Developing Creativity and Problem-Solving Skills of Engineering Students: A Comparison of Web- and Pen-and-Paper-Based Approaches
European Journal of Engineering Education Volume 42, Number 6, ISSN 0304-3797
Problem-solving is a key engineering skill, yet is an area in which engineering graduates underperform. This paper investigates the potential of using web-based tools to teach students problem-solving techniques without the need to make use of class time. An idea generation experiment involving 90 students was designed. Students were surveyed about their study habits and reported they use electronic-based materials more than paper-based materials while studying, suggesting students may engage with web-based tools. Students then generated solutions to a problem task using either a paper-based template or an equivalent web interface. Students who used the web-based approach performed as well as students who used the paper-based approach, suggesting the technique can be successfully adopted and taught online. Web-based tools may therefore be adopted as supplementary material in a range of engineering courses as a way to increase students' options for enhancing problem-solving skills.
Valentine, A., Belski, I. & Hamilton, M. (2017). Developing Creativity and Problem-Solving Skills of Engineering Students: A Comparison of Web- and Pen-and-Paper-Based Approaches. European Journal of Engineering Education, 42(6), 1309-1329.