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CAT 21 Documented Problem Solutions
Estimated Levels of Time and Energy Required for:
Faculty to prepare to use this CAT Low  222-225
Students to respond to the assessment Medium
Faculty to analyze the data collectedMedium to High
Description"To become truly proficient problem solvers, students need to learn to do more than just get correct answers to textbook problems. At some point, they need to become aware of how they solved those problems and how they can adapt their problem-solving routines to deal with messy, real-world problems. The Documented Problem Solutions technique prompts students to keep track of the steps they take in solving a problem – to “show and tell” how they worked it out. By analyzing these detailed protocols – in which each solution step is briefly explained in writing – teachers can gain valuable information on their students’ problem-solving skills."

 Purpose"Documented Problem Solutions have two main aims: (1) to assess how students solve problems and (2) to assess how well students understand and can describe their problem-solving methods. Therefore, the primary emphasis of the technique is on documenting the specific steps that students take in attempting to solve representative problems – rather than on whether the answers are correct or not. As they respond to the assessment, students benefit by gaining more awareness of and control over their problem-solving routines. Understanding and using effective problem-solving procedures is, after all, a critical component of mastery in most disciplines." — Classroom Assessment Techniques, Angelo, TA and Cross, KP, 1993

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