Teach problem-solving by guiding STEM students through complete or partially worked-out problems and derivations using the TAPPS active-learning structure.
We had the opportunity to read the book Teaching and Learning STEM: A Practical Guide this summer and learned a lot of things from Dr.s Brent and Felder. One important concept that came out was around problem solving. Students may be able to solve problems that they have for homework. They can do the exact process over and over to get an answer but they may not understand the process or how to apply those skills to other problem types. They may also not understand how to solve problems in your discipline. As you introduce problems it’s important to teach them about the process for solving that problem type. When you reach a different type of problem you need to start over and teach them about the process for solving that problem. We assume our students know these things because they can complete the homework but they’ve never been taught the basics of how to truly solve a problem. As the instructor you have to model the process and provide feedback as students practice.