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A systematic approach to implementing complex problem solving in engineering curriculum

Liew, Chia Pao and Hamzah, Siti Hawa and Puteh, Marlia and Mohammad, Shahrin and Wan Badaruzzaman, Wan Hamidon (2020) A systematic approach to implementing complex problem solving in engineering curriculum. In: The Impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution on Engineering Education Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on Interactive Collaborative Learning (ICL2019) – Volume 1. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, 1134 (NA). Springer, Cham, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 880-891. ISBN 978-3-030-40273-0

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-40274-7_86


Over the years, there are various reports that confirmed the importance of complex problem solving in the workplace. Complex problem solving is the top identified skill to thrive in the 4th Industrial Revolution and emphasised in the Washington Accord’s 12 Graduate Attributes. However, in most cases, engineering educators often fail to design complex engineering problems to equip the students with the mastery of this skill in preparing them for the workforce. This paper attempts to present a systematic approach for engineering educators in designing assessments with complex engineering problems. Methods of qualitative analysis was employed namely field notes from accreditation site visits to the Higher Learning Institutions (HLIs); document analysis on the guidelines by accreditation bodies; and extensive literature review on various learning theories to support the implementation of complex problems. The results showed that engineering educators have poor understanding of the attributes of complex problems and often failed to construct complex problems for their courses. The proposed approach has outlined two strategies in addressing the problems. Firstly, it detailed out the attributes of complex engineering problem as guidance for the HLIs in implementing the engineering curriculum. Secondly, it identified the most appropriate learning theory, appropriate teaching and delivery methods, as well as suitable courses to address complex engineering problem solving. The approach is heuristic in nature with an iterative process in observing the attainment of this important skill.

Item Type:Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords:Ill-defined problem, Washington accord
Subjects:H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
ID Code:93612
Deposited By: Widya Wahid
Deposited On:31 Dec 2021 08:44
Last Modified:04 Apr 2023 07:50

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