July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Educational Research and Methods
Several Engineering faculty at Kennesaw State University have observed over the past few semesters that students are often unable to fulfill the original design requirements set for their senior project due in part to their limited ability to effectively troubleshoot the technical issues they encounter in completing their design project. Troubleshooting skill is an important and integral part of good engineering practice. This skill represents the ability to identify and fix a problem within an engineered system by strategizing the approach within a time-constrained setting. To address this weakness, our group of five Engineering faculty members formed a learning community to devise an initiative to better prepare students for troubleshooting tasks. It is expected that this should help them not only achieve greater success in their senior design project, but also better prepare them for the workforce. While several recent studies help illuminate what types of short-term (within 1 course) interventions may be successful in improving students’ troubleshooting skills, our faculty group converged unanimously on the hypothesis that longer-term interventions may yield deeper and more lasting impact by reinforcing a consistent framework (e.g. the approach of determining the key questions to ask and actions to take that yield key information about the faulty system) for approaching troubleshooting tasks as well as to diversify the students’ experiences in applying troubleshooting skills thus helping them to become more adept. Moreover, we decided to take the approach of developing new exercises for students to investigate fault scenarios as a fairly easy way for instructors to support this initiative in their various lab sections. Finally, the outcomes of these interventions can be measured at the end of each of the selected courses with labs, but more importantly should then be evident in students being more competent troubleshooters in their senior design project. Hence the proposed interventions to develop students’ troubleshooting skills will initially include new mini-lectures and lab exercises for the required courses regularly taught by this faculty group. Since some of these courses are also required by other majors, the proposed interventions will impact 2/3 of the Engineering college’s students, although to different extents, with the EE students being the most impacted. The work-in-progress versions of these mini-lectures and lab exercises are briefly described in this paper. But due to the ongoing pandemic, the full implementation of the planned interventions was put on hold indefinitely.
Diong, B. M., & Chin, C. A., & Das, S., & Tekes, A., & Thain, W. (2021, July), Enhancing Engineering Students’ Troubleshooting Skills Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://strategy.asee.org/37083
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