P685: Animating the solutions to sample problems can aid students in developing problem solving strategies
Students across the STEM disciplines rely heavily on worked-out sample problems to model how to solve practice, homework, and exam problems. Too often the algorithms students extract from these sample solutions become the centerpiece of their problem-solving skills. We have produced a series of animated problem solutions designed to better simulate and teach the problem solving process. Animating sample problem solutions presents many advantages over traditional written solutions. A short animated solution can illustrate the scenario or process described in the problem and help students better understand the components and context of the problem. In addition, the solution unfolds temporally, which impairs the ability of students to “reverse engineer” the solution. Furthermore, underlying concepts and principles of the problem can be visually represented without adding to the cognitive load as students concentrate on how to do the problem. We will show some of the solutions and share what we have learned about their design and production.