A structured approach to training open-ended problem solving
2015 (English)In: Proc. 45th ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, Piscataway, NJ: IEEE Press, 2015, 417-420 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Students in engineering are well trained in solving specified problems, but some have trouble when given problems where there is more than one solution. In their professional life they are much more often confronted with open-ended problems, where there may be more than one solution, and where there may be many ways to reach each one. The goals may be vague, the problem may be underspecified, and the fresh graduate frustrated by the new situation.
We present a structured approach to training students in open-ended problem solving. We have introduced a half-day workshop to help students learn to work with open-ended, ill-structured problems, using a different approach than they would for the well-structured problems they are used to.
Our results indicate that students have become more creative. Compared to previous years, the students explore more paths towards the goal, and use more elaborate methods. Their approach is similar to that typically used by the best students in previous instances of the course. Students mention creativity and group dynamics as positive aspects of the workshop and the following lab.
We conclude that with proper guidance and training, even weaker students can become more creative when solving open-ended problems.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Piscataway, NJ: IEEE Press, 2015. 417-420 p.
, Frontiers in Education Conference, ISSN 0190-5848
Research subject Computer Science
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-257807DOI: 10.1109/FIE.2015.7344088ISI: 000371705200073ISBN: 978-1-4799-8453-4OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-257807DiVA: diva2:840602
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