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Techniques for facilitating problem-solving active learning activities.

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 who 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 they learn to identify, analyze, and solve problems in an organized manner.
Think-Aloud Pair Problem-Solving Students solve problems aloud and try out their reasoning on 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.

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