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Design of Problem Solving Environment for Automated System Integration Education

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.435.1 - 22.435.10



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Paper Authors


Sheng-Jen Hsieh Texas A&M University

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Dr. Sheng-Jen (“Tony”) Hsieh is a Professor in the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M University. He holds a joint appointment with the Department of Engineering Technology and the Department of Mechanical Engineering. His research interests include engineering education, cognitive task analysis, automation, robotics and control, intelligent manufacturing system design, and micro/nano manufacturing. He is also the Director of the Rockwell Automation Laboratory at Texas A&M University, a state-of-the-art facility for education and research in the areas of automation, control, and automated system integration.

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Punit Deotale Texas A&M University

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Mr. Punit Deotale is an M.S. student in Visualization Sciences at Texas A&M University, College Station, TX.

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Design of Problem Solving Environments for Automated System Integration EducationResearch suggests that realistic practice using authentic learning environments leads to bettertransfer of skills. Based upon input from industry engineers with expertise in designing andbuilding automated systems, two problem solving environments have been developed. Onefocuses on discrete processes (such as assembly) and the other one is for continuous process(such as oil refining). Each PSE provides a virtual environment for building, testing, andvalidating designs for a process to be automated. The user is presented a toolbox containingequipment and building blocks of automation such as sensors and actuators. The PSE willsupport students in design problem-solving activities such as (1) reviewing the problem, (2)understanding the process to be automated, (3) line balancing, (4) layout, (5) simulation, and (6)cost analysis. The PSEs employ student modeling to provide adaptive support for students. Forexample, a new learner may require prompting to remember the steps in a process that need to beautomated. When the system determines that the learner is more skillful, it will gradually fadeprompting. The paper will describe the design of these environments and feedback from learners.

Hsieh, S., & Deotale, P. (2011, June), Design of Problem Solving Environment for Automated System Integration Education Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17716

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