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Assimilation of contemporary advanced manufacturing concepts has been rather slow in the US furniture industry, contributing to losses in local manufacturing competitiveness as evidenced by recent plant closures. To facilitate rapid adoption of advanced manufacturing systems in furniture production it is vital to develop corresponding levels of apposite workforce training. We investigated the impact of instructional design on the extent to which college-level students integrated advanced manufacturing concepts into the process of making furniture. Using a project-based approach in a "design for CNC manufacturing" course we crafted instruction modules to derive higher order learning outcomes based on the revised Bloom's Taxonomy. We assessed the degree to which two consecutive level-400 cohorts had both internalized and creatively applied the principles of advanced manufacturing in term projects over a period of one semester. Our study indicates that innovative combinations of traditional classroom learning and problem-based learning have positive learning outcomes for prospective wood products manufacturing professionals.
Date of Conference: 10-13 Oct. 2007