Practice Papers

Document Type

Conference Paper


The development of problem-solving skills is an important subject in engineering curricula. Helping novice students develop such skills can be challenging because problem solving is a complex skill in the sense that it is accompanied with an internal thinking process that many experts are even unaware of doing. From a combination of literature and a thinking-aloud exercise with the entire teaching team, a scheme with building blocks and strategies that are commonly used by engineers was constructed. In addition to commonly named steps such as Identify/Define, Plan/Choose, Carry Out/Do and Look back/Inspect the scheme refines the first step into multiple interdependent building blocks, emphasizes the need for critical reflection at each point as well as the possible need to return to previous steps at any time. Moreover, multiple correct solution paths can be followed in solving a problem. To address this and to empower the students in their divergent thinking processes when solving a problem, an innovative intra-exercise adaptive e-learning tool was created. The anywhere-anytime availability enables for virtual and remote learning in the post-COVID world. In the learning tool students can choose between different solution paths, after firstly identifying the correct context, parameters etc. This paper describes the process of defining the building blocks, resulting strategy scheme and implementation of the building blocks in the adaptive e-learning tool. Initial findings indicate that the strategy scheme consisting of building blocks and the adaptive e-learning tool help students in developing their problem-solving skills.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.