ASTM Debuts Professor's Tool Kit

James Olshefsky

New ASTM Resource Provides Materials for Standards Education

ASTM International has produced a new academic offering to help university professors provide information about technical standards as part of their engineering and business curricula. The ASTM Professor's Tool Kit, available in both DVD and online, contains various informational tools to help educators promote awareness of standards in the classroom.

Understanding that engaging and providing tools for university professors has been the most effective way to reach the next generation of technical experts enrolled in universities worldwide, an ASTM International staff task group set to work on creating a comprehensive resource in 2012. Particular focus was placed on making the tools applicable globally as the use of ASTM International standards continues to grow internationally and educators around the world are looking for additional resources to bring standards into the classroom.

To better understand the audience and develop appropriate resources, the first step was to survey university-level educators from China, India, Mexico and the United States. The main survey objective was to determine what resources educators could use in their classrooms to help students become more familiar with technical standards. The survey indicated a strong preference for such materials as PowerPoint presentations and videos. As an added benefit for international students and professors, a number of the materials were also translated into Spanish, Mandarin and Portuguese.

The new collection is intended to integrate information on technical standards into existing engineering curricula rather than creating a stand-alone course on standards. The Professor's Tool Kit allows instructors to pick and choose the components that work best for their classes. Some of the supplies featured in the kit include:

  • Five scripted PowerPoint modules that provide an introduction to the world of technical standards, the standards development process, international standards, standards and their use in trade, and intellectual property;
  • Three short videos, including a new video featuring ASTM International President James A. Thomas speaking about the value and importance of standards;
  • Example course material, including sample syllabi from 14 different institutions that are incorporating standards on a variety of topics in their curricula;
  • Links to nine archived student webinars on numerous topics; and
  • Much more.

This material can be covered during classroom lectures or assigned for independent study. All materials have been developed with students in mind and will enhance a student's knowledge and skills before entering the workplace.

In addition to the Professor's Tool Kit, ASTM International continues to offer cost-effective product options that enable students to read and study actual standards developed by leading technical experts. Among these solutions is campus-wide access and multi-user desktop access to ASTM standards. For more on these products, contact George Zajdel, ASTM International.

To learn more about how to incorporate standards into your curriculum, please contact James Olshefsky, ASTM International. Click here for more information about ASTM International's student membership, scholarships and other academic activities.

James Olshefsky is director of external relations, Global Cooperation, at ASTM International.

Issue Month
Issue Year