NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1003061
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jun
Pages: 39
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 94
ISSN: ISSN-1042-1629
Thresholds of Knowledge Development in Complex Problem Solving: A Multiple-Case Study of Advanced Learners' Cognitive Processes
Bogard, Treavor; Liu, Min; Chiang, Yueh-hui Vanessa
Educational Technology Research and Development, v61 n3 p465-503 Jun 2013
This multiple-case study examined how advanced learners solved a complex problem, focusing on how their frequency and application of cognitive processes contributed to differences in performance outcomes, and developing a mental model of a problem. Fifteen graduate students with backgrounds related to the problem context participated in the study. Data sources included direct observation of solution operations, participants' think aloud and stimulated recalls as they solved the problem, as well as solution scores indicating how well each participant solved the problem. A grounded theory approach was used to analyze stimulated recall and think aloud data. A set of thirteen cognitive processes emerged in the coding and were tallied for each participant. Individual cases were then grouped into clusters that shared similar frequencies of prior knowledge activation, performance outcomes, and tool use behaviors. Each cluster was profiled from least to most successful with descriptive accounts of each cluster's approach to solving the problem. A cross cluster analysis indicated how learners' cognitive processes corresponded with problem solving operations that revealed thresholds of knowledge development and formed an integrated mental model of the problem. The findings suggested that mastering problem solving operations within each threshold enhanced the learners' conceptual awareness of where to apply cognitive processes and increased the combinations of cognitive processes they activated at higher thresholds of knowledge development. The findings have implications for anticipating where novices need support within each threshold of knowledge development during complex problem solving.
Springer. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A