Like many other STEM fields needing workers, the industrial engineering profession will benefit from increased undergraduate retention and an increased number of graduate school applications from women and underrepresented minority populations. Research in the sciences shows that having a significant, hands-on educational experience can affect these numbers, but little has been done to examine this within the field of industrial engineering. In the Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering Department at Iowa State University, we have seen increased graduate school applications result from students participating in undergraduate research assistantships. To increase the number of students having access to undergraduate research opportunities, during the Spring 2018 semester, we implemented a course-based undergraduate research (CURE) pedagogy in a second-year human factors and ergonomics course. This paper describes one of the four research units that was developed and incorporated. The approximately 130 students enrolled in either treatment or control sections were each surveyed; the data were compared with previous undergraduate research data. This work establishes the baseline needed for longitudinal tracking of student retention and graduate school applications related to CUREs in an industrial engineering course. Lessons learned regarding transitioning a course from a traditional lecture format to a CURE pedagogy are included.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/richard_stone/31/