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ERIC Number: EJ825801
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 17
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Using Problem-Solution Maps to Improve Students' Problem-Solving Skills
Selvaratnam, Mailoo; Canagaratna, Sebastian G.
Journal of Chemical Education, v85 n3 p381-385 Mar 2008
The effectiveness of problem solving as a learning tool is often diminished because students typically use only an algorithmic approach to get to the answer. We discuss a way of encouraging students to reflect on the solution to their problem by requiring them--after they have arrived at their solution--to draw solution maps. A solution map displays a logical analysis of the way one might arrive from the given data to the solution of the problem. The solution map includes a statement of all laws and principles used at every stage, so that students' knowledge base is reinforced. Problems have no unique solution maps, nor can recipes be given and blindly used to create a solution map. Thus drawing solution maps is open-ended, and the chances of students subverting the goal by using memorized routine procedures is avoided. (Contains 3 figures and 1 textbox.)
Division of Chemical Education of the American Chemical Society. Subscription Department, P.O. Box 1267, Bellmawr, NJ 08099-1267. Tel: 800-691-9846; Tel: 856-931-5825; Fax: 856-931-4115; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Students
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A