Effect of Problem Type and Problem Difficulty on Problem Solving in Face-to-Face and Computer-Mediated Environments
Zhaohui Sheng, Western Illinois University, United States
Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, in San Diego, CA, USA ISBN 978-1-880094-78-5 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC USA
This study investigates how groups collaboratively solve well- and ill-structured problems designed to differ in the level of complexity in face-to-face (F2F) and computer-mediated environments. Results illustrated that participants had more communications that were problem focused in the F2F setting. Participants perceived F2F problem solving process as more satisfying. Communications in the computer-mediated environment were more oriented toward task objectives and therefore more efficient in accomplishing the task. Results also illustrated that problem difficulty had a differential impact on group interactions. Problem difficulty may drive group discussion yet it may also retard the development of productive collaboration, suggesting that designing problems should consider problem type as well as difficulty level relative to the learner. The study implies that it is possible to design complex well-structured problems that place a high cognitive demand and generate productive group communications.
Sheng, Z. (2010). Effect of Problem Type and Problem Difficulty on Problem Solving in Face-to-Face and Computer-Mediated Environments. In D. Gibson & B. Dodge (Eds.), Proceedings of SITE 2010--Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 1648-1655). San Diego, CA, USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
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