NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1167033
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Oct
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1756-1108
A Study of Approaches to Solving Open-Ended Problems in Chemistry
Overton, Tina; Potter, Nicholas; Leng, Christopher
Chemistry Education Research and Practice, v14 n4 p468-475 Oct 2013
This paper describes the outcomes of a qualitative investigation into the range of different approaches that students use to solve open-ended, context rich problems. The study involved a small cohort of students individually solving open-ended, context-rich problems using a think aloud protocol. The problems required the students to develop a strategy, to identify data required and to make estimations. The problems did not lead to a single correct answer but rather a range of acceptable answers. Analysis of the transcripts and recordings of the sessions resulted in a limited number of categories of approaches to solving the problems. Applications of these approaches to individual students showed that there were three different types of problem-solver, described here as novice, expert and transitional. The results provide insight that will help tutors change how they, and subsequent students, approach problem solving.
Royal Society of Chemistry. Thomas Graham House, Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge, CB4 0WF, UK. Tel: +44-1223 420066; Fax: +44-1223 423623; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A