Principles of quality management (which focus on defect prevention rather than defect correction) are applied to course design. These principles mandate that 1) the mission of the course be clearly stated and reviewed in context of the total program of study, 2) the objectives for the course or program of study be clearly defined and known to the students, 3) there be numerous intermediate steps leading to the objectives, 4) students be given immediate feedback about their performance on each step, and 5) corrective action be initiated immediately when a student fails to achieve an intermediate step. These principles apply to both individual courses and to an entire course of study. The authors found that a course incorporating these principles led to an increase in student performance and long-term retention of information.
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