Problem-Solving in Physically-Distanced Learning Spaces

Facilitating problem-solving active learning activities in physically-distanced learning spaces. Use the links below to see documents on how to implement each approach.

Analytic TeamStudents 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 StudiesStudents 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.
Group InvestigationsStudents plan and conduct a research project and report the results to a group.Enhancing students’ understanding of the importance of discovery and helping students gain experience in giving and receiving constructive criticism.
Send-A-ProblemStudents 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-SolvingStudents 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-SolvingStudents 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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