June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
Educational Research and Methods
23.1261.1 - 23.1261.16
Training in Troubleshooting Problem-Solving: Preparing Undergraduate Engineering Students for Industry Training in troubleshooting in industry tends to take place from the school of hard knocks, bytrial and error, on-the-job training, and gradually from the experience of solving problems asthey occur, with no well-design program of instruction. This is relatively ineffective and it doeslittle to develop self-confidence. Troubleshooting problem-solving is a higher-level cognitiveprocess that ranges from the identification of a problem, the symptoms to determine and theaction required to fix a problem. The knowledge and cognitive process skills needed fortroubleshooting are becoming increasingly valuable. By developing problem-solving skills,engineers will become more adept at troubleshooting problems. Research on troubleshootingproblem-solving has shown that experienced engineers differ from poor engineers’ primarily intheir strategizing to solve troubleshooting problems. Also, researchers have done studies on howto improve the troubleshooting performance of technicians in strategizing to solve a problem. Unfortunately, many engineers today are deficient in problem-solving skills. One maytheorize that a lack of troubleshooting skill is a result of the lack of practical experience andunderstanding of equipment in an engineering students’ educational preparation. There may alsobe a lack of the faculty’s confidence in instructing students in using such open-endedexperiences. To date, much of the research has not been implemented as a part of the curriculumof technical engineering careers. This article reviews and synthesizes more than 30 studies from 20 years (1987-2007) ofresearch in troubleshooting problem-solving. The goals of the article are fourfold: First, tointroduce the concept of troubleshooting problem-solving. Second, to present a description ofproblem-solving skills needed to succeed in troubleshooting. Third, to recommend strategies forinstruction of engineers and technicians. Fourth, to identify potential research pathway thatinvolves more research in troubleshooting problem-solving to support troubleshooting teaching.We conclude that troubleshooting problem-solving should be implemented as part of engineeringcurricula to build on students strengths to enhance their skills to succeed in the performance oftroubleshooting process in industry.
Rivera-Reyes, P., & Boyles, R. E. (2013, June), Training in Troubleshooting Problem-Solving: Preparing Undergraduate Engineering Students for Industry Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/22646
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