Collaborative Problem Solving at Chalkboard vs. On Paper For First-Year Calculus

BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT

Collaborative learning is well-established as a method to improve student learning and retention in engineering classrooms. One problem with collaborative learning is difficulty maximizing engagement of all students during group activities. We tested a change in implementation of collaborative problem solving sessions (Workshops) in a first-year Calculus for Engineers course. Previously, students sat at tables and worked together in small groups to solve provided problems, with each student ending the class period with her or his own written solution. The innovation in this study had students solving the same problems in the same small groups, but working together on the chalkboards, with each group ending the class period with a mutually agreed upon solution. Data collection to assess the innovation included student surveys, TA feedback, and observation and video recording of Workshop sections. The data support this innovation as a way to increase student collaboration and engagement during collaborative problem solving.

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Hadas Ritz

Hadas Ritz

Lisa Schneider-Bentley

Lisa Schneider-Bentley


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