Methods for Applied Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics
- Professor Alexander Mertens, Dr. Christopher Brandl, Professorin Verena Nitsch
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The course "Methods for Applied Industrial Engineering and Ergonomics" teaches an interdisciplinary approach and methodology for the user-centered development of socio-technical systems. The basis is a set of methods adapted to the requirements of application-oriented engineering sciences, which combines selected qualitative, quantitative and hybrid (mixed-method) approaches from engineering sciences, computer science, psychology, sociology of technology, and human medicine.
Based on the content taught in the lecture, the course will work with the students on a weekly basis to develop the most suitable combination of methods and approaches for various cross-unit use cases. The methods and approaches will be developed in accordance with the available resources (exercises) and then implemented in practice (laboratory). In addition to understanding the principles and frameworks for efficient and effective application, basic procedures, quality assurance, and the ethics of empirical research with and for people are also taught, allowing for an integrated approach to understanding.
Teaching and Learning Method
The skill building to be able to apply the empirical research methodology with and on humans, as taught in the course, and the transfer to a concrete case, happens incrementally in two phases.
In the first phase, the basic psychophysical cause-effect relationships of the respective methodology are taught. This is done by means of suitable models in a combination of frontal teaching and "flipped teaching" (flipped classroom) with classroom and web-based units.
In the first phase, the basic psychophysical cause-effect relationships of the respective methodology are taught. This is done by means of suitable models, with a combination of frontal teaching and "flipped teaching" in classroom and web-based units. In the second phase, these still theoretical skills are applied and tested. The students work independently, under supervision, in the usability lab. There they deal with practical exercises on case studies of increasing complexity. Through this, students develop both the skill to apply the available technologies and to make well-founded decisions as to which of the methods or combination of methods is best suited for the respective conditions. In addition, the limitations of an empirically supported technology science are discussed. Alternative approaches (e.g. simulation) are pointed out, and the students will learn to evaluate the applicability and suitability of the methods for a given context.