Research Article

An initiative for integrating problem-based learning into a lean manufacturing course of an industrial engineering graduate program

Tortorella, Guilherme; Cauchick-Miguel, Paulo Augusto

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The interest in improving the quality of engineering education is widely deemed. Due to an increasingly worldwide competition, Lean Manufacturing (LM) has been a relevant subject among industrial engineering graduate programs. Despite the advances in teaching LM principles and techniques, the practical character inherent to LM undermines learning and development of students. In this sense, this study aims at demonstrating a proposal to enhance LM learning in an industrial engineering program. It is a blended proposal that combines traditional teaching methods to problem-based learning (PBL) approach based on real problems of companies undergoing a lean implementation. A first phase of the proposal introduction is illustrated with an example of introducing it in a Brazilian federal university. The findings indicate that PBL may be an effective complementary method for LM learning, especially if graduate students are exposed to real problems in companies that are undergoing a lean implementation and related it to the current body of literature.


Engineering education, Problem-based learning, Lean manufacturing.


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