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Peer Review

Manufacturing System Design



Overall Numeric Rating:

3.75 stars
Content Quality: 3.5 stars
Effectiveness: 4 stars
Ease of Use: 4 stars
Reviewed: Apr 21, 2008 by Business Editorial Board
Overview: This is a class unit on manufacturing and system design developed by a Technology Educator at North Carolina State University. It provides a variety of resources, activities, tools, software, and a test related to manufacturing. Links are provided to additional resources found by the site developer and his students.
Type of Material: Online course unit.
Recommended Uses: Could be used for a homework and/or short project.
Technical Requirements: Browser, Java, HTML.
Identify Major Learning Goals: Goals are to understand manufacturing system variables and problem solving techniques in order to apply them to product design and manufacturing system design
Target Student Population: Undergraduate course in Operations Management, Manufacturing, Product Design, or other type of technology management related subject. Could be used in an introductory Management course in support of a unit on Operations Management.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Terminology and basic understanding of operations management and production planning concepts. To use some of the tools (ie Break-Even Analysis, Labor Cost Calculator), basic understanding of accounting and or financial concepts would be helpful.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 3.5 stars
Strengths: Nicely thought out and accessible content. Good mix of textual and experiential materials to develop student understanding of concepts as well as provide opportunities for application.
Concerns: (1.) Many broken links and old content. (2) Some typographical and word use errors, such as confusing the word "cooperation" with "corporation." (3) Refers to the 20th century as the current century. (4) Most serious concern: In a course targeted at manufacturing, it blurs topics from R&D, manufacturing, marketing, finance/accounting, and decision making. (5) Uses an incorrect definition of productivity -- confusing it with profitability.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: Learning objectives are identified, concepts build effectively and reinforcement activities are provided to ensure student comprehension. Good visual showing relationship among concepts and how they build upon one another. Assignments are provided as well as quizzes.
Concerns: Again, some areas are limited by no longer accessible off-site content.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: Generally very intuitive to use. Good visuals and use of color, lots of opportunities for interactivity.
Concerns: Requires use of java and java applets which some users may be hesitant to allow to run on their computers.

Other Issues and Comments: The idea for this site is a good one, but the site itself needs a massive update and re-focusing to be effective in teaching manufacturing concepts.