Educational System for the Development of Collaborative Ill-Structured Problem- Solving Skills

Evelina Jaleniauskienė, Palmira Jucevičienė


Problem solving is indicated among the most important 21st century skills and therefore many educational practitioners and researchers suggest to include the development of this skill in diverse subjects across university studies. However, practice of this skill development is usually limited to the application of problem-based learning, which leaves it only among many other goals. The fact also remains that this popular curricular invention is most commonly considered as a content-based method, which puts greater emphasis on subject-related knowledge acquisition in the context of solving problems.

Indeed, solving ill-structured problems is not an easy activity and what higher education needs is a more explicit focus on the development of this skill in students. The article seeks to scientifically and practically explain the system on how this educational aim can be attained. Based on literature review, we design a tripartite system for enabling students to learn collaborative problem solving. It comprises three main parts: preparation for solving ill-structured problems in collaboration, inclusion into the processes of solving such problems and evaluation of the processes as well as outcomes achieved. The designed system is universal and can be implemented across various disciplines and subjects in higher education.

Keywords: problem solving, collaboration, 21st century skills, ill-structured problems, higher education.


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