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Engineering Problem Solving In Industrial Engineering Curriculum Reform
Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering Conference Proceedings and Posters
  • Veronica J. Dark, Iowa State University
  • Frank Peters, Iowa State University
  • Sarah M. Ryan, Iowa State University
  • John K. Jackman, Iowa State University
  • Sigurdur Olafsson, Iowa State University
Document Type
Conference Proceeding
Publication Version
Published Version
Publication Date
Conference Title
2005 ASEE Annual Conference
Conference Date
June 12-15, 2005
(45.5230622, -122.67648159999999)

Problem solving is a major focus of the engineering profession, and upon graduation new engineers are faced with increasingly complex problems. Yet, existing engineering education practices often fall short in preparing students to tackle complex engineering problems that may be ambiguous, open-ended and ill-structured. In this paper, we describe a newly developed learning environment called the Engineering Learning Portal (ELP), which focuses on improving engineering problem solving throughout the industrial engineering curriculum. In the ELP, students are engaged in a structured process for solving unstructured problems while encouraging metacognitive activities, such as planning, monitoring, and evaluating. This helps students acquire the higher order cognition and integration of knowledge domains needed for effective engineering problem solving. In particular, a key element of the ELP is that it requires students to explain and evaluate their work while they are solving complex engineering problems. The underlying premise is that such metacognitive tasks are valuable to students because they eventually improve their engineering problem solving ability. We describe the ELP environment itself, our experience with implementing the environment in three industrial engineering classes, and how it has impacted engineering problem solving as part of the curriculum.


This is a proceeding from the 2005 ASEE Annual Meeting, June 12-15, 2005: Portland, Oregon.

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Citation Information
Veronica J. Dark, Frank Peters, Sarah M. Ryan, John K. Jackman, et al.. "Engineering Problem Solving In Industrial Engineering Curriculum Reform" Portland, OR(2005) p. 1 - 13
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