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Version 2 2024-06-03, 20:55
Version 1 2014-10-28, 09:36
conference contribution
posted on 2024-06-03, 20:55 authored by Siva KrishnanSiva Krishnan, C Vale, R Gabb
In this paper we present the findings of a group problem-solving task involving eight randomly selected students. The focus of this study was to identify and explore students' application of generic skills, cross-disciplinary knowledge and skills, innovative thinking and engineering disciplinary knowledge. While this was the main aim of this study, we also used the findings of this study to triangulate the findings of a broader study which aims to identify and explore students' perceptions of problem based learning (PBL) in first year electrical engineering. The broader qualitative study of learners in a problem based engineering context will identify, explore and report on the factors that influence student learning behaviours and their attitudes as future engineers. Studying the learning cultures from the students' view point in a diverse student group should provide evidence to further theorize about the models of self-regulation in autonomous learners. For this group problem solving activity, we designed a problem (advanced lift controller system) and allowed students one hour to work on a solution for this problem. The eight students from a number of actual PBL groups were divided into two groups depending upon their availability. Both groups were given the same problem. The researcher played the role of a facilitator and collected the data simultaneously. Students were given access to books relevant to the problem, computer access and access to the Internet. They were also provided with links to sample websites such as the University's electronic library and other technology related websites on the World Wide Web. The activity was designed such that students were not required to arrive at a definite outcome. However, they were asked to brainstorm ideas, and as a group, to decide on ways that they would obtain and share information and to formulate and suggest possible innovative solutions to the problem. Data for this activity was collected by means of observation. The activity was audio and video recorded in order to help revisit the data at any stage. At the time this study was conducted, students had completed two PBL units in their first year of an electronic and electrical engineering undergraduate degree course. This study also provided insight into students' attitudes and their behaviours towards learning in a group setting, learning approaches and outcomes, different responses to the heterogeneity of the students in the group, and their responsibility and accountability in an autonomous learning setting such as PBL.



Melbourne, Vic.

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Publication classification

E1.1 Full written paper - refereed

Title of proceedings

iCEER 2007 : Proceedings of 2007 International Conference on Engineering Education and Research : Advances and Innovations in Engineering Education and Research


International Conference on Engineering Education and Research (2007 : Melbourne, Vic.)


[Victoria University]

Place of publication

[Melbourne, Vic.]

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