Defining Open-Ended Problem Solving Through Problem Typology Framework

Andrew Olewnik, Randy Yerrick, Amanda Simmons, Yonghee Lee, Brian Stuhlmiller


Problem solving is central to engineering education. Yet, there little agreement regarding what constitutes an exemplary design problem or case analysis problem for modeling undergraduate instruction after. There is even less agreement in engineering education literature regarding the best way to measure students ability or progress in learning to be better problem solvers in these discrete problem categories. We describe the development of a research method toward accessing how students think about design is described, what constitutes a measurable response, and how to compare through qualitative research methods pre and post student performance. The discussion draws from Jonassen’s (2000) framework for problem typology, as well as cognitive learning frameworks of design thinking, and metacognition as a theoretical basis that informs the problem formulation and planned approach for analysis.


problem typology, engineering, ill-structured problems, problem based learning, research instrumentation

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International Journal of Engineering Pedagogy (iJEP) – eISSN: 2192-4880
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