MSSC Assessment Prep Instructor`s Guide

MSSC Assessment Preparation
Instructor: E. Carlson
Instructor’s Guide
Introduction and Goals
Students should be introduced to the four segments of the assessment and be
encouraged to determine which focuses are their strengths and weaknesses. Students
should take note of this to concentrate more on the segments that they need more work in.
Students could introduce themselves and present to the class which area is their strength
so that other students may utilize their experience to build their own knowledge.
The goal of the course is successful completion of the MSSC assessment and
certification. To this end, it is suggested that grading for the course be tied to the scores
and successful passing of the MSSC assessment.
Course Outline
A course outline is presented with approximate time spent on each section of
material. An introduction is planned with an explanation of the current manufacturing
environment, the need for MSSC efforts, and how the MSSC standards were developed.
In addition to the focuses on safety, quality, manufacturing and maintenance, an
emphasis is placed on test taking tips and strategies. It is noted that many current
students lack good test taking skills to properly represent their knowledge in a testing
I have rearranged the order of the main topics safety, quality, manufacturing and
maintenance as the text presents them. I believe that starting with a focus on safety and
productivity might be best due to the topics personal nature and the potential for students
and incumbent workers to relate to personal experience. Quality topics follow, and then
specific and technical details can be applied to the manufacturing and maintenance
practices. Practice testing is planned after each section to make this process familiar.
The course is completed with assessment scheduling, test taking strategies, and
suggestions for continued learning and career progression.
Note Taking
Students should be encouraged to take notes during class and even on the job to
absorb as much as possible for assessment preparation. Students should record
definitions and acronyms that are unfamiliar. Note taking requires little effort and greatly
reinforces the learning process. Students should know that it is there responsibility to
create references for themselves and note taking accomplishes this.
Use of the Text “High Performance Manufacturing”
The text is the best single source of information for material covered in the MSSC
assessments and its use should be maximized. Reading and homework assignments
should be assigned from the text to utilize the many suggested activities and sample test
questions presented in it. Students should be made clear that the standards and
knowledge represented by the MSSC assessment is much larger in scope than just the
text, and reading it with comprehension is a minimum.
Additional Homework Assignments
Homework assignments are recommended. Part of the challenge of absorbing the
material presented in this course is that the relevant information comes from many
sources, especially from career jobs. Learning is not limited to the classroom, and some
of the best information is learned on the job. The goal is to steer students to open
themselves to learning, teach them to learn, not just feed them information. Topics as
broad as those addressed by the MSSC standards are not easily learned in a classroom
environment alone.
Assignments can be of a format different than that of multiple choice test
questions. The goal is to engage students and make the material relevant to them and
their lives. Writing composition assignments and problem solving will help students
develop a proactive approach to learning. Students should be encouraged to incorporate
their personal on the job experiences and extrapolate from them how they relate to the
topics of safety, quality, manufacturing and maintenance.
Depending on the quality of the work of the homework assignments, student
could be assigned to read or grade each others work in an effort to pool their knowledge.
Another assignment for students could be to create their own practice questions.
This would strengthen their grasp of the technical material and improve their fluency in
the format of the assessment questions. This improves question comprehension and
points out question tricks and pitfalls by approaching the process from the reverse
direction. These questions could be pooled together to build a large collection of practice
Class Participation
Class format should contain a technical information lecture followed by
opportunities for discussion. This discussion is important for the digestion of the
information and to provide students a chance to relate it to their lives personally. This
way they may pool their knowledge and spread it, helping each other with the material.
The instructor’s responsibility should be to direct the discussion in positive
directions. When negative experiences are shared, the question could be to use an
improvement technique or root cause analysis to find the underlying problem and learn
from it. It should be made clear to students that this is not an opportunity to simply vent
but they too are responsible for problem solving.
Course Grading
Course grading could easily be based on homework assignments, attendance and
practice test performance, but it is recommended to tie in actual MSSC assessment
exposure to provide the additional nudge to students to complete the process. This
probably cannot be made a requirement though, due to the assessment being offered for a
fee independently of the course. More research is needed for this.
Test Preparation
One of the best methods of improving test performance is to practice taking tests.
This reduces test-taking anxiety and familiarizes the student with the testing format and
types of questions.
The MSSC assessment format should be made clear to student. It is highly
recommended that any instructor of a MSSC Assessment preparation course should have
the experience of taking all of the assessments.
A PowerPoint presentation on test-taking strategies has been prepared to guide
students in accurately representing their knowledge of the material in the assessment.