Problem-Solving Learning Strategies

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On many employee evaluation forms, the category “problem-solving abilities” takes up more room than any other evaluated trait, thus developing problem - solving skills is essential for high school and higher education students. Problem - solving learning is defined as the ability to identify and solve problems by applying appropriate skills systematically. “Problem solving provides students with opportunities to use their newly acquired knowledge in meaningful, real-life activities and assists them in working at higher levels of thinking” says Fredericks (2005).

“Problem is to the mind what exercise is to the muscles, they toughen and makes us strong” Norman Vincent Peale, U.S protestant minister and author, therefore, a good problem solver
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An effective way to do that is brainstorming which is defined as the practice of rapidly generating multiple ideas without restraining the free flow of possible solutions. Instead of looking through the top three or four possible solutions available, a good problem solver would keep in mind the rule: every idea has merit. “Great problem solvers look at every idea, no matter how bizarre it may be. Some of the best solutions come as a result of piecing together bits of several seemingly implausible solutions” says Ferguson (2009, pg. 113).

• Step 4. Develop a plan of action:

Analyzing choices is the first step to formulating an action plan. Using the power of analytical thinking to evaluate, eliminate, modify and combine possible solutions while keeping the overall outcome in mind. Next is creating a step by step strategy to target the chosen solutions. The plan of action should include a clear statement of the overall plan, the objectives and goals set, a schedule with deadlines and the resources used.

• Step 5. Follow through:

“If anything can go wrong, it will”- Murphy’s Law. An important point in problem solving is anticipating potential problems. No amount of planning can
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Contingency or alternative plans are drafted in case a fault occurs in the original plan that may cause it to fail. Another way of anticipating problems is troubleshooting them before they arise by conducting test runs to make sure everything is working properly and then learning from these mistakes in order to give a better performance. Problem -solving also requires flexibility and persistence towards goals and objectives set.

A popular saying in the engineering departments states that “engineers are problem solvers, they can solve any problem if provided with the data needed”, as an engineering student myself, I believe that problem solving is one of the most important abilities an engineer must possess as the engineering field deals with making life easier and providing solutions to different kind of problems and the skill to tackle these problems efficiently is essential for every engineer to

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