PS-I Network - Why failure can be productive: Underlying learning mechanisms of problem solving prior to instruction approaches

Duration   10/2020-09/2023
Funded by   Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft [German Research Foundation]
Researchers   Prof. Dr. Nikol Rummel, Charleen Brand
External website
Drittmittelgeber   DFG
External Partners  

Jun-Prof. Katharina Loibl (University of Education Freiburg), Prof. Ido Roll (Technion, Israel), Prof. Manu Kapur (ETH Zurich), Prof. Timo Leuders (University of Education Freiburg), Prof. Anne Deiglmayr (University of Leipzig), Prof. Tamara van Gog (Utrecht University), Prof. Lennart Schalk (Schwyz University), Dr. Inga Glogger-Frey (University of Freiburg), and young researchers

Project description

The project focuses on the instructional approach of Problem Solving Prior to Instruction (PS-I). PS-I employs an initial problem-solving phase followed by a subsequent instruction phase in order to facilitate students’ conceptual learning from instruction. Studies have shown that students in PS-I outperformed students of traditional lecture-and-practice approaches (e.g. Kapur, 2012; overview: Loibl, Roll, & Rummel, 2017; Sinha & Kapur, 2019). This effect is assumed to be rooted in preparatory learning mechanisms that occur during the problem-solving phase. While the PS-I approach has been investigated in various different settings, domains, and age groups (e.g., Mazziotti, Rummel, Deiglmayr, & Loibl, 2019; Nachtigall, Serova, & Rummel, 2020), we still lack a profound understanding of which mechanisms prepare students for future learning and under which circumstances. The project aims to establish an international network of researchers in PS-I in order to (1) unite research in PS-I, (2) review the current state of research to identify research gaps and need for theoretical groundwork, and (3) establish a joint theoretical foundation for future research. The network focuses on three theoretical areas: the investigation of learning mechanisms, boundary conditions as well as constraints and affordances of technology in PS-I. Currently, the PS-I network involves an international group of more than 20 senior and young researchers as well as students.

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