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Abstract Title: Case Study of Students’ Ill-Structured Problem Solving during a Capstone Project in an Electronics Lab
Abstract: As students transition to become scientists they must develop the skills necessary to solve ill-structured problems encountered in their professional lives.  We have investigated students' ill-structured problem solving strategies during a capstone project in an upper-division electronics and instrumentation laboratory course. Prior to this project, the students had learned about electronics circuits and devices in this course through mini-lectures and laboratory activities earlier in the semester. Completing the ill-structured capstone project requires students to use their knowledge of electronics to improve the measurements done on a physics experiment they had worked on in a previous semester. As a group, the students proposed ideas to improve the measurement design and then built circuitry to implement this improved design. We describe the activities that students worked on as they completed the capstone project as well as their interactions with each other during this ill-structured task.

Supported in part by NSF grant DUE-0736897.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Nasser Juma
Kansas State University
116 Cardwell Hall
Physics Department
Manhattan, KS 66506
and Co-Presenter(s)
Kristan L. Corwin, Brian R. Washburn, and N. Sanjay Rebello
Kansas State University