A Problem Arises in a Story
Each web-based problem scenario is a story comprised of different navigable scenes, where each scene is comprised of media (video, photo, graphic, charts, text, audio, etc.). Collectively the scenes tell a story which involve a problem to be resolved, and each of the scenes provide selectable information (valid and invalid, as well as relevant and not relevant). Investigating and analyzing the story, the media, and the selectable information provide the basis for understanding the situation and potential resolutions. The learner supports their final specified points of view (i.e. problem resolution or resolutions) with well-reasoned fact-based arguments using facts gathered from the scenes and any necessary inferences based upon those facts.
Investigate, Formulate, Argue
The problem solver’s objective is to investigate the web-based scene(s), identify the issue(s), gather and analyze facts, ignore red herring distractors, specify possible solution points of view, and support each finalized point of view by constructing a well-reasoned fact-based argument. All fact gathering and argument constructions are click-based and do not require typing input. Highly descriptive automated feedback and assessment support deep learning and skill achievement.
Infinite Range of Stories and Problems
findingQED's innovative framework enables an infinite range of contexts, topics, stories, and problems. The only requirement for a problem scenario in our innovative framework is that there be at least one question that can be explicitly argued with at least one point of view, and where each point of view must be supported by facts and reasoning, and can incorporate any level of certainty.
Each scenario problem can be direct and explicit or may emerge more slowly out of the scenario scenes after some inquiry and exploration. The problem can pertain to specific domain subject matter or pertain to common knowledge accessible to anyone. The problem solving process may require the use of particular concepts or analytical methods, or simply rely on basic reasoning.
These scenario design choices are made when creating the scenario within the framework on our web-based platform. The framework ensures that the problem solving process: is engaging, is fact-based, requires logical reasoning to resolve the problem to the greatest extent possible, and incorporates the automated feedback and assessment necessary for learning progress and skills achievement.
Each problem scenario is comprised of one or more informational scenes. The set of scenes provide a context, a body of facts and usually some red herring distractors too. A problem scenario with a single scene may be as simple as a text question with all the necessary information provided in the text, with or without an associated image. A richer scenario will consist of a series of scenes comprised of various types of digital media, including videos, photos, graphics, data, audio, and text. Currently our problem scenarios range in length from one scene to over 30 scenes. Supporting arguments for those scenarios range from 3 lines to over 50 lines. The level of challenge of theses scenarios range from what a 5th grader could easily accomplish to what a masters level graduate student could be challenged by.
Each argument in support of a point of view is constructed on the platform's Argue Pad™ using facts obtained through investigation of the scenes and inferences derived from analysis and reasoning. The combined actions of investigating scenes, analyzing information, positing points of view, and constructing arguments all serve to develop and exercise the learner’s critical thinking and creative problem solving skills. The explicit act of constructing well-reasoned fact-based arguments to support points of view calls upon the myriad of essential skills, and as such, the argument construction process on the findingQED ArguePad is illuminating and developmental. It is also quite useful for helping to diagnose skills deficiencies to the benefit of the learner.
Automated Feedback & Assessment
Fact-gathering, analysis, inference making and constructing well reasoned arguments on the Argue Pad™ not only provide an innovative and powerful way to develop critical thinking and creative problem solving skills, but these activities also enable the platform to deeply assess and provide feedback about each learner's strengths and weaknesses along key metrics.
Highly descriptive automated feedback highlights errors and provides detailed advice on alternative approaches. There are also a robust set of quantitative analytics useful not only to students, but also to instructors seeking insights about the learning challenges facing both individuals and classes as a whole. These robust statistics as serve as a basis for measuring achievement and progress on the a full set of critical thinking and problem solving metrics. They also empower instructors to re-direct their focus in real-time on the areas of greatest need. Of course, all data is confidential and available only to those designated by the customer.
Example Problem Scenarios
Descriptions of example scenarios are provided in the section entitled "Custom vs. Existing Problem Scenarios".