Title: Cognitive learning processes undergirding design-based ill-structured problem solving

Authors: Kumar Laxman

Addresses: Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, Nanyang Technological University, Academic Complex North Block N2.1, Level B1, 76 Nanyang Drive 637331, Singapore

Abstract: Problem-based learning (PBL) is an innovational learning approach that challenges students to think critically, work cooperatively to seek solutions to real world problems. These problems serve as cognitive stimulus to arouse students| curiosity and initiate learning of content matter. Problems could be categorised as being either well or ill structured. Well-structured problems are bounded in nature and come embedded with prescriptive solutions whereas ill-structured problems are open-ended, divergent and have multiple solution pathways. Design problems are one archetypal example of ill-structured problems. This paper explores the structural attributes of design problem representations and the cognitive requirements for successfully disambiguating and solving design problems.

Keywords: problem solving; problem-based learning; design problems; ill-structured problems; cognitive learning; innovational learning; critical thinking; cooperation; cooperative working; cognitive stimulus; student curiosity; content matter; well-structured problems; nature; prescriptive solutions; open-ended problems; divergent problems; multiple solutions; structural attributes; cognitive requirements; successful disambiguation; innovation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIL.2012.044329

International Journal of Innovation and Learning, 2012 Vol.11 No.1, pp.60 - 78

Available online: 08 Dec 2011 *

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