Implementing the Professional Decision Making Process Across a Curriculum
Engineering - Mechanical (56)
This project aims to dramatically improve the ability of engineering students to solve practical problems by adapting the Professional Decision Making (PDM) process developed by Charlie Wales and his colleagues. The PDM process was taught to freshman and when these students were compared to a control group, the PDM-trained students showed an increase in GPA of 25% and an increase in graduation rate of 32%, suggesting the PDM process is very effective.
We are adapting and implementing the PDM process in engineering science courses and in five design courses that span our curriculum, simultaneously adapting and implementing pedagogical methods from the education community. To facilitate the implementation, we are developing curriculum materials on both the PDM process and on appropriate pedagogy delivered using the web. To facilitate best-practice pedagogy, our team includes a master educator from the college of education. This project is providing knowledge of (1) the value of teaching a global problem solving method across a curriculum, (2) pedagogy for teaching problem solving to diverse and developing learners, (3) methods for facilitating teaching of a common problem solving approach, and (4) methods for vertically integrating a curriculum.