Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What is a flipped classroom?

The flipped classroom is a what is known in education as a pedagogical model in which the typical lecture and homework elements of a course are reversed. Short video lectures are viewed by students at home or work before the face to face class session, while in-class time is devoted to application exercises, projects work, or group discussions.
The video lecture or elearning is often seen as the key ingredient in the flipped approach.
These lectures being either created by the instructor and posted online or selected from an online repository like our Sustaining Skills Video Series.
The notion of a flipped classroom draws on such concepts as active learning, student engagement, hybrid course design, and of course podcasting. The value of a flipped class is in the repurposing of class time into a workshop where students can inquire about lecture content, test their skills in applying knowledge, and interact with one another in hands-on activities. During class sessions, instructors function as coaches or advisers, encouraging students
in individual inquiry and collaborative effort.
In our situation we have seen where it lowers student frustration associated with first time application of knowledge and improves the ability of the student to apply concepts into their "real world" and specific situation thanks to in session face to face dialogue with the coach/instructor. This tool is used in both our Applied Learning Curriculum and Inspired Blended Learning Maintenance and Reliability Core Skills offerings.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Understanding Asset Related Criticality: Managing asset by criticality (Part 3)

 Darrin Wikoff shares the final installment in his three part series on Asset Criticality.


Once we understand the meaning behind the number, the criticality analysis model becomes a tool used to develop the asset management plans.  For those assets that are within the top 20%, reliability specialists will typically proceed with a Failure Modes Effects Analysis (FMEA) to assess the risk priority associated with each type of failure, and to determine the appropriate corrective actions.  But we again must consider the critical characteristics that are common throughout the organization, across all assets, critical or not.  In doing so, asset management becomes a plant wide process.  If “Mission Impact” is commonly critical, than Engineering may need to considered equipment redundancy plans.  For those organizations that find “Spares Lead Time” particularly critical, a Materials Management improvement program should be initiated.  Those organizations that struggle to manage the cost of “Corrective Maintenance History”, Maintenance should evaluate existing preventive maintenance effectiveness or examine the methods by which work is executed.
When managing asset-related risks, we only have a few fundamental decisions we can make, control it, eliminate it, or accept the risk. Understanding how non-conformances impact your organization’s ability to meet strategic objectives is the first step towards establishing an economical asset management system. To learn more about Asset Criticality Analysis or Asset Management Planning, please contact me at or visit us at