Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Problem Solving Personas of Civil Engineering Practitioners using Eye Tracking Techniques Public Deposited

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  • Engineering practitioners solve problems in various ways; it is plausible that they often rely on graphs, figures, formulas and other representations to reach a solution. How and why engineering practitioners use representations to solve problems can characterize certain problem-solving behaviors, which can be used to determine particular types of problem solvers. The purpose of this research was to determine the relationship between time spent referring to various representations and the justifications for the decisions made during the problem-solving process of engineering practitioners. A persona-based approach was used to characterize the problem-solving behavior of 16 engineering practitioners. Utilizing eye tracking and retrospective interview techniques, the problem-solving process of engineering practitioners was explored. Three unique problem-solver personas were developed that describe the behaviors of engineering practitioners; a committed problem solver, an evaluative problem, and an indecisive problem solver. The three personas suggest that there are different types of engineering practitioner problem solvers. This study contributes to engineering education research by expanding on problem-solving research to look for reasons why decisions are made during the problem-solving process. Understanding more about how the differences between problem solvers affect the way they approach a problem and engage with the material presents a more holistic view of the problem-solving process of engineering practitioners.
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