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**Problem Solving Is meaningful Learning**

Chapter 2 Problem Solving Is meaningful Learning

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What drives learning? What drives learning as much more than anything is the nature of task or activity that learners are engaged in. The most consistently meaningful tasks, both in school and out,require people to solve problems. Solving problems can also be the most meaningful kind of learning activity in formal educational settings. What is a problem? 1) a problem is an unknown. 2) finding the unknown must have some social,culture,or intellectual value to someone. Finding the unknown is the process of problem solving.

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**Kinds of Problem Solving**

Jonassen(2000b) articulated a typology of 11 different kinds of problem. This range of problem types describes a continuum of problem from well-structured to ill-structured. - well-structured problems typically present all elements of the problem; engage a limited number of rules and principles that are organized in a predictive and prescriptive arrangement; possess correct, convergent answers; and have a preferred, prescribed solution process (Jonassen, 1997). - ill-structured problems may have many alternative solutions, vaguely defined or unclear goals and unstated constraints, and multiple criteria for valuating solutions. It often require learners to express personal opinions or beliefs about the problem.

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**Kinds of Problem Summary Logical problems Algorithmic problems**

Story problems Rule-using problems Decision-making problems Troubleshooting problems Diagnosis-solution problems Tactical / strategic performance Case / systems analysis problems Design problems Dilemmas

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Summary The purpose for describing these kinds of problem solving was not for you to memorize them, those nonschool problems should be used as the purpose for learning in schools. Classrooms should import problems from the real world and work on solving them in the classroom. The point is simple: problem solving is more interesting than memorizing. When trying to solve a problem, students assume ownership of the problem and often expend far more effort in understanding the content surrounding that problem than they would without such a purpose. That is, they are conceptually engaged (Dole & Sinatra, 1998).

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(1)Logical problems It tend to be abstract test of logic that puzzle the learner. They are used to assess mental acuity, clarity, and logic reasoning. Classic games such as Missionaries and Cannibals or Tower of Hanoi challenge learners to find the most efficient (least number of moves) sequence of action. In order to solve logic problem, learners must determine the specific method of reasoning that will yield the most efficient solution. They are used most frequently to research problem-solving process.

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**(2)Algorithmic problems**

One of the most common problem types encountered in school is the algorithm. Such as mathematics courses. The calculations required to solve these problems require comprehension of the operations, execution procedures, and retrieval of arithmetic facts (McCloskey, Caramaza, & Basili,1985). The primary limitation of algorithmic approaches is the overreliance on procedural knowledge structures and the lack or absence of conceptual understanding of the objects of the algorithm and the procedures engaged. They are also used in science courses、home economics or in everyday settings.

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(3)Story problems In an attempt to situate algorithms in some kind of contest, many textbook authors and teachers employ story problem. Look at the end of most textbook chapters for examples. To solve story problems, learners try to select the most appropriate formula for solving the problem, extract the values from the narrative, and insert them into the formula, solving for the unknown quantity. Learners need to understand the structure of the problem, the conceptual underpinnings of that structure, and how the structure relates to the situation described in the problem (Jonassen, in press).

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**(4)Rule-using problems**

Many problems have correct solutions but multiple methods and uncertain outcomes. They tend to have a clear purpose or goal that is constrained but not restricted to a specific rule-oriented procedure or method. Online search system to locate relevant information on the World Wide Web is an example.

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**(5)Decision-making problems**

Decision-making problems are usually constrained to decisions with a limited number of solutions. Decision problems usually require comparing and contrasting the advantages and disadvantages of alternate solutions. For instance, which health plan do we select?

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**(6)Troubleshooting problems**

Troubleshooting is one of the most common forms of everyday problem solving. Maintaining complex computer equipment or debugging a computer program requires these skills. The primary purpose of troubleshooting is to diagnose a fault in a system and replace it. These skills are integrated and organized by the troubleshooter’s experiences.

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**(7)Diagnosis-solution problems**

These are similar to troubleshooting. These problem usually begin with a fault state similar to troubleshooting (e.g.,symptoms of a sick person). There are multiple solutions and solution paths, so the physician must justify a particular solution. It is this ambiguity in solution paths that distinguishes diagnosis-solution problem from troubleshooting.

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**(8)Tactical / strategic performance**

It requires real-time, complex decision making where performers apply a number of tactical activities to meet a more complex and ill-structured strategy while maintaining situational awareness. Strategy formation represents a systems analysis or design problem. Meeting that strategy through tactical maneuvers is a tactical performance.

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**(9)Case / systems analysis problems**

Systems analysis problem require learners to understand complex, multifaceted situations. Systems analysis problems require the learner to articulate the nature of the problem and the different perspectives that impact the problem before suggesting solutions (Jonassen, 1997). Classical systems analysis problems also exist in politics, ecology, sociology, and most other social sciences.

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(10)Design problems One of the most ill-structured kinds of problems is designing something. Designing requires applying a great deal of domain knowledge with a lot of strategic knowledge resulting in an original design. Instructional design is a classic example of ill-structured problem solving. Nor are the criteria for the best solution always obvious, so skills in argumentation and justification help designers to rationalize their design. Most design problems are complex, requiring the designer to balance many needs and constraints in design.

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(11)Dilemmas Dilemmas or issue-based problems are the most ill-structured and unpredictable, often because there is no solution that will ever be acceptable to a significant portion of the people affected by the problem. The continuing crisis in the Middle East is a prime example of a dilemma problem. Dilemmas are often complex, social situations with conflicting perspectives, and they are usually the most vexing of problems.

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**Problem Solving With Technology**

Information searching Modeling tasks or content Decision making designing

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Why Problem-Based Learning Works: Theoretical Foundations Authors: Rose M. Marra, David H. Jonassen, Betsy Palmer, Steve Luft Presented by Sterling McLeod.

Why Problem-Based Learning Works: Theoretical Foundations Authors: Rose M. Marra, David H. Jonassen, Betsy Palmer, Steve Luft Presented by Sterling McLeod.

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