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We use team-based learning exercises and collaborative problem solving.Students are assigned pre-reading to expand their knowledge so they are able to think through different aspects of a scenario before they come to class.
We bring in common case scenarios for students and try to develop the frameworks they need to approach a problem rather than just finding the answer.
To help students think about the process, we scaffold scenarios over the years through self-study modules that students can complete on their own.
" Although problem solving is often associated with STEM courses, this newsletter offers perspectives and teaching approaches from across the disciplines. Problems and problem solving may be context and discipline specific, but the concept and process have overarching components and similarities across contexts. 65) defines a problem as an “unknown entity in some situation (the difference between a goal state and a current state)” such that “finding or solving for the unknown must have some social, cultural, or intellectual value.” Within courses, students may encounter a wide variety of current (e.g., a problem statement) and goal (e.g., a solution) states with different motivations for solving them.
Students will be exposed to “well-structured” problems at one end of the spectrum, which have a typical solution path and solution, and “ill-structured” problems, which are highly context dependent and have no one solution path (Jonassen, 2000).
This is true for all students, regardless of discipline. 33) states, “A writer is a problem solver of a particular kind.
Writers’ ‘solutions’ will be determined by how they frame their problems, the goals they set for themselves, and the means or plans they adopt for achieving those goals.” To help students understand and connect to research in their field, instructors can assign short articles and guide students through rhetorical practices to make expert thinking more explicit.
The other day, a physicist friend was working in the lab with her summer research students.
They were talking about the work they’d been doing that summer and how there was no manual or instructions of any sort for any of it; no textbook, no lab procedure.
Thinking about the disconnect between ancient and modern attitudes, outlooks, beliefs, and values can be an incredibly productive way to think about cultural difference over space and time.
- Professor Jonathan Conant, History and Classics Critical thinking is the “ability to assess your assumptions, beliefs, and actions” (Merriam & Bierema, 2014, p.