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Solution-based Learning (SBL): Using Systems Engineering Principles to Guide Capstone Projects in Technology

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Integrating Systems Engineering into the Capstone Project

Tagged Divisions

Systems Engineering and Multidisciplinary Engineering

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Paper Authors


Vigyan Jackson Chandra Eastern Kentucky University

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Vigyan (Vigs) J. Chandra, Ph.D., serves as a professor and coordinator of the the Computer Network Security & Electronics Technology related programs offered within the department of Applied Engineering & Technology (AE&T at Eastern Kentucky University. He received his master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Kentucky in Electrical Engineering, and holds certifications in several computer/networking areas. He teaches courses on computer systems and applications, networking, communication systems, along with digital, analog, and machine-control electronics. He is the recipient of the 2013 Golden Apple award for Teaching Excellence at Eastern, and has been nominated multiple times for the Critical Thinking Teacher of the Year Award. His professional interests include implementing active teaching and learning strategies, integrating open-source software/hardware with online control, and deploying electrical and telecom technologies in community-based organizations. He is always seeking opportunities for collaborating on teaching, scholarly and service projects, especially those aimed at improving students' critical/creative and communication skills.

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In the global knowledge-based economy of the foreseeable future, members of the workforce will need to continually develop appropriate solutions for increasingly complex systems and societal issues. This in turn will require professionals to update their technical-, management-, and thinking skills. There is thus a need for a framework that provides graduates with opportunities for developing a deeper understanding of their discipline, along with the ability to transfer their learning from a lecture/laboratory setting to real-life situations. Project-based courses, such as capstone experiences allow fertile ground for such learning to occur. Informed by the principles of Systems Engineering students in technology capstone courses, can simultaneously strengthen their critical/creative and process-oriented thinking skills as well.

In this paper, Solution-Based Learning (SBL) is introduced, as a new way of motivating students to continuously improve products or process based on human considerations. SBL keeps the focus on early and sustained success through all phases of a project. It leverages the principles of Systems Engineering and provides learners the opportunity to deepen their critical/creative and process-oriented thinking skills. The importance of developing a holistic and working understanding of the entire system including the environment, the eventual users and conditions of use, can result in more resilient designs, along with more robustly designed and thoroughly tested solutions. Shifting the focus on developing early working solutions which are well-grounded in both learning theory and systems engineering, will allow students to create products that can be reviewed by the designer and potential customers early and potentially over its entire life cycle.

Chandra, V. J. (2016, June), Solution-based Learning (SBL): Using Systems Engineering Principles to Guide Capstone Projects in Technology Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25842

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