Engineering Engineering Education. A Catalyst for Change. Incorporating a Problem Solving Methodology into your course. Possible Scenario:. You have decided to try PBL You make up a great problem You assigned it to the student teams Due Date: Two weeks. What Happens Next?.
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Engineering Engineering Education
A Catalyst for Change
Incorporating a Problem Solving Methodology into your course
You have decided to try PBL
You make up a great problem
You assigned it to the student teams
Due Date: Two weeks
What Happens Next?
Take 4 minutes with your group to determine what might go wrong after you assign the problem
Things that may happen
The students are confused...
They don’t know how to get started...
They are floundering/rebelling….
Don’t get going until the day before due date…
What can we do about it:
Take 4 minutes with your group and develop 1-2 strategies to overcome the problem of getting started/floundering
What can we do about it:
Structure Problems so that students must implement a problem solving methodology
Embed methodology implicitly in the assignment, with due dates
Outcomes for this session
You’ll be able to:
Recognize common problems that can occur with PBL
Describe a problem solving methodology
Design a problem that incorporates a problem solving methodology
A problem solving methodology is simply a framework or pathway for approaching a problem and developing a solution as well as reflecting and evaluating the solution
Why teach problem solving
Gives a framework for problem solvers to work through a difficult, ill-defined problem
Helps to develop problem solving skills
Helps them to “get started” or “get unstuck”
Also provides a vehicle to require reflection or evaluation of the solution
ABET: “Graduates must demonstrate and ability to identify, formulate and solve engineering problems.
1. Engage/Motivation (sometimes step 0)
5. Do it
-I can do it
-I want to do it
-define what the problem states
-determine the given information
-determine constraints and
-criterion for judging final product
-Determine the real objective of the problem
-Sketch the problem (if appropriate)
-Make reasonable assumptions
-Guestimate the answer
-develop a plan to solve the problem
-map out sub-problems
-select appropriate theory, principles, approach
-determine information need to gather
5. Do it
-implement the plan
-check the solution (units, accuracy)?
-is it reasonable, does it make sense?
-were the assumptions appropriate?
-how does it compare to guestimate?
-question built into the problem:
is it socially/ethically acceptable?
1. Explain Woods to Students
2. Require Woods approach for different problems
a. Laboratory problems
b. Homework problems
3. Provide Practice, Feedback/Evaluation
CHEG300 Homework 1
1. Effect of using PSM and PBL on learning:
-gave them a reason to get started
-gave them a framework to get unstuck and think through the steps
2. Did it improve their problem solving skills?
-93% agreed that the course was “more effective than traditional course in developing ability to solve problems that are vaguely defined or have more than one acceptable solution.”
“I learned a lot more by doing the problems rather than sitting in a class hearing how to do the problems and then putting the “pre-packaged” solutions into a homework problem…”
“ Walking away from this class, I have a very strong understanding of heat transfer…”
“I loved working with my team on problems…”
“I really enjoyed the set up of this class”
“I have learned more relevant material about chemical engineering this class than any other I have taken…”
“There were times when we could have used more direction”
“There were times when the course load seemed too much”
“I was frustrated from time to time with the amount of direction we got to begin each problem set, but only because it was uncomfortable, not because it was bad”
“Prince didn’t teach us anything! I had to learn everything on my own.”
“I’ve never before worked under this type of teaching style! I really enjoyed working through problems with group members”.
“I feel I will remember more material because I had to figure out how to use most of it”
Woods, Donald (1995) Problem-based Learning: How to gain the most from PBL. Available on website: http://www.chemeng.mcmaster.ca/pbl/pbl.htm#Books%20and%20Resources%20to%20Help%20you%20with%20PBL
Wankat, P.C. and F.S. Oreovicz. (1993) Teaching Engineering. Available on website: https://engineering.purdue.edu/ChE/News_and_Publications/teaching_engineering
Good link to many resources on PBL: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/ltdu/leap/leapinto/pbl/resources.html
More info on PBL - links, example problems etc..: http://www.udel.edu/pbl/