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Abstract Title: Identifying expert problem solving decisions
Abstract: Multiple frameworks, from the "scientific method" to Chi's work on problem solving by experts vs. novices, have been used to describe how scientists solve problems. We add to this work by developing a framework, based on empirical evidence from experts solving authentic problems in their work, of detailed problem solving decisions that experts make when solving problems. We developed an initial list of decisions from interviews with faculty members and industry experts, then conducted a second, structured, set of interviews to test and refine the list. In the structured interviews we asked scientists, engineers, and doctors to think about a problem they solved in their work and walk us through the detailed decisions they made during the solution process. We were struck by how, at a high level, the decisions made by experts across STEMM fields were remarkably similar. From these interviews, we generated a list of around 40 decisions that most STEMM experts make when solving authentic problems. This list of decisions has implications for teaching and assessment, because in order to become expert-like problem solvers, students will need to practice making the decisions that experts make.
Abstract Type: Symposium Talk
Parallel Session: Understanding and assessing problem-solving in introductory physics
Session Time: Parallel Sessions Cluster III
Room: Cascade A

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Argenta Price
Stanford University