Understanding Student Pathways in Context-rich Problems

P.D. Antonenko, J. Jackman, P. Kumsaikaew, R.R. Marathe, D.S. Niederhauser, C.A. Ogilvie, &, amp, amp, S.M. Ryan, The Smithsonian/NASA Astrophysics Data System

From Abstract -- In this paper we investigate the extent to which students' problem-solving behaviors change as a result of working on multi-faceted, context-rich problems. During the semester, groups of two to three students work on several problems that require more than one concept and hence cannot be readily solved with simple plug-and-chug strategies. The problems are presented to students in a data-rich, online problem-solving environment that tracks which information items are selected by students as they attempt to solve the problem. The students also complete a variety of tasks, such as entering their qualitative analysis into an online form. Students are not constrained to complete these tasks in any order. As they gain more experience in solving multifaceted physics problems, the student groups show some progression towards expert-like behavior: earlier qualitative analysis and more selective requests for information. However, there is room for more improvement as approximately half of the groups still complete the qualitative analysis task towards the end of the solution instead of earlier when it would be most useful to their work.

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Subject: Economics, Physics
Resource Type: Pedagogic Resources:Description of Pedagogic Method, Pedagogic Resources, Overview/Summary