Assessment of Using Software for the Acquisition of Problem-solving Skills in Mechanical Engineering Students
Objective: To investigate the effect of using mathematical software as a tool to develop problem-solving competence in mechanical engineering students. Methods: A group of 59 students were evaluated using a test consisting of four technological problems related to Bloom´s taxonomy levels of understanding and application. Interpretation and explanation questions were used for the understanding level, and execution and implementation questions were used for the application level. First, the students tried to solve the problems by manual calculations; then, after brief instruction, they tried to solve them by coding using mathematical software. Results: Successful problem solutions increased from 72 to 93%, 15 to 62% and 13 to 26% of the students’ totals in interpreting, explaining, and implementing situations, respectively, but there was a 55 to 44% regression in regard to execution. Better results in understanding questions with respect to applying questions could be due to the increase in difficulty at the taxonomy level. Conclusion: The current study demonstrates the convenience of using computational tools to facilitate the application of mathematical techniques in problem solving and to improve the learning of engineering students.
Problem solving, Bloom’s taxonomy, Computer-based math, CDIO standardsResolución de problemas, Taxonomía de Bloom, Matemáticas basadas en computador, Estándares CDIO
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