Asee peer logo

Problem Solving As Part Of The Learn To Learn Process

Download Paper |


2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.807.1 - 6.807.5

Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Gary Cardinale

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2248

Problem – Solving as part of the Learn-to-Learn Process Gary Cardinale DeVry Institute at North Brunswick, New Jersey

An electronics instructor, while teaching a class, puts a basic series resistive circuit on the board. This individual, being very conscientious, makes sure that the resistor values and supply voltage are given and what needs to be found – voltage drops – is clearly indicated. The instructor then asks the students to take out their calculators and, together, work out the problem. Sound familiar?

This situation could represent a typical classroom scenario – the instructor is doing a good job teaching students how to solve a problem. What’s wrong with this picture?

First – an assumption has to be made that the students understand voltage, current, resistance, and power.

Second – an assumption had to be made that the students understand what a circuit is.

Third – an assumption had to be made that the students understand Ohm’s law, Kirchhoff’s voltage law, and the rules for series circuits.

That’s a lot of assumptions!

Assume now that the students do not have the necessary background to follow the instructor. What is the end result? The instructor is doing all the work while the students are number crunching. This is called passive learning, a process that allows little to no real student participation.

This paper concerns itself with a process that enables students not only to become good problem solvers but also enables them to “learn-to-learn”. This process consists of six steps. The first five deal with the learning process – active learning – where students become involved in classroom and lab activities. The sixth step is the actual “learn-to-learn” step. This is where students use what they have learned and apply that knowledge. The process, in detail, now follows.

FIRST STEP – teach the concepts! From this develop graphs, circuits, etc. to illustrate these concepts. Then, use the appropriate mathematics to relate the concepts to the illustrations.

SECOND STEP – apply the following heuristic (a procedure that provides direction in the solution of a problem) to step one. This will help the students develop the necessary skills for problem solving and critical thinking.

A. Define the problem. You must be able to recognize the real problem from the perceived problem. (What seems to be the problem but is not.) The real or actual

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Cardinale, G. (2001, June), Problem Solving As Part Of The Learn To Learn Process Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2001 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015