How can we help college students develop problem-solving skills in engineering? To answer this question, we asked a group of engineering freshmen to learn about electrical circuit analysis with an instructional program that presented different problem-solving practice and feedback methods. Three findings are of interest. First, students who practiced by solving all problem steps and those who practiced by solving a gradually increasing number of steps starting with the first step first (forward-fading practice) produced higher near-transfer scores than those who were asked to solve a gradually increasing number of steps but starting with the last step first (backward-fading practice). Second, students who received feedback immediately after attempting each problem-solving step outperformed those who received total feedback on near transfer. Finally, students who learned with backward-fading practice produced higher near- and far-transfer scores when feedback included the solution of a similar worked-out problem. The theoretical and practical implications for engineering education are discussed.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of Engineering Education|
|State||Published - Jan 2009|
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