Technology Support in The Knowledge Group Problem Solving
This dissertation paper will discuss Technology Support in The Knowledge Group Problem Solving.
The advancement of technology has played a major role in today’s education. Education seeks to achieve many objectives yet three key ones stand out and these include: empowering students with the ability to remember, understand, and utilize the data acquired to come up with solutions that improve their daily lives (Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership, 2004). Nonetheless, the last objective has proved quite elusive to achieve because despite more than a decade of providing education, a good percentage of learners still leave school without the ability to use most of the knowledge acquired from school and many are unable to use this to come up with solutions to problems faced daily in their respective societies.
The failure of students to apply skills learnt as they study can be attributed to how shallow education is handled and the strong focus on recollection and lesson content. There is higher infrequency of making data astronomical yet in-depth learning can only occur when a student learns to relate existing information to the new data being presented. Moursund recognized three stages of studying that have a huge impact on the learner’s ability and these are choice, association, and combination (Moursund, 2010). Data therefore ought to be chosen and used in working memory especially if it is to be transferred to enduring memory at a later stage Ultimately the data that is mixed inside will be more familiar as compared to new data which has no link whatsoever to previously synthesized information.
Sadly, a noticeable trend amongst university students is that they choose data that they are most likely to remember for purposes of passing examination and yet regularly neglect to relate such information to past encounters or information they might have stored in the enduring memory. This has led to the conclusion that education enables students to generate and save much information that may lay dormant, and in the long run be disregarded altogether (Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership, 2004). This gap has created the need for many stakeholders in the education sector to constantly seek various means that can be used to deepen the learning experience and cognitive process, making education a more meaningful process. One of the major interventions cum developments in the education sector during the past decade has been the use of technology especially in solving group work tasks. This research proposal will establish the effectiveness of the use of technology in group knowledge problem solving situations.
Previous research have indicated that different students create different academic experiences and more often, active, outgoing students who own the group collaboration process and understand the group assignment better, tend to have a more meaningful and deeper learning experience (Eison, 2010). Most students also prefer group tasks because of its many benefits which include improvement of oral and leadership skills, expansion of thinking capacities and development of personal management skills among group members (Hardin , 2002). Additionally, Chiu (2000) noted that group work enhances the interaction among both students and faculty members and enhances memorization amongst students as well as boosting exposure, comprehension abilities and self esteem in general. Students who collaborate in solving problems in a group setting have to develop varied strategies (Search for Common Grounds, 2003). Such strategies may include authentic learning, inquiry and discovery all of which contribute to learning. Ultimately, the different strategies used by students have similarities that cut across the board. These include presentation of problem solving tasks to the students, outlining a basic structure on coming up with relevant solutions and finally solving the problem as a group.
Even though technological advancement has transformed commerce and various other sectors including education, there is little knowledge on how students apply knowledge and incorporate technology in group tasks. Social researchers have made note that some groups are more successful when working together than others (Dinut, 2011). They have also revealed that group problem solving tasks are more effective instructional methods for learners as compared to being instructed by facilitators (Sanders, 1991). Nevertheless, these should not be taken to be universal assumptions because research has also revealed students’ preferences for other learning and instructional methods as opposed to group work and this shows that group problem solving may be subject to certain disparities and challenges. When making an analysis of the value addition of technology in group problem solving tasks, here is a tendency to focus more on technological products used by groups as opposed to the process used by learners in solving problems as a group (Chiu, 2000).
Princeton Education (2011) observe that there is a gap in analyzing technological contribution to group problem solving tasks because more emphasis is placed on the products used in group problem solving rather than the process through which the learners in a group develop these products to solve the problem at hand. Specifically, there is a lack of evaluation step-by-step processes that students collaboratively use to achieve the ultimate solution to the problem in question. Since the main goal of students in a group context is to use their knowledge and skills to come up with a feasible solution to a particular problem, they need to think through the problem solving process before getting the best solution.
1.3 Research objective
- To describe the process used in problem solving by learner groups.
- To structure the knowledge that is created and used in collaborative group problem solving.
- To develop a technological model that can complement and support knowledge in groups problem solving tasks.
1.4 Research question
- What process is used in problem solving within groups?
- What knowledge is created in groups during problem solving?
- How can technological support knowledge and help groups in problem solving?
1.5 Significance of Study
This study aims to show that students not only acquire thinking skills by applying problem solving activities, but also use a carefully planned and well thought out process to achieve the set goals. The use of technology is essential in the process of problem solving, both as a tool and an end product of problem solving processes as indicated by Eison (2010), is essential in this process. A complete plan of the curriculum for collaboration of students during group problem solving must take into account the proper instructions for problem solving processes and goals. The researcher deems this study significant in a number of ways. It will reveal additional knowledge to the field of technology in the educational sector and help in partially fill the existing gaps. Based on the literature review conducted, it is evident that limited studies have been conducted in the use of technology with relation to group problem solving. This makes it an area of interest to many stakeholders within the technological and educational sectors as well as learning institutions.
Furthermore this research, will facilitate experience sharing of the findings made from the questionnaires as well as observations and analysis made. This implies that students will be interviewed and their successful experiences in use of technology to solve problems in group tasks will be shared so that other institutions that have had unsuccessful experiences or are yet to incorporate technology in group solving assignments can learn from the success stories of such students.
It is also hoped that findings from the research will demonstrate the important contribution of technology towards the process of group problem solving. This will be particularly important for policy makers to take into consideration and encourage the incorporation of technology in group problem solving tasks.
1.6 Organization of Study
This study will be organized in five different chapters. Chapter one will give background information of the study and explain the statement of the problem. It will also outline the research objectives and research questions. The key definitions of the terms that will be used, including the components of research design, will also be discussed under this chapter. Chapter two will delve into the literature review and assess the various studies that have been conducted in relation to technology and knowledge application in group problem solving activities. Chapter three will comprise of presentations on the research design and methodology. It will mainly give a detailed description of the research methods used and data collection tools used in addition to assessing the advantages and weaknesses of the methods and tools chosen. The fourth chapter will analyze the data collected and statistics in details. It will also make an in-depth analysis of the findings in comparison to set objectives of the study and the research questions.The fifth and final chapter will engage the readers by providing a summary of the study and detailed discussion on the findings and implications of the study. The conclusion and recommendations based on the results of the study will also be presented.
1.7 Definition of Terms
|Problem Solving||A psychological concept that defines the mental process through which one discovers, analyzes and develops the most suitable solutions to existing problems (Hardin , 2002).|
|Technological literacy||The ability to access, use, manage and develop a proper understanding of technology and technological tools (International Technology Education Association, 2010)|
|Technological||Based on the above definition of technological literacy, this term implies the use of technical improvements in procedures to improve productivity and eliminate manual operations (International Technology Education Association, 2010).|
|Knowledge||This is the type of information that has been processed and synthesized to create relationship patterns between existing data and information so as to facilitate better comprehension of implications between new and existing information. Knowledge can develop its own context (Uriarte, 2008)|
|Technological Model||Tools and services of technology that are available and important in meeting the requirements of an application and offering solutions (Shroff, Deneen & Eugenia, 2011)|
Chiu, M. (2000). Group problem-solving processes: Social interactions and individual actions. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 3, 30(1). Retrieved from http://gse.buffalo.edu/fas/chiu/pdf/Group_Problem_Solving_Processes.pdf
Dinut, D. (2011). Problem Solving. Retrieved from http://www.lean.org/FuseTalk/Forum/Attachments/PowerPoint – Problem Solving.pdf
Eison, J. (2010). Using active learning instructional strategies to create excitement and enhance learning. Retrieved from http://www.cte.cornell.edu/documents/presentations/Active learning – Creating Excitement in the Classroom – Handout.pdf
Hardin, L. (2002). Problem solving concepts and theories. JVME, 30(3). Retrieved from http://www.utpjournals.com/jvme/tocs/303/226.pdf
International Technology Education Association. (2010). Standards for technological literacy. Retrieved from http://www.iteaconnect.org/TAA/PDFs/xstnd.pdf
Princeton Education. (2011). Basic concepts in group problem solving. Retrieved from http://press.princeton.edu/chapters/s9339.pdf
Search for Common Grounds. (2003). Cooperative problem-solving a guide for turning conflicts into agreements. Retrieved from http://www.sfcg.org/resources/training/pdf/cpsguide.pdf
Sanders, M. (1991). Implementing technology education problem-solving activities. Journal of Technology Education, Retrieved from http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/JTE/v2n2/html/deluca.html
Shroff, R., Deneen, C., & Eugenia, M. (2011). Analysis of the technology acceptance model. Australasian Journal of Education and Technology, 27(4), 600-618. Retrieved from http://www.ascilite.org.au/ajet/ajet27/shroff.pdf
Uriarte, F. (2008). Introduction to knowledge management. Retrieved from http://www.aseanfoundation.org/documents/knowledge_management_book.pdf
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