Assessment of Collaborative Problem Solving in Engineering Students Through Hands-On Simulations

Faisal Aqlan, Richard Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Contribution: This article discusses the use of manufacturing simulation games to study collaborative problem-solving skills in engineering students. The simulation represents the mass production paradigm in which large quantities of identical products are produced. Empirical data is collected from the simulation to evaluate the skills engineering students used in solving the problem and their group effectiveness. Background: The use of simulation games to teach problem solving in design and manufacturing is an effective approach to convey concepts to students. Simulation games engage students in experiential and collaborative learning with fun elements. Research Questions: How does hands-on simulation engage students in collaborative problem solving? How does participation in collaborative problem solving affect group effectiveness? Methodology: This work presents a study of 37 university-level engineering students in the United States. Participants worked in groups completing the simulation game and responded to surveys on their various skills used. Findings: Participants utilized analytical, metacognitive, and thinking skills in their engagement, reported that the simulation games enhanced their understanding of manufacturing concepts and active collaboration improved problem-solving effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-17
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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