Dissertation Information for James Dale Guthrie
MPACT Status: Fully Complete
Title: A case study of problem-solving in an authentic classroom
Abstract: The study of problem-solving groups has contributed to a vast body of research conducted mainly in traditional classrooms. The purpose of this qualitative and descriptive study was to identify factors that promote or hinder group problem solving in an authentic learning environment. Data from participant questionnaires, participant interviews, and direct observation were collected and analyzed through qualitative analysis. Correlation analysis was also applied to the data. Participant groups who rated their problem as more authentic indicated a high level of satisfaction with the problem as well as group agreement that the problem held meaning. The variables of communication and teamwork were important to the group's perception of success. These variables were found to be an influence in problems with higher authentic ratings. Additionally, participants indicated that the use of technology enhanced the group's ability to solve the problem. The authentic environment used simulation strategies and real-life emulations to involve participants in problem tasks and provided an interesting place to learn.
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