Problem Solving

SCALE-UP students are required to make estimates and work on ill-defined problems. A problem solving protocol based on the work of George Poyla is followed. For more information on the GOAL steps, see the instructor materials on this site.


Comparisons were made by taking exam problems from the traditional classes at NC State and giving them to the SCALE-UP students at the same time. The results for two semesters are shown below. The results were strong enough that we decided to stop using traditional exams so that we could ask more complex problems of the SCALE-UP students.

Bars with cross-hatching are not significantly different at the 0.05 level. Differences in the overall means are significant. Exam problems with asterisks had not yet been covered in the SCALE-UP classes.