June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
Educational Research and Methods
22.183.1 - 22.183.21
An Instrument to Assess Students’ Engineering Problem Solving Ability in Cooperative Problem-based Learning (CPBL)Abstract This paper reports the development of an instrument that can be used to study students’ability in their problem solving skills while undergoing cooperative problem-based learning(CPBL) in engineering classrooms. The instrument combines Philip’s flowchart of traditionalengineering problem solving model which was divided into definition, strategy and solutionphases, with Hmelo’s components of problem solving assets which are knowledge, perceptionand cognitive processing. The instrument consists of 24-self-report items which require studentsto indicate the degree of their problem solving skills across the following domains: problemidentification, problem analysis and synthesis, and solution generation. The instrument alsomeasures the students’ ability in conducting self-directed learning and reflection, which are veryimportant elements in enhancing problem solving skills. Evidence of scale properties areprovided along with the relationship between students’ knowledge, perception and cognitiveprocessing. The instrument shows the degree of students’ problem solving process skills,whether they usually take the surface or deep approach.A sample study is performed on a group of students in a third year engineering class which useCPBL as the teaching methodology, and is reported in this paper. The instrument had beenvalidated by experts in problem solving and problem-based learning. The overall reliability ofthe instrument is considered high with Cronbach alpha of 0.94.
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