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Techniques for facilitating problem-solving active learning activities.

Active Learning | Problem-Solving

Problem-Solving activities assess how well students can analyze, evaluate, and apply information to solve a problem or draw a conclusion based on available evidence or information. Using these approaches, instructors can evaluate how well students can work within a given framework to come to a solution individually or collaboratively.

Problem-Solving Activities
Approach Description Outcome
Analytic Team Students critically read an assignment, listen to a lecture, or watch a video by assuming a role (summarizer, connector, proponent, or critic) that guides their analysis. Helping students understand the different perspectives and processes that constitute a critical analysis.
Case Studies Students review a written study of a real-world scenario and develop a solution to the dilemma presented in the case. Helping students engage in critical reflection by considering multiple alternatives to solving problems.
Send-A-Problem Students solve a problem as a group and pass the problem and solution to a nearby group, which does the same, with the final group evaluating the solutions. Helping students work together to practice the thinking skills required for effective problem-solving and for comparing and discriminating between multiple solutions.
Structured Problem-Solving Students follow a structured process to solve problems. Dividing problem-solving processes into manageable steps so students don’t feel overwhelmed and learn to identify, analyze, and solve problems organizationally.
Think-Aloud Pair Problem-Solving Students solve problems aloud and try out their reasoning with a listening peer. Emphasizing the problem-solving process (rather than the product) while helping students identify logic and process errors.


Barkley, Elizabeth F. et al. Collaborative Learning Techniques: A Handbook For College Faculty. Wiley, 2014. pp. 225.

Keywordsproblem-solving, activities, active learningDoc ID104162
OwnerTimmo D.GroupInstructional Resources
Created2020-07-20 13:49:16Updated2023-12-18 09:29:19
SitesCenter for Teaching, Learning & Mentoring
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