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Using Problem Solving Videos In An Introductory Engineering Circuit Analysis Course

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1421.1 - 10.1421.10



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Paper Authors

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Regina Halpin

author page

R. Mark Nelms

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Using Problem-Solving Videos in an Introductory Engineering Circuit Analysis Course

R. M. Nelms, R. F. Halpin Auburn University/Program Evaluation and Assessment Consultants


Even though research has been conducted in the university classroom in an effort to evaluate and improve different teaching methods in the presence of ever-changing technology 1-3, the investigation of how to improve students’ problem-solving skills through the use of study tools needs further investigation. The technology reform movement has led to changes in how instructors of engineering material teach the content and has forced instructors to change their teaching methods 4-7. Educators are now generally agreed that it is possible to improve students’ problem-solving skills through carefully selected instructional practices. But what about providing instructional aids to improve students’ study procedures outside of class? In support of this effort, the learning theory known as constructivism has been applied as changes are made in the way engineering courses are being taught using technology-based instructional aids. The constructivist reform links directly to the accepted educational philosophies of John Dewey Piaget, and Bruner 8-10, which support students developing their own understanding by integrating new information to their own prior knowledge and experiences. While the constructivist approach to teaching focuses on problem solving, thinking skills, and learning strategies, the focus relevant to the engineering classroom in terms of study tools is the emphasis on the students’ abilities to solve practical problems using their own problem-solving skills and at their own pace rather than on instructional sequences that require memorization of certain content material. Based on the constructivist theory, the creation of meaningful connections evolves by providing students time to explore relevant problems and to be involved in learning environments that engage the students in developing their own knowledge base. Therefore, when the instructor provides the necessary resources that encourages the students to develop their own problem-solving skills, this promotes retention of the material as opposed to the students relying only on the instructor’s coverage of the material which promotes rote memorization 6,8.

During the past decade, the use of technology in a constructivist environment has focused on the development of computational software or visual representations that students can use to solve problems 11-15. Regardless of how technology is being used in the classroom as an instructional tool, it is still imperative to the student to receive numerous examples with step-by- step explanations from the instructor that can be used while completing homework outside of class or studying for tests. The question, however, is how can the instructor provide students immediate assistance outside of class to assist their studying procedures? While there are

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual conference & Exposition Copyright 2005, American Society for engineering Education”

Halpin, R., & Nelms, R. M. (2005, June), Using Problem Solving Videos In An Introductory Engineering Circuit Analysis Course Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15522

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