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National Ergonomics Month



National Ergonomics Month: A Time for Teaching, Learning, Networking, Service, and Fun!!!
Ronald G. Shapiro, IBM
Haydee M. Cuevas, SA Technologies

A review of the early history of National Ergonomics Month (NEM) is presented in this brief paper. This paper also provides a link to the Games to Explain Human Factors: Come, Participate, Learn, and Have Fun!!! PowerPoint presentation with a built in instructor/facilitator guide. Conference attendees are encouraged to utilize Games or another presentation to explain the Human Factors/Ergonomics profession to students in middle school and high school as well as to college and university faculty and students during NEM or at another convenient time. Link to PDF

Teaching Human Factors through Popular Music: A Series of Human Information Processing Demonstrations
Marc L. Resnick, Florida International University

Human Information Processing (HIP) is an important component of human factors training and education because challenges of HIP are often the limiting factor in human performance. Demonstrations in which students personally experience the strengths and weaknesses of HIP are an effective pedagogical technique because of the salience of personal experience and the possibility of metacognitive insight. Using popular music as a content source adds an additional benefit because students and trainees of all ages and experience will be familiar with it and it is intrinsically motivating. These demonstrations are also easy and inexpensive to create and deliver. This paper presents a series of demonstrations using popular music that can be used to demonstrate each of the stages of HIP. The paper also describes possible methods and discussion points that can be used during and after the demonstration. Link to PDF

Making Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches: Do Students From Different Disciplines Approach This Exercise Differently?
Cheryl L. Coyle, Bell Labs
Heather Vaughn, Bell Labs

In this practice-oriented paper for human factors education, we describe our experiences piloting a variation of a classroom activity reported elsewhere. We conducted the activity with two different groups of students: psychology majors and software engineering majors. Focusing students on the simplest of algorithms is a fruitful activity to introduce them to biases and variations that occur in practical field studies. Students enjoyed the activity, and we took away learning for our industrial research context. Link to PDF

How Can We Enhance the Impact of HFE on the World? Presidential Forum Position Paper
Marvin J. Dainoff, Miami University

A core value of HFES has been the translation of scientific knowledge into information that can be used to improve the design and effectiveness of the systems and equipment used by people. The extent to which HFE knowledge has, in fact, had an impact on the world needs to be systematically and analytically explored. This is necessary for the continued growth of the HFE field. This forum will explore this issue. Three key questions are: (a) In the process of translation from research to practice, to what extent is practice evidence-based? (b) Should the HFE field be constrained in the service of quality control or purely entrepreneurial in style? (c) Can we reframe the benefits of our contributions to conform more closely with the key goals and objectives of customer organizations? Link to PDF

Teaching Human Factors Principles Through Design of an EXIT Sign
Jennifer L. Dyck, SUNY

A hands-on, specific design assignment is described, for use in a graduate or undergraduate human factors course. The assignment requires students to re-design an EXIT sign, taking into account principles of visual display design, and environmental factors, which may reduce visibility of the sign. Assigning a particular object to re-design allows for in-class comparison and discussion, and additionally, is easier for students when first beginning to identify human factors deficiencies in everyday objects. Students consistently rate this assignment positively, and especially enjoy the creative aspect of the assignment. Link to PDF

Developing Criteria for Recognizing Excellence in Undergraduate Human Factors Education
Lawrence G. Shattuck, Naval Postgraduate School
Ann M. Bisantz, State University of New York at Buffalo
Richard D. Gilson, University of Central Florida
William F. Moroney, University of Dayton
Esa Rantanene, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The purpose of this panel is report on the work of the Undergraduate Program Recognition Committee and to encourage discussion among attendees on the proposed criteria developed by the committee. The paper and the panel discussion will provide an overview of the graduate program accreditation process, report on the work of the Special Task Force on Undergraduate Program, and propose criteria that can be used to recognize the various types of human factors programs that currently exist. Link to PDF

A Framework for Evaluation of University Human Factors Curricula
Esa M. Rantanen, Peter M. Vlach, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Curriculum reviews are performed to provide grounds for adjustments necessary due to changes in student enrollment, teaching faculty, and goals and objectives of programs that have a substantial human factors component. This task is arguably quite difficult due to the very broad spectrum of the human factors discipline and lack of widely accepted standards or criteria for education in human factors. This paper describes a framework for review of undergraduate human factors curricula using the program at the University of Illinois as an example. The framework was implemented as a hierarchical relational database with a web interface. Populated with either existing curriculum or desired courses to be developed it allows for rapid analysis of overlap between individual courses, missing important human factors topics, and determination prerequisite knowledge for these, and a rigorous and formal way of keeping human factors curricula aligned with explicitly stated goals for the programs. Link to PDF

Recommendations for Teaching Team Behavior to Human Factors/Ergonomics Students
Nancy J. Stone, Creighton University
Willian F. Moroney, University of Dayton
Tracey B. Wortham, Murray State University

Many Human Factors/Ergonomics specialists are members of work teams. To prepare students for teamwork, the students 'education should include team building exercises and experiences. During both the 2004 and 2005 HFES meetings panel sessions were held on teaching team behavior to human factors/ergonomics students. The first panel identified general approaches and areas requiring study, whereas the second panel focused on how to form and develop effective teams and how to collect and use peer ratings. This document integrates the information obtained from these panels, teaching resources, and audience input. Teaching outcomes, various forms used to effectively teach with teams, and additional references are provided. Link to PDF

Curriculum Innovation Using Job Design Theory
Katherine Sanders, Exponent Inc.
Patrick V. Farrell, University of Wisconson-Madison
Sarah K.A. Pfatteicher, University of Wisconson-Madison

Introduction to Engineering "was designed in 1994 by a cross-disciplinary group of seven engineering faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The faculty group had recently completed a nine-month team-based professional development program, where they studied, discussed, and reflected upon the learning process. The group was asked by the administration to design a course to improve the retention of freshmen engineering students, with specific emphasis on the retention of underrepresented student groups. This paper highlights the human factors and job design foundations of this course in two ways. First, in that the course itself was created using theories of work motivation taken from classic literature and applied to the" work "of learning. Second, by creating a course that ultimately would be considered service-learning, students and faculty from diverse engineering departments would need and become familiar with human factors in design. Link to PDF

Challenges and Lessons Learned in Teaching a Graduate Human Factors Course on a Compressed Schedule
Joseph Sharit, University of Miami

There is a current tendency for industrial engineering departments to augment their Masters Degree programs with programs targeted for off-campus students who are employed full time. These programs are motivated primarily by the revenue that they can potentially generate for academic departments. In this paper we discuss one such program in which each course is compressed into three consecutive weekends, and discuss the challenges of teaching these students a course on human factors engineering under these curriculum design constraints. Examples of lessons learned in teaching this course are summarized and possible interventions in course design are discussed, with the understanding that teaching such a course affords the opportunity for achieving buy-in to the human factors and ergonomics discipline within these students' respective organizations. Link to PDF

Designing Human Factors Courses With a Human Factors Mind
Dahai Liu, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Angela Baskin, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Frances Greene, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Christina Frederick-Recascino, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Human Factors is a discipline that studies the body of information about human capabilities and limitations for engineering design. Human Factors combines different Engineering areas and integrates them with human information into the engineering design. This applied and multidisciplinary nature of Human Factors in turn requires that education in Human Factors should also focus on the application of knowledge to design, and encourage hands-on exercise into the learning process. A new course "Design With a Human Factors Mind" was designed to demonstrate this concept. This course abandoned the traditional classroom lecture format, using labs, field trips and guest lectures instead to expose students with various Human Factors subjects. A survey study was conducted to assess the efficiency of this teaching style. Results showed that different teaching techniques have different effects on students' performance. This case study provides some preliminary results for different teaching styles and can help other educators to design effective teaching methods in Human Factors education. Link to PDF

Teaching Techniques and Demonstrations: Let's Not Reinvent the Wheel
Nancy J. Stone, Creighton University

As educators in human factors and ergonomics, we often struggle to find good examples that demonstrate the underlying psychological or ergonomic principles and how these principles are applied to HF/E problems. This symposium is an attempt to establish a basic format for presenting effective teaching techniques, strategies, and demonstrations. These five demonstrations require active participation of the students, make the HFE principles more relevant, cost under $50, and require little more than everyday equipment available in most academic departments. After the presentations, a 20 to 30 minute discussion will ensue to identify 1) existing but undocumented demonstrations, 2) areas in which demonstrations are needed, and 3) additional sources of demonstrations. Link to PDF

Why Does Dilbert, the Far Side, and Other Cartoons Convey Essential Truths About Human Factors and Ergonomics?
Jeff Caird, University of Calgary
Nic Ward, University of Minnesota
Steve Scallen, Microsoft
Jan Davies, University of Calgary
Peter Hancock, University of Central Florida
David Woods, The Ohio State University

The purpose of this panel session is to explore how cartoons have been used to teach and discuss essential truths about human factors and ergonomics. Naturally, we hope to have fun too. Human factors and ergonomics is often much too serious. Educators and non-educators alike should enjoy the material. Numerous philosophical and practical issues are likely to emerge as the session evolves. The audience, we hope, will be an active participant in the laughter and discussion.

Each panelist has been invited to open their lecture files and share their favorite cartoons about a variety of topics such as office ergonomics (see, e.g., Dilbert), aviation displays and controls (see, e.g., the Far Side), industrial ergonomics, human-computer interaction, information design, human error, transportation human factors, medical systems, and so forth. Each panelist brings a unique research and experiential perspective to the panel. For example, a variety of nationalities including the U.K., Canada, Australia, and the U.S. are represented.

In addition, panelists will be invited to discuss a number of deeper issues. Are cartoons a useful teaching tool? Can a quiet class be roused from their slumber by the use of visual humor? Is there a best way to introduce or use a cartoon in a lecture? What copyright issues surround the use of cartoons for educational use? Why do we laugh (or cry) at cartoons that succinctly capture poor design in human factors and ergonomics? Can the sting of a poor design evaluation be moderated by the use of humor? Link to PDF

Exercises / Techniques for Teaching Cognitive Systems Engineering
Stephanie Guerlain, University of Virginia
Caroline Hayes, University of Minnesota
Amy Pritchett, Georgia Institute of Technology
Philip Smith, The Ohio State University

There has been rapid growth in the field of Cognitive Systems Engineering in the past 8 years, as evidenced by the HFES formation of a technical group devoted to Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making in 1994, and the proliferation of papers that have been submitted to this technical group since that time. At least 7 universities have hired new faculty in the past 4 years specifically to teach Cognitive Engineering. Due to the complex, interdisciplinary nature of the field, and the broad background of students that enter this field, it is necessary to define a common core set of concepts and means for teaching those concepts in an effective way. For this panel, faculty from four universities share several exercises and demonstrations that they have found to actively and effectively involve students in learning key cognitive engineering concepts and techniques. Link to PDF

Multimedia Training Systems for Education and Industry
Grzegorz Dahlke, Aleksandra E. Jasiak, University of Technology, Poland

The paper focuses on developing multimedia occupational safety and health training programs. The programs are designed for use in both the academia and the industry as modified methods of assessing occupational risk at workplaces are implemented in industrial companies. Link to PDF

Use of the National Ergonomics Month or Human Factors and Ergonomics Society logo is restricted. Please contact HFES for more information.

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