DoingCL - Problem Solving





Problem Solving

Many instructors wish to enhance the problem solving skills of their students. There is no agreed upon protocol to solve all problems but there are some general steps that are applicable in many situations (Woods, 1994; Millis and Cottell, 1998).

  • Evaluate the problem, characterize it, and identify components that are familar to you.
  • Identify what you do know about the problem and what you do not know.
  • Allocate the groups' time, specifying which group member will do which task.
  • Reform the group and share the knowledge each has gained.
  • Collect the group's information and bring it to bear on the problem. Solve the problem.
  • Reflect the knowledge gained from the problem and how the group functioned in evaluating the problem.
What follows are several sections that describe collaborative learning methods for students to employ when solving problems.

Millis, B. J., and Cottell, P. G., Jr. (1998). Cooperative learning for higher education faculty, American Council on Education, Series on Higher Education. The Oryx Press, Phoenix, AZ.

Woods, D. R. (1994). Problem-based learning: How to gain the most from PBL. Waterdown, ON.

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