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Abstract Title: Enhancing problem-solving abilities by repeated training with scaffolded synthesis problems
Abstract: Based on learning by analogical encoding, we designed and implemented conceptually scaffolded synthesis problems to induce students to rely on fundamental concepts for problem-solving, an approach frequently employed by experts. These synthesis problems combine multiple topics that are broadly separated in the teaching timeline, militating against novice-like formula-based solutions. Moreover, each synthesis problem is sequenced with two preceding concept questions that share with it the same deep structure. After answering the concept questions and before solving the synthesis problem, students are explicitly reminded to seek the underlying connections. These concept questions, together with the explicit reminder, are used as guided scaffolding.

A series of studies have been conducted. Specifically, this paper comparatively investigates the sustained effects of repeated training using scaffolded synthesis, un-scaffolded synthesis and textbook-like problems. Results are reported and the advantage and/or potential issues of each treatment are discussed.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Lin Ding
School of Teaching and Learning, The Ohio State University
1945 N High Street
Columbus, OH 43210
Co-Author(s)
and Co-Presenter(s)
Neville W. Reay
Department of Physics, The Ohio State University