Campus Units

Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, Physics and Astronomy

Document Type

Article

Publication Version

Accepted Manuscript

Publication Date

2011

Journal or Book Title

Education and Information Technologies

Volume

16

First Page

323

Last Page

342

DOI

10.1007/s10639-010-9132-x

Abstract

This paper describes the ways that students’ problem-solving behaviors evolve when solving multi-faceted, context-rich problems within a web-based learning environment. During the semester, groups of two or three students worked on five physics problems that required drawing on more than one concept and, hence, could not be readily solved with simple “plug-and-chug” strategies. The problems were presented to students in a data-rich, online problem-based learning environment that tracked which information items were selected by students as they attempted to solve the problem. The students also completed a variety of tasks, like entering an initial qualitative analysis of the problem into an online form. Students were not constrained to complete these tasks in any specific order. As they gained more experience in solving context-rich physics problems, student groups showed some progression towards expert-like behavior as they completed qualitative analysis earlier and were more selective in their perusal of informational resources. However, there was room for more improvement as approximately half of the groups still completed the qualitative analysis task towards the end of the problem-solving process rather than at the beginning of the task when it would have been most useful to their work.

Comments

This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Education and Information Technologies. The final authenticated version is available online at DOI: 10.1007/s10639-010-9132-x. Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner

Springer Science Business Media, LLC

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

Published Version

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