University of Oulu

Collaborative problem solving activities in natural learning situations: a process oriented case study of teacher education students

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Author: Quashigah, Edem1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.9 MB)
Pages: 45
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : E. Quashigah, 2017
Publish Date: 2017-10-16
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Näykki, Piia
Reviewer: Vuopala, Essi
Näykki, Piia
This research focused on a 21st century learning skill known as ‘Collaborative Problem Solving’ (CPS) by carrying out a process oriented study of identifying CPS activities, namely; Audience Awareness (Perspective Taking), Coordination, Adaptive Responsiveness (Perspective Taking), Problem Re-Analysis, Task Exploration and Problem Analysis as they spring up in their natural collaborative learning setting. The main aim of this thesis is to explore the prevalence of the selected examples of Collaborative Problem Solving skills throughout the process of collaborative sessions by unearthing (a) How often the CPS activities occur/emerge during natural group working situations and (b) The differences between occurrences of the general group CPS activities and the individual group member participation to the CPS occurrences. The researcher made use of video data that was primarily collected by the researchers from the Prep21 Project (Preparing Teacher Education Students for the 21st Century Learning Practices); A research project conducted by the collaboration of researchers from multiple university institutions namely, University of Eastern Finland, University of Jyväskylä and the University of Oulu. The participants of the research constituted a total of 8 first year international teacher education students. They were formed into a total of 2 groups with 3–4 members and were asked to work on several mathematical didactic tasks over the course of 3 different sessions. The data was analysed using the QSR International Nvivo data analysis software to simultaneously examine the occurrences of the targeted group CPS activities as well as individual contributions to those CPS activities. It was found from results of the research that, when pitted against each other, the occurrences of CPS activities vary, in that, they don’t all occur on the same level or at the same frequency. The most often occurring CPS activity is ‘Audience Awareness (Perspective Taking)’, whereas the least often occurring is Problem Analysis. The pedagogical implications of this research in teaching practice is that educators can be mindful of the fact that when students engage in CPS activities, there are differences in the individual and group occurrences. Not all students actually partake in each activity as it unfolds. This should thus motivate educators to strategize new ways of improving upon the involvement or participation of the students through carefully tailored scripts.
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