Integrating soft skill development into a manufacturing systems course

Faisal Aqlan, Qi Dunsworth, Mary L. Kahl

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Today's labor market requires well-educated engineers with a variety of skills to effectively solve problems and improve processes. In addition to advanced technical skills, engineering work also demands effective teamwork and a range of soft skills. Despite such needs in the engineering workforce, academic engineering curricula tends to focus on developing the technical skills of the students, overlooking the soft skills or 21st century skills that are just as important. The 21st century skills include critical thinking, communication, teamwork collaboration, metacognitive awareness, and creativity. Developing such skills will enable future engineers to effectively engage in interdisciplinary endeavors and adapt to changes in national policies and emergent technologies. This paper presents a project that integrates 21st century skill development (i.e., metacognitive awareness, constructive thinking, and communication) into a manufacturing systems course. In this course, students learn about manufacturing systems through a series of teamwork-based manufacturing simulations. Workshops on developing metacognitive and teamwork skills were added to the course. At the conclusion of the semester, we examine the effectiveness of the skill integration into the manufacturing simulations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 23 2018
Event125th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Salt Lake City, United States
Duration: Jun 23 2018Dec 27 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Integrating soft skill development into a manufacturing systems course'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this