An industry-based “mistake-proofing” technique and a qualitative research approach were applied to an academic setting to identify and eliminate root causes that result in damaged laboratory equipment and educational aids by college students or instructors. Instructors in an Aviation Technologies (AT) program were interviewed to yield numerous recurring issues when using equipment and/or educational aids. Ten key issues were selected and discussed at a structured brainstorming session with AT students. These students were asked to input ideas that would be potential solutions and corrective actions. Ideas were generated for potential solutions and evaluated for practicality, cost, and time of implementation by the Principle Investigator (PI) and solutions were prioritized for having the highest likelihood for success. These qualitative results were evaluated in two ways: (1) the effectiveness of the methods and materials, and (2) the entire process to address the stated purpose. All recurring issues were documented and numerous relevant solutions for corrective actions were generated. In addition, the entire process was successful in developing proposed procedures and designs for corrective actions from student participation. Future research will implement and evaluate these proposed corrective actions when incoming AT students are exposed to the proposed changes.
Bartlett, Donald R.
"Protecting Educational Laboratory Equipment from Operator Error Using a Qualitative Research Approach,"
Journal of Applied Sciences and Arts: Vol. 1
, Article 4.
Available at: http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/jasa/vol1/iss1/4