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Curriculum development of robotics/automated systems for vocational education at the secondary level based on an industry needs assessment

James George Keramas, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Abstract

The complexity of robotics and automated systems in manufacturing today requires service technicians to have extensive knowledge and skills.^ Programs offering educational curricula for robotics and automated systems are primarily available in colleges and universities. These programs, however, lack practical application and do not meet industry requirements. Today, technicians require more skills and practice than theory.^ Since the vocational education students at the secondary level are trained more in skills and practical application than in theory, it is logical to assume that gaps in the work force could be filled by individuals properly trained in high school. To accomplish that, it was necessary to develop a curriculum that could be taught at the secondary vocational education level. Such a curriculum was not in existence at the outset of this study.^ The approach to the development of an operable curriculum was based on a survey method of research to collect the necessary data. A 50-item survey instrument was developed and sent to 110 contact persons in industry, who use robots and automated systems for manufacturing their product. The mean for the responses was calculated and a t-test was used to make comparisons between present and anticipated future industry needs. Based on the recommendations of a reviewing board, the results of the analysis were used to develop a suggested curriculum for a four-year program for robotics/automated systems service technicians.^ The findings indicate that industry requires technicians to have extensive backgrounds that provide positive work ethics, excellent communication skills, high quality standards for workmanship and safety, the ability to establish realistic vocational goals, conscientious awareness of safe practices, leadership skills, and functional math and science skills. Technology skills require strong backgrounds in electronics, blueprint reading, basic electricity, machine tool fundamentals, electro-mechanical devices, and robotic applications.^ In conclusion, industry requires service employees to have extensive backgrounds in general knowledge skills as well as technology skills. More valuable to the industry than any other technical skill, however, is the ability to analyze systems and solve problems. Oral communication is important for service persons because it often reflects company image and helps future sales. ^

Subject Area

Educational technology|Curriculum development|Vocational education

Recommended Citation

Keramas, James George, "Curriculum development of robotics/automated systems for vocational education at the secondary level based on an industry needs assessment" (1990). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9110166.
http://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations/AAI9110166

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