Guided problem solving and group programming: A technology-enhanced teaching-learning strategy for engineering problem solving

Abhinav Anand, Aditi Kothiyal, Bipin Rajendran, Sahana Murthy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

An important goal of undergraduate engineering education is to develop students' ability to solve complex, real world problems. Such problems involve the building of physical and mathematical models of real-world scenarios, identifying correct parameters of the model, devising numerical solution methods, and optimizing the solution. In typical engineering courses, solution methods are demonstrated in problem-solving tutorials while programming is relegated to homework or lab, wherein students may not get ample feedback on their choices of optimization or solution evaluation. In this paper, we propose a strategy, Guided Problem Solving and Group Programming (GPGP) to overcome this gap. Students work in peer groups within class, to build and implement their mathematical models and solutions, then write programs to do optimization and evaluation. We implemented this strategy in a 4th year electrical engineering course in which GPGP was done four times over the semester. We assessed students' performance on dimensions of problem solving such as representing the problem, developing solution, making justification for proposed solution and monitoring and evaluating problem space and solutions across the semester and found a statistically significant improvement. Further students perceived that they had learned engineering problem solving via GPGP and reported enjoying the strategy in class.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - IEEE 6th International Conference on Technology for Education, T4E 2014
EditorsSahana Murthy, Kinshuk
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages126-133
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781479964895
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 13 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event6th IEEE International Conference on Technology for Education, T4E 2014 - Amritapuri, Kerala, India
Duration: Dec 18 2014Dec 21 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE 6th International Conference on Technology for Education, T4E 2014

Other

Other6th IEEE International Conference on Technology for Education, T4E 2014
CountryIndia
CityAmritapuri, Kerala
Period12/18/1412/21/14

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Education

Keywords

  • GPGP
  • MEA
  • PBL
  • engineering problem solving
  • peer interactions
  • question prompts
  • scaffolding

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