNSTATE © T. W. SIMPSON
Grading Scale Score: Distribution: 1 – Not impressed 0 2 – Okay, not very insightful 8 3 – About what I expected 15 4 – Exceeded my expectations 8 5 – New insight beyond what I had planned 1 I am not looking for you to summarize what I covered in lecture – do that only if it is part of your reflection and leads to new insight or ideas This is a chance for you to take charge of your own learning – most of you have never done this before
Examples of Summary as Part of Reflection • Applying this analysis to the lectures this week, being asked to recall personally craft production firms, rather than being presented a list of them, forced me to connect the topic with my real life and experiences which will be more retainable. The lecture today presented a sequential, historical development of the American Manufacturing System. While individual cases, dates, and statistics support the theories, it’s the overall concepts that will be retainable. And moreso, reflecting on it, even the verbal list of the characteristics of the ASM will not be particularly memorable though an overall image of such an environment in my mind will be. The trick is extracting the defining features from this “philosophical” image. To this point, I suppose that the slide pictures contributed to my mental image of ASM, as opposed to slides of pure text. This again ties back to my preference for visual learning. From this, I suppose I can hope for continued methodical development of concepts with an overall philosophy or theory as the goal, accompanied less so by verbal or textual communication as by pictures, diagrams, and real-life examples. • The short movie clip mocking the present educational practices presented a sad view of the system. The exam based approach promotes memorizing the subject with little understanding and recall and reproduce it in a period on 2 hours. The hands on approach and emphasis on projects maybe could help overcome the drawback. Project work helps me apply my knowledge and gives me insights about my understanding of the subject. A big plus is when I commit a mistake; I learn from it and never forget about it. When successfully completed it gives a true sense of fulfillment and a confidence about the subject matter.
Example of a 4 Most of my past classes have tested my ability to comprehend, retain or apply the class material. From my initial observation, I realized I signed up for more than a comprehensive class on designing product families. In addition to covering the course objectives, this class stresses the importance of self assessment, addresses personal learning styles, and will challenge me to develop my learning styles. The professor realizes everyone has their own ways of learning and he has incorporated multiple learning styles into his teaching methods. The last two lectures utilize PowerPoint presentations to convey the class material in an orderly manner. The PowerPoint presentations included key points, pictures, diagrams, and past examples. He noted the next lecture will be interactive even though the past ones were informational and sequential. After taking Dr. Felder’s learning styles assessment, I recollected how I was slightly more alert during class that may have been in part to the delivery of the material and not from the particular subject being discussed. Professors have different teaching styles that do not always cater to students who tend to lean towards one end of the learning scale preferences. In learning how I learn, I will be more cognizant of the tools and aids that can help in achieving the course objectives in this class and other future courses. Achieving a better understanding of the material will increase my contributions to group projects, assignments, and in-class discussions.
Other Comments from 4’s • “Teachers tend to teach the way they prefer to learn…” • “Overall, this test confirmed what I thought that I knew about my learning styles. I am curious if my results were skewed one way because I think of myself as practical minded, active, sequential, visual learner, etc. It would be interesting to take a more in-depth quiz…” • “One of the suggestions for visual learners to help themselves was to color-code notes. Although I have not done this recently, I am sure it works. In middle school, I used a different color on each of my homeworks. Then when it came time for the tests…” • “I believe that you can learn to learn in different styles. When I was a student, there were set styles of teaching, so you learned how to learn from those styles in order to be successful. Frankly, I hated school but I made the grades.”
Example of a 5 Intuitively the first place to start is with the first thought I left class with on our first day. I’m referring to the questionnaire we were asked to fill out about our goals for the class. The questionnaire struck me initially as quite odd. Out of the four questions we were asked to answer, three were essentially the same. We were first asked about our goals, then asked to prioritize and refine our goals, then finally asked to identify a somewhat global goal. After thinking about this, I came to the conclusion that the questions we were asked to answer fits perfectly with our assignment on learning. Simply asking the question once was a very passive activity. It would be easy enough to just say what you are wary about and what you want to learn and be done with things. Instead you are asked then question then asked to think about your answers in an active manor by writing them down. Instead of passively reflecting you have to think and produce a tangible deliverable (the next two questions). I think this shift you from passively observing/learning to being actively engaged in prioritizing and categorizing your expectations. I think the act of active learning is the step between knowing something (memorizing facts) and understanding something (concepts). In my mind that level of reflection is all the difference in the world. I think this method of learning also plays a to my learning strengths which is why I’ve chosen to mention this. As a learner, I collect information and arrange it in a somewhat hierarchical fashion. Where I show what pieces flow into what and how each is interrelated. Just as with the first three questions we answered, I collect the data (in this case my goals), interpret it, and then see where it falls into my understanding of the subject (ranking them based on priority). To do so I have to arrange things as they relate to one another and see how they fit…