Scenario based e-learning to improve problem solving skills

Usman Rashid, Esther Ventura-Medina

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book


Background: Scenario based e-learning combines problem based learning with e-learning to provide interactive scenarios in a real life context that cannot be achieved through problem based learning or tutorial problems alone. This gives students the opportunity to develop their problem solving skills and knowledge whilst bridging the gap between a discipline and its practical applications in industry. Scenario based e-learning can address the challenge of motivating students as interactive scenarios are far more involving than tutorial problems and can show the practical applications of knowledge. Purpose: This work explores whether or not the implementation of an innovative application of scenario based e-learning in the current provision of teaching and learning in the undergraduate Chemical Engineering programmes at CEAS can help to enhance the student's problem solving skills, motivation and understanding of engineering concepts. Design/Method: Two interactive chemical engineering scenarios were designed, developed and delivered to 220 undergraduate first year chemical engineering students. An innovative e-learning tool, SBLi, was used to develop the interactive scenarios in a chemical engineering industrial context. The scenarios covered course content from three undergraduate units, Chemical Engineering Design, Chemical Reaction Engineering and Transport Phenomena. The effectiveness of SBLi was evaluated through student's feedback questionnaires and individual interviews. Results: Feedback was collected through questionnaires and individual interviews from the students to evaluate the performance of scenario based e-learning. The feedback collected from students in this work showed that 85% of students thought the scenarios helped improved their chemical engineering knowledge and that it should be used in teaching chemical engineering. 82% of the students agreed or strongly agreed the scenarios had improved their problem solving skills. Students also found the exercise enjoyable and motivating. Conclusions: The results of questionnaires and individual interviews showed that scenario based e-learning is a very powerful way of motivating students, improving their problem solving skills and enhancing their understanding of chemical engineering concepts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 23rd Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education
EditorsLlewellyn Mann Scott Daniel
Place of PublicationMelbourne, Australia
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012
Event23rd Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education, 2012 - Melbourne, Vic, Australia
Duration: 3 Dec 20125 Dec 2012


Conference23rd Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education, 2012
CityMelbourne, Vic


  • e-learning methods
  • problem solving skills
  • chemical engineering concepts

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