Chemistry - Art of Problem Solving
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Previous research has revealed that problem solving and attainment in chemistry are constrained by mental capacity and working memory. However, the terms mental capacity and working memory come from different theories of cognitive resources, and are assessed using different tasks. The current study examined the relationships between mental capacity, working memory, algorithmic and open-ended problem solving, and A level chemistry grades. The results revealed that the best predictor of algorithmic problem solving and A level grades was performance on a counting recall task, which requires the simultaneous processing and storage of information within working memory. The best predictors of open-ended problem solving were backwards digit recall and the figural intersection test. The results therefore demonstrated a dissociation between the cognitive resources underlying algorithmic and open-ended problem solving. The results are discussed in terms of both theoretical and practical implications.
Problem Solving Tutor - Royal Society of Chemistry
N2 - Metacognition is fundamental in achieving understanding of chemistry and developing of problem solving skills. This paper describes an across-method-and-time instrument designed to assess the use of metacognition in chemistry problem solving. This multi method instrument combines a self report, namely the Metacognitive Activities Inventory (MCA-I), with a concurrent automated online instrument, Interactive MultiMedia Exercises (IMMEX). IMMEX presents participants with ill defined problems and collects students' actions as they navigate the problem space. Artificial neural networks and hidden Markov modeling applied to the data collected with IMMEX produce two assessment parameters: the strategy state, which is related to the metacognitive qualities of the solution path employed, and the ability which is a measure of the problem difficulty students can properly handle. The ability values are significantly correlated with the MCA-I scores, and groups of students who performed using more metacognitive state strategies had significantly higher mean MCA-I values than those using fewer metacognitive strategies. This evidence is indicative of convergence between the methods. This instrument can be used diagnostically to guide the implementation of interventions to promote the use of metacognition; it takes little instructional time, is readily available and allows for the assessment of large cohorts.
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