Researchers from the London Knowledge Lab, UK, collaborated with the training staff of car manufacturers in developing training tools for statistical process control (SPC), a method that is used to monitor performance and productivity processes in the automotive industry.
The aim was to design innovative learning applications that could help bring forward the abstract mathematical concepts behind SPC. Traditionally taught through the presentation of algebraic formulas, they appeared opaque to many employees. Instead, one of the new applications, for example, uses elements of a popular British pub game called “Shove Ha’Penny” to visualise these complex and abstract mathematical processes.
In the real game, players ‘shove’ coins across a board with a blow from the palm of their hand. The virtual version of the game, which uses a virtual ruler to flick a virtual coin, allows players to alter inputs systematically to see the effect on the process within given specification limits. These interactive elements allow trainees to explore the mathematical-statistical relationships involved in process improvement. The tools avoid any off-putting algebraic notation and assume little or no statistical or process-improvement knowledge.
Employees went on to make use of the applications in their everyday work. The SPC trainers and engineering specialists felt that the tools provided an innovative approach. In fact, they turned out to be so successful that they have been widely taken up for use in automotive plants across Europe and the United States.
The tools were developed as part of a larger project, called Techno-mathematical Literacies (TmL) in the Workplace. "In today's workplace, there has been a radical shift in the mathematical skills required, which has yet to be fully recognised by the formal education system as well as by employers," says Richard Noss, the project's co-director, and co-director of the London Knowledge Lab.
With the ubiquity of technology, he added, employees now must engage with mathematical knowledge that is grounded in the context of their work situations. "Today's companies are constantly struggling to improve the techno-mathematical skills of their employees, and straightforward training of mathematical skills is often no longer sufficient," he says.
This project was funded October 2003 - June 2007 by the Economic and Social Research Council, award number L139-25-0119, as part of the United Kingdom Teaching and Learning Research Programme.
Beate Kleessen | alfa
When your car knows how you feel
20.12.2017 | FZI Forschungszentrum Informatik am Karlsruher Institut für Technologie
Did you know how many parts of your car require infrared heat?
23.10.2017 | Heraeus Noblelight GmbH
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine
19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy