Problem Solving Exercises For College Students

Problem Solving Exercises For College Students-41
By developing their problem-solving skills, you can improve their ability to get to the bottom of complex situations.

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The mathematician George Polya captured the problem solving principles and strategies he used in his discipline in the book (Princeton University Press, 1957).

The book includes a summary of Polya’s problem solving heuristic as well as advice on the teaching of problem solving.

Ask groups to identify the major themes or points (Williams, 1993: 12).

Form groups of four to five and give each group a card with a three to four letter acronym printed on it.

After everyone has finished the exercise, invite your teams to evaluate the process to draw out their experiences.

For example, ask them what the main differences between individual, team and official rankings were, and why.Then the leader adds a third person, who presents his or her ideas before hearing the previous input.This cycle of presentation and discussion continues until the whole team has had a chance to voice their opinions.Where discussions are one-sided, draw quieter people in so that everyone is involved, but explain why you're doing this, so that people learn from it.You can use the Stepladder Technique when team discussion is unbalanced.Individuals brainstorm a question, then join a small group and discuss.Groups report back as teacher lists points on board (get a list of 10-15).Instruct the group that the acronym is for their team, for a new department in the organisation. Each individual develops a wish list, then reports back to the group.Ask them to expand the acronym and develop a vision for their new department (Scannell & Newstrom, 1983: 297). The group discusses the ideas and then develops a team wish list. How are you going to convince the boss of your group's needs (over the other groups')?Here, ask each team member to think about the problem individually and, one at a time, introduce new ideas to an appointed group leader – without knowing what ideas have already been discussed.After the first two people present their ideas, they discuss them together.

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