Lean education can refer to teaching Lean principles or applying Lean thinking to improve educational content delivery. Applying Lean in education can enhance supportive services such as admissions and program selections. In this paper, we developed a simulation study to examine course offerings in the third and fourth years of civil engineering at the University of Alberta, given an anticipated number of students registered in different subdisciplines. This study uses Monte Carlo simulation to model student enrolment in the curriculum aiming to reduce curriculum planning time and incorporate the end users’ (i.e., the students) preferences into the course offerings by evaluating various what-if scenarios. The study investigates the effect of course selection flexibility on curriculum delivery and estimates the seating capacity to accommodate all enrolled students. In one scenario, all variables were simulated using random numbers and predefined statistical distributions. In a second scenario, we introduced restrictions where one subdiscipline offers limited courses, and graduate course offerings are restricted. In a third scenario, an additional restriction was added by raising the GPA eligibility threshold for graduate courses. The results show that simulation is an effective tool to test and incorporate Lean ideas into curriculum planning and management.
Continuous Improvement, Curriculum Development, Engineering Education, Learning, Simulation.