This paper highlights the use of an integrated user-centered virtual learning environment throughextensible simulation learning modules that is currently being developed to enhance undergraduate curricula to meet the industrial needs for engineers with education in lean. The purpose of the research is to address these expectations by developing learning modules that incorporate lean simulation models into various Engineering Management, Industrial Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering courses at Missouri S&T, Texas Tech, and South Dakota State, respectively. In recent years, increasing global competition, rapidly changing technology, and a deficit of U.S. engineering graduates have intensified the need to produce graduating engineers who are effective problem solvers and analytical thinkers, yet who can also collaborate on interdisciplinary teams to address complex, real-world systems. A key area of competence for many engineering undergraduate, as well as graduate, disciplines is the application of structured problem solving methods, e.g., lean, to improve the performance of organizational processes.

This virtual learning environment will enhance undergraduate engineering education by utilizing technology as a learning tool in lean, by fostering student development through active learning in the classroom, and through projects based on current real-world challenges, thus improving student learning, motivation, and retention. The paper highlights the learning modules to be developed in the virtual learning environment. The long-term goal is to evaluate the impact of the curriculum changes on student learning, outreach, and industrial collaboration.

Meeting Name

2011 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition (2011: Jun. 26-29, Vancouver, BC, Canada)


Engineering Management and Systems Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Computer aided instruction; Curricula; E-learning; Education; Education computing; Industrial research; Problem solving; Students; Teaching; Virtual reality

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2011 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), All rights reserved.