Dealing with ambiguity in open-ended engineering problems

Elliot P. Douglas, Nathan McNeill, Mirka Koro-Ljungberg, David J. Therriault

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Thirty materials engineering students solved four problems which varied in level of complexity as well as closed- and open-endedness. Students scored lower on more complex problems, but scored higher on open-ended problems. However, students who solved the problems in a think aloud setting expressed greater discomfort with the open-ended problems because of the lack of constraints provided by these problems. Students dealt with the ambiguity of the open-ended problems in a variety of ways. Some students provided ambiguous answers while others added their own constraints to the problems. The manner in which problems were scored may have contributed to the unexpected finding that students scored higher on open-ended problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationResearch in Engineering Education Symposium 2011, REES 2011
Pages850-858
Number of pages9
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011
Externally publishedYes
Event2011 Research in Engineering Education Symposium, REES 2011 - Madrid, Spain
Duration: Oct 4 2011Oct 7 2011

Publication series

NameResearch in Engineering Education Symposium 2011, REES 2011

Other

Other2011 Research in Engineering Education Symposium, REES 2011
CountrySpain
CityMadrid
Period10/4/1110/7/11

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Education

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  • Cite this

    Douglas, E. P., McNeill, N., Koro-Ljungberg, M., & Therriault, D. J. (2011). Dealing with ambiguity in open-ended engineering problems. In Research in Engineering Education Symposium 2011, REES 2011 (pp. 850-858). (Research in Engineering Education Symposium 2011, REES 2011).