Integrating Metacognitive Prompts and Critical Inquiry Process Display to Support Development of Problem-Solving Skills

Published on Jan 1, 2012
· DOI :10.1007/978-1-4614-3540-2_9
Wei-Chen Hung3
Estimated H-index: 3
(NIU: Northern Illinois University),
James Lockard6
Estimated H-index: 6
(NIU: Northern Illinois University)
Sources
Abstract
In this chapter, we present a problem-solving support software system (ActionOrganizer) that we created to cultivate students’ development of inquiry skills in problem-based learning (PBL). ActionOrganizer is designed to scaffold college students’ metacognitive control of problem solving. We begin our chapter with the PBL context and a review of current research on scaffolding and its design challenges. Next, we review relevant literature on metacognition and its relationship to PBL—how it can facilitate meaningful problem-solving strategies that learners use in coordinating existing understanding with new evidence, helping to explain how knowledge is attained. We then describe our design approach and its theoretical underpinning—how we first used Barrows’ four PBL phases (1986) and Livermore’s integrative scientific inquiry approach (1964) as the critical problem-solving steps to help us model the structure of an ideal problem-solving approach and then incorporated a set of metacognitive prompts and cognitive cues in each phase to scaffold students’ metacognitive processing. After showing how the system works, we end our chapter with a formative evaluation study that used the tool with graduate students.
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While problem solving may seem like an intuitive process as demonstrated by experts, there are steps in the process that are clearly identifiable and can be systematically applied. To understand a problem and to develop effective problem-solving skills, students must learn to identify learning issues and locate, evaluate, and apply resources relevant to those issues. The purpose of this study was to investigate the design and impact of an innovative learning and performance-support system to fac...
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