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Identifying and Recommending Teachable Techniques from Academia and Industry to Prepare Learners to Solve Complex Problems

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

Systems Engineering Pedagogy

Tagged Division

Systems Engineering

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Paper Authors


Lina Trigg William Mason High School Orcid 16x16

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I am due to graduate high school in 2017 and have experience in business and engineering environment in the private sector with a Fortune 500 company.

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This paper presents observations and information that can prepare learners to solve complex problems. Complex problems can range from difficult technical and research problems to market strategy development where many variables are ill-defined. The content forming the research hypothesis and models leading to education focused recommendations is based on both classroom and industrial experience. The concept is that the classroom environment does not typically lend itself easily to the instruction of techniques that are used to solve complex problems in industry or even often more challenging; investigations in the academic research environment. This paper will focus on the comparison of the classroom to industry, so as to illuminate the education opportunity for the majority of engineering students that will enter non-academic research and industry. The first model contrasts with numerous examples of ways complex problems are solved in a classroom and the industrial setting. In a classroom setting, due to time constraints and the need to teach theoretical concepts; problems selected for educational purposes need to be finite and resolvable by students within the extent of the topic that is studied. In industry, the complex problem exists. The correct theory to be applied and the techniques that need to be engaged must be correctly found. Due to this shortage of experience in handling complex problems, students who are entering the industrial setting from the classroom setting often have not been exposed to techniques identifying complex problem solutions. The second model contrasts documented techniques used in industry today to solve complex problems. These include, but not exclusively individual characteristics, individual thinking, literature and media, corporate systems and the academically researched strategy development techniques. Finally, results of a survey used to asses which category of techniques would be most preferred to teach in the classroom environment will be shared. A summary of the category techniques and survey results will serve as the basis for a recommendation of information that can be shared in a classroom setting that can leave learners prepared to solve complex problems.

Trigg, L. (2016, June), Identifying and Recommending Teachable Techniques from Academia and Industry to Prepare Learners to Solve Complex Problems Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25515

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