A peek behind the curtain: Providing the best engineering education

Posted on March 24, 2017


Brian Frank, Jake Kaupp and Natalie Simper

FEAS Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning), Brian Frank; FEAS Assessment and Quality Assurance Coordinator, Jake Kaupp; and Queen’s Learning Outcomes Project Coordinator, Natalie Simper.

The Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science puts a great deal of effort into constantly refining approaches to teaching and learning. It’s about giving engineering students the best possible education and equipping them to perform at the highest level in their post-graduate professional lives.

Much of this work goes on behind the scenes through research. A study on approaches for complex problem solving was just published by FEAS Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning), Brian Frank; Queen’s Learning Outcomes Project Coordinator, Natalie Simper; and FEAS Assessment and Quality Assurance Coordinator, Jake Kaupp. It’s an interesting read. The full paper is available to anyone connecting on campus.

In the effort to best guide students to use their existing knowledge to solve novel and complex problems, Frank, Simper, and Kaupp found that adding small structured learning activities and timely feedback in APSC-100 was associated with improved learning.

“Students learn better when you give them adequate support and targeted feedback when trying to tackle a complex problem,” says Kaupp. “ They might not have the necessary expertise but if you give them that support to make it through that rough patch it makes a notable difference.”