Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Effects of Problem-Solving Strategies in the Teaching and Learning of Engineering Drawing Subject

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Effects of Problem-Solving Strategies in the Teaching and Learning of Engineering Drawing Subject

Article excerpt

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to discuss the effects of teaching problem-solving strategies in the Engineering Drawing (ED) subject on student achievement, students' knowledge of problem-solving and students' problem-solving skills. The study was conducted on Form Four students (16 year old) from two Technical Secondary Schools in Peninsular Malaysia using two research instruments: the ED performance test and a questionnaire on problem-solving strategies. The quasi-experimental research design was employed on a sample of 209 students. The experimental group of 110 student utilized ED module which incorporated problem-solving strategies, while the control group of 109 student went through a conventional teaching and learning method. Research results showed that there were significant differences in terms of student achievement and student knowledge of problem-solving: the mean score of the experimental group was higher compared to that of the control group. On the other hand, research results showed that there was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of students' problem-solving skills, but the mean score of the experimental group was higher compared to that of the control group. This proves that the implementation of problem-solving strategies in teaching and learning successfully increases student achievement and students' knowledge of problem-solving besides positively affecting students' problem-solving skills. Therefore, teachers are advised to incorporate problem-solving strategies in their teaching and learning, especially in the Engineering Drawing subject.

Keywords: problem-solving strategies, knowledge of problem-solving, problem-solving skills, engineering drawing

1. Introduction

Problem-solving strategy is a method that can potentially produce effective and meaningful teaching and learning (T&L) as it is a strategy that is applied experientially and is student-centric. According to Serap and Gamze (2010), problem-solving strategies are significantly linked to the elements involved in problem-solving procedures. Weinstein and Mayer (1986) state that a few cognitive psychologists define 'problem-solving strategies' as cognitive or learning strategies, while other cognitive psychologists define it from the standpoint of internal metacognitive processes such as high-level thinking, metacognition, metacognitive strategies, or self-control strategies (Armour-Thomas et al, 1992). On the other hand, Mayer (1983) generally defined problem-solving strategies as a route that does not necessarily provide a definite correct result, but is instead a guide to help students solve problems. The application of this strategy in T&L can help improve students' problem-solving skills as problem-solving is a basic skill needed by all students, but at the same time, can also be a complex mental activity (Charles et al. 1997). According to Munir (2008) and Oguz (2011), the implementation of problem-solving in the T&L environment can improve the quality of learning. Through these strategies, students have to find information and solve problems through their own efforts; this process compels them to be independent and to think critically and creatively (Sarimah & Abreza 2010). Problem solving is known as one of the essence in building future engineers and technologies (Felders, 1988, Jonessen et al, 2006). They are people who make our life easier, healthier and safer through new designs and technologies. Problem solving can be taught in many ways in Engineering Education programmes, but the most important thing is the problem should be a real world problem. Designing is part of the important elements in engineering which being taught through engineering drawing (ED) subject.

Engineering Drawing consists of geometrical and technical rules or drawing convention and visual skills (Olkun, 2003). It is a means of graphical communication engineers and technologist used in their process of designing. …

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