Using a computer simulation to compare expert/novice problem-solving subroutines

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Catherine D. Ennis, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Hierarchical problem-solving strategies employed in solving exercise science problems were examined in this study, which also tested the validity of an educational computer simulation. Hypothesis testing was used as the theoretical base for the study of differences in problem-solving within the computer simulation. In a previous study two groups of undergraduate (novices) and graduate students were compared in their ability to solve exercise science problems. The present study added a group of faculty (experts) who were presented with the same simulation protocol as the other subjects. Protocol analysis and the Pitt coding system were used to analyse verbal data. Group differences were examined statistically. The faculty were superior in interpreting data and used the Basic Heuristic and Pattern Extraction strategies for the generation and use of algorithms. The problem-solving strategies varied for each group based on the perceived difficulty of the problem, the knowledge base available, and the similarity of the given problem to previous problems.

Additional Information

British Journal of Educational Technology, 22, 174-186.
Language: English
Date: 1991
Expertise, Problem solving, Simulation, Physiology

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