HyperCard-based tutorial on 2D-NMR: A probe of the use of multiple representation systems during problem-solving

Daniel Steven Domin, Purdue University

Abstract

The critical thinking skills of chemistry students are usually inferred from their ability to solve problems. Thus, a better understanding of critical thinking skills is achieved through studying problem-solving behavior. An essential component of problem solving is the construction of a mental representation of the problem statement. This study was primarily concerned with the characterization of the representations constructed by successful and unsuccessful problem solvers.^ A mixed-methodology (qualitative and quantitative data) approach was taken. Analysis of the data revealed that successful problem solvers tended to construct significantly more representations (n = 72, t = 2.01, p $<$.05) than unsuccessful problem solvers. The representations constructed by the two groups were also different. Successful problem solvers tended to construct verbal-symbolic representation; unsuccessful problem solvers tended to construct verbal-propositional representations. The representations constructed by successful problem solvers more closely resembled the information presented in the instruction, contained less superfluous information, and were usually more complete than the representations constructed by unsuccessful problem solvers. ^

Degree

Ph.D.

Advisors

Major Professor: George M. Bodner, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Psychology|Educational technology|Science education|Curriculum development

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