The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) held a workshop designed to give student participants insight into the process of creating voluntary consensus standards on May 8, at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in Rochester, NY. ANSI's Committee on Education (CoE) sponsored the event, with content provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
Participants, which included students from RIT and the University of Waterloo in Ontario, and others in the regional area were divided into teams and assigned an agenda with lists of interests that simulated the perspectives of different stakeholders in the voluntary standardization process. The exercise, titled "Setting Standards: A Simulation Exercise in Strategy and Cooperation in Standardization Processes," helped familiarize students with the key components in the development of a standard.
During the simulation, 17 participants practiced negotiations between separate and sometimes competing interests, with the goal of reaching an effective consensus - emulating the methods and principles of an official standards development process. Lisa Greenwood, Ph.D., a lecturer from RIT's Department of Civil Engineering Technology, Environmental Management & Safety, organized the event.
"It was encouraging to observe that the students were very receptive to the idea that successful standards development takes technical acumen and combines it with interpersonal skills," said Monte Bogatz, CoE chair. "Simulations like these advance the goals of the ANSI CoE because they expose the world of standards development by showing and not telling."
The workshop was ANSI's latest educational standards simulation event. ANSI held a similar event in October 2012, as part of ANSI's annual World Standards Week (WSW) events, and in November 2013, at the City University of New York (CUNY) [see related article].
For more information about the workshop, contact the ANSI Committee on Education (CoE) via Lisa Rajchel ([email protected]), the committee Secretariat. To learn more about ANSI's ongoing schedule of workshops and training sessions, please visit the ANSI training schedule.