ERIC Number: EJ1039448
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 17
Does the Extent of Problem Familiarity Influence Students' Learning in Problem-Based Learning?
Sockalingam, Nachamma; Schmidt, Henk G.
Instructional Science: An International Journal of the Learning Sciences, v41 n5 p921-932 Sep 2013
This study investigated the relationship between problem familiarity and students' learning in a problem-based course. Problem familiarity in this study refers to the extent to which a problem fits with students' prior knowledge and experiences. As part of regular course work, 172 students were given two problems on different occasions. These problems varied in the extent of problem familiarity. Students' report of their learning activities and tutor's assessment of the students' learning were collected at the end of the problems. Results showed that both the students and tutors found the familiar problem to be better for learning. However, some elements of unfamiliarity may not be all that bad. For instance, unfamiliarity may result in more questioning, thinking and reasoning. However, this did not contribute to significant difference in terms of overall critical reasoning. Results also indicated a need to closely examine students' critical reasoning (in terms of evaluating multiple perspectives) and students' collaborative learning (in terms of brainstorming and discussion) when given familiar/unfamiliar problems.
Descriptors: Familiarity, Problem Based Learning, Prior Learning, Educational Experience, Problem Solving, Learning Activities, Student Evaluation, Critical Thinking, Cooperative Learning, Teaching Methods, Correlation, Academic Achievement
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A