The following report was circulated on the tqm-l@ukanvm list, which is
a discussion group of professional educators and educational
administrators and interested others, on the general theme of "tqm" (total
quality management) in education.  If you wish to subscribe to that
discussion group, send mail to listserv@ukanvm and include one line (no
subject line): subscribe tqm-l, followed by your name on the same line.

   I would appreciate comments on how the activity discussed below might
be improved or emulated, how consistent it is with tqm principles or
Deming's theory in general, and what might be some of the implications for
higher education or education in general.

   A colloquium was held at the University of Hawaii, Porteus 637, Friday,
October 8, 1993, 2:30-4:00 p.m., in which I discussed the contents of this
report and did some brainstorming with the attendees on how this kind of
experimentation and philosophy might be diffused throughout our

   Another colloquium was held Friday, Oct. 15, 1993, 3-4 p.m. in the
Economics Department (Porteus Hall, 3rd floor) seminar room on the same
subject, "round table" discussion style, organized by Carl Bonham


        Adapting W. Edwards Deming's Theory to My Classroom
              Instruction of International Relations

                        Richard W. Chadwick
                          August 4, 1993


   After taking a Deming Seminar on education, I was motivated to
begin and continue forever a new approach to my teaching strategies.
For me it was a real paradigm shift which sold itself on theoretical
grounds.  This is a statement as to what that means, what I did
about it and why, and with what far!  I began with
a class of 25 students studying international relations, and with a
good reputation as a teacher, and fairly well attended office hours.
At last count I was teaching 67 students and enjoying it far more,
with about as much but very different work.  I feel I have created a
situation in which students have far fewer impediments to learning
and are learning many more new things.  But I have a long way to go!


   Two years ago I was very fortunate to be given scholarships by
Deming to his 4-day business and 1-day educator seminars.  I was
delighted to be able to attend, not because I was looking for new
ways of teaching at all, but to learn more about his theories as the
man who had transformed Japanese manufacturing, etc.  As far as my
teaching was concerned, although I had taught for over 20 years,
regularly used more or less standard student course evaluations to
diagnose teaching problems and thought of myself as a good teacher
with better than average relations with people playing the role
student, that week with Deming was a kind of watershed or conversion
experience.  Here's why.


   I previously saw my role to be that of a knowledgeable,
inspiring, engaging and sensitive teacher.  Course evaluations
indicated I was successful in achieving these goals.  I was prepared
for my lectures (spoke almost always with no notes but had plenty of
handouts and "cribs" which I designed myself, held dialogs when
students spoke out, etc.), had extensive (but not well used) office
hours, graded fairly, with a mix of formats ("objective" exams,
essays, student participation in role-playing exercises), and
assisted my students to advance their careers.


   Deming's views essentially trashed the whole package; and I think
he was right.  Average grades and variation in those grades
(admittedly subjective assessment here because I had not tracked
them Shewhart style) had not improved in 20 years!  I had never had
a single day's training in how to educate, in my life (mine was the
"school of hard knocks"..."off to the Milky Way!" as Deming would
say of workers training workers).  My innovations amounted simply to
"tinkering" with the system" (which is how I now view most aspects
of the "writing intensive" shift and all the associated "tips," for
instance).  Grading was used as a primary incentive (e.g., frequent
quizzes to reinforce regular study; shades of the "Red Beads"


1. Focus on improving the structure of the learning process, not
   refinement of an information package independent of the delivery
   system or students' lives outside the classroom

           Create constancy of purpose for improvement
           of product and service....
                                     W. Edwards Deming

   My job, I learned, was not primarily to teach (lecture, give
assignments, and grade on how much was retained or learned in the
process), but rather to create the conditions--the structure of a
system--under which learning would not be obstructed or deflected or
distorted.  The reason why typical student performance had not been
improving wasn't because their "quality" hadn't been improving over
the years (viewing them metaphorically as "inputs" to the education
process) but because my SYSTEM hadn't been!

2. Definition of Student as Active Learner, not Sponge

   People playing the role of student are willing learners--all
creative and goldmines of observation and insight.  The problem was
to remove the structural barriers to learning, to provide the
resources and situations under which their creativity, powers of
observation and insight, would naturally be exercised.  I needed to
learn to view my classes as organizations with certain processes
which had--most likely--definite but unknown effects on my goal: to
create a class experience which resulted in students' and my
understanding more about (in this case) international relations, its
impacts on us, our role, and our possible future roles, how and why
to learn more, and how to excite us to think about and develop our
own theories in this area.

3. Operational Constraints

           Improve constantly and forever the system
           of production and service, to improve quality
           and productivity and thus constantly decrease
                                     W. Edwards Deming

   Further, given increasingly limited faculty resources, but
increasing facilities (computer labs, communication and information
networks), my goal was to do the above while working with MORE, not
fewer, students.  I did not think this was possible.  Who would
grade students' essays, etc?

           Cease dependence on inspection to achieve
                                 W. Edwards Deming

   The above statement constitutes a paradigm shift in thinking
about education, meaning it puts me at odds with many common
university practices.

   Our University is NOT ready, for instance, to accept trashing
final exams and a letter grade system; and as long as these are THE
measure of academic success, I and my students will have a serious
problems in optimizing the learning environment.

   I could (and have been encouraged by our administration to) try
to work around this situation of course, by finding some way to
assign grades which reflects students' creative learning, not just
rote memorization and "recall" learning the night before an exam.
But the usual way this is done is "writing intensive," and as such
is inconsistent with teaching semi-required (one of a limited set of
options) classes with around 40 students.  So our "writing
intensive" classes are limited to 20 students, with a resulting drop
in quantity and no measure of improved quality. Continued reliance
on inspection....


           Adopt the new philosophy.   ...take on
           leadership for change.
                                 W. Edwards Deming

1. Undergraduate Teaching Assistants

           Institute leadership.  The aim of supervision
           should be to help a better job.
                                 W. Edwards Deming

   We have an undergraduate class called "Teaching Political
Science" which was set up originally for seniors to teach freshmen
[archaic expression] under supervision.  I adapted it as follows:
students who are political science majors, seniors, and who have
previously taken my class, sign up for the "Teaching" class to be my
assistants.  They now teach one session per week themselves, of my
regular international relations class.  That session is called a
"lab," in which they teach simulation, decision making, and
electronic communications skills.  They hold office hours just as I
do, etc.  Each is responsible for "mentoring" 10 students.  I meet
with them weekly to discuss their experience and for suggestions on
how to improve the structure of the class (assignments, resources,
etc).  For this they (the T.A.s) get six credits.

2. E-mail

   All my students are assigned computer network id's, principally
for e-mail.  Their first 10 messages to me, each consisting of an
inquiry about class assignments or lectures or general, current,
international relations, get them 10% of their class grade.  One
message per week for the first 10 weeks gives them an A for 10% of
their grade.

           Institute on the job training.
                                 W. Edwards Deming

   To teach them, students from previous semesters, now T.A.s, are
assigned specific students and are responsible for them.  The T.A.s
must make sure that each student actually accesses a computer at a
time convenient to the student, knows how to start it, log in, and
write e-mail.

           Remove barriers....
                                 W. Edwards Deming

   Last semester I answered over 400 student questions.  Students
who NEVER would have asked questions did, and entered into a
dialog (admittedly often limited).  And they learned how to use the
medium.  Of course once they did this, they has access to the entire
Internet, not to mention each other.  They were enabled to meet
electronically so that differences in their schedules (work, travel,
etc.) didn't severely affect their ability to cooperate with each
other on their assignments.

3. Decision making

           Institute a vigorous program of education
           and self-improvement for everyone.
                                  W. Edwards Deming

   Students and I all learned a simple decision aid, "Expert
Choice," for which our university obtained a site license (this is
Tom Saaty's "AHP" method; I brought him out to Hawaii for a series
of lectures, via a small grant), and with which they performed
simple assignments in decision making.  The object was to provide a
structure for thinking in terms of goals, alternatives and concerns,
of politicians in the interntional system, and a standard against
which they could compare their views of what should be done and why
with what they interpreted were the views of those actually making
or taking decisions.

4. Long range international impacts

   Students all learned a simple global simulation of the world
political-economy, Barry Hughes' International Futures simulation (I
also brought him out to Hawaii to discuss modifications of the
simulation for the future).  12 regions (USA, Russia, European
Community, Japan, China, and OPEC; rest of the DCs, and three LDC
geographic groupings in Latin America, Africa, and Asia), with
energy, population, trade, manufacturing, food production, pollution
and deforestation indicators, and PQLI (Physical Quality of Life
indicators).  The purposes here were to acquaint them with the kind
of modeling done in intelligence communities worldwide today, the
nature of the "global village," and the problems politicians have in
coming to grips with large scale, long term consequences of their
actions or inaction.

5. International communication

           Break down barriers between departments.
                                  W. Edwards Deming

   Students in my class were self-assigned to work on national teams
simulating foreign policy decision making throughout the semester.
Two other classes, one by Richard Hartwig in Monterray, Mexico
(ITESM), and Maria Guido in Waltham, Mass. (Bentley College), joined
mine.  Students within and between teams communicated via e-mail
"diplomats" and "bureaus" in a "free for all" exchange.  It order to
preserve consistency with real-world resource constraints, however,
any actions involving the physical movement of goods or "services"
were "filtered" by the faculty involved (a minimal and
student-accepted intrusion).

6. Essays as Reports

           Eliminate work standards....  Substitute
                                  W. Edwards Deming

   Students wrote three essays on each of their experiences which
were graded by the T.A.s for completeness, not substantive policies
or ideas, at least at first and as far as I was concerned.  My
thought was that students would then be free to use their
imagination in designing policies and in their dialogs.  The T.A.s
insisted, however, that some points should be given for  "quality"
and "professionalism" at their discretion.  I allowed this as a
compromise.  I am still pondering the question: what is it in the
system structure that so robs students of pride in their work that
only the fear of grading produces any quality at all?

           Drive out fear.
           Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality.
  quality into the product in the first place.
                                   W. Edwards Deming

7. Objective Exams and Befuddled Profs.

   10 quizzes and 4 quarterly exams of the "objective" variety were
administered with the clear understanding that this was to test
whether they were reading the texts.  I am unhappy with this
practice, but don't know what to do, yet.  (Actually, Michael
Scriven has come up with some innovations in this area; I attended a
two-day seminar of his on campus, aimed at administrators and high
school teachers.)

8. Weights and Measures

   The quizzes and exams were 50% of the grade, the rest divided
among the essays, e-mail, and simulation participation.

9. Class Size: the Sky's the Limit

   Since I started implementing all the above changes 1-1/2 years
ago, my class size has grown from 25-30 to 50-65 and this semester I
am opening it up to a maximum of 110.  As long as I can get the
T.A.s and keep their load to a 10:1 ratio, I see no limit to how
large the class can get.  If the number of T.A.s grew too great, I
could add a third level of trained T.A.s who would train the new
T.A.s, and remove myself entirely from the operation except for
sampling questions from students and T.A.s, and working on improving
(hypertexting, hypermedia) my lectures and lecture notes.  And I
would still have more written interaction with my students via
e-mail than I ever had grading essays (my office is littered with
annotated papers students never bothered to pick up!!!).

10. Gopher Saves Trees

   This year I expect to be able to put all my courseware on gopher
or hytelnet, which will have the advantage of not having to hand
anything out in class, and making possible coordinated syllabi among
all classes participating in the simulation exercises worldwide.  A
beginning is already available for my Peace Internship work for the
Matsunaga Institute for Peace here (see gopher/.../North
America/USA/Hawaii/.../Student Information/ Internships/...).

11. Student, Faculty and Administrator Reactions

   So far, the reaction I've gotten is something like being
pleasantly stunned at the fact that learning is taking place.  For
many students this is their first experience with computers outside
a simple word processing environment.  Their insecurity by and large
evaporates when they realize other students will be teaching them,
not an old [sic!] :)  professor.  It's going to be hard--what else
is new?--to evaluate, except in terms of class size and the specific
things being learned.  Objective tests haven't changed, and haven't
improved so far as I can tell (right, I haven't yet done my
homework!).  The faculty don't know quite what to make of it all,
but my Dean is very supportive.


Quotation from W. Edwards Deming, Out of the Crisis.

For information on computer programs, write:

saaty@pittvms - Thomas Saaty, designer of "Expert Choice" - Barry Hughes, designer of "International Futures"
                 world simulation

Try ftp, anonoymous/guest, cd outgoing/chadwick and
cd /outgoing/world, for freebies.  Write me for details.