1st Edition

Learning to Solve Problems A Handbook for Designing Problem-Solving Learning Environments

By David H. Jonassen Copyright 2011
    472 Pages
    by Routledge

    466 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book provides a comprehensive, up-to-date look at problem solving research and practice over the last fifteen years. The first chapter describes differences in types of problems, individual differences among problem-solvers, as well as the domain and context within which a problem is being solved. Part one describes six kinds of problems and the methods required to solve them. Part two goes beyond traditional discussions of case design and introduces six different purposes or functions of cases, the building blocks of problem-solving learning environments. It also describes methods for constructing cases to support problem solving. Part three introduces a number of cognitive skills required for studying cases and solving problems. Finally, Part four describes several methods for assessing problem solving. Key features includes:

    • Teaching Focus – The book is not merely a review of research. It also provides specific research-based advice on how to design problem-solving learning environments.
    • Illustrative Cases – A rich array of cases illustrates how to build problem-solving learning environments. Part two introduces six different functions of cases and also describes the parameters of a case.
    • Chapter Integration – Key theories and concepts are addressed across chapters and links to other chapters are made explicit. The idea is to show how different kinds of problems, cases, skills, and assessments are integrated.
    • Author expertise – A prolific researcher and writer, the author has been researching and publishing books and articles on learning to solve problems for the past fifteen years.

    This book is appropriate for advanced courses in instructional design and technology, science education, applied cognitive psychology, thinking and reasoning, and educational psychology. Instructional designers, especially those involved in designing problem-based learning, as well as curriculum designers who seek new ways of structuring curriculum will find it an invaluable reference tool.

    1. How Does Problem Solving Vary?

    Part I. Problem-Specific Design Models

    2. Solving Story Problems

    3. Decision Making

    4. Troubleshooting/Diagnosis

    5. Strategic Performance

    6. Policy Analysis

    7. Design Problem Solving

    Part II. Cases: The Building Blocks Problem-Solving Learning Environments

    8. Cases as Problems to Solve

    9. Cases as Worked Examples of Well-Structured Problems

    10. Case Studies: Examples of Ill-Structured Problems

    11. Cases as Analogues

    12. Cases as Prior Experiences

    13. Cases as Alternative Perspectives

    14. Cases as Simulations

    Part III. Cognitive Skills in Problem-Solving

    15. Defining the Problem: Problem Schemas

    16. Analogically Comparing Problems

    17. Understanding Causal Relationships in Problems

    18. Questions for Scaffolding Problem Solving

    19. Modeling Problems

    20. Arguing to Learn to Solve Problems

    21. Metacognitive Regulation of Problem Solving

    Part IV. Assessing Problem Solving

    22. Assessing Problem Solving


    David H. Jonassen is Curators’ Professor in the School of Information Science and Learning Technologies at the University of Missouri.