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Tagged: DIRTSCAN, Pedagogy, Problem-Solving, protocols, Scaffolding, Strategy

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Several years ago (ca. 2005) I began to develop a scaffolded problem-solving strategy called “DIRTSCAN” that can be used to explicitly teach students to use metacognitive strategies using worked examples and multiple exposures. In brief, DIRTSCAN includes stages of Diagramming, Identifying, Relating, Transposing, Substituting, Calculating, Answering, and, Noticing. The following dot-points outline how I often introduce the common stages that are often encountered while trying to solve quantitative problems in senior Physics classes:

* Draw or modify a diagram (or highlight key words, data, or concepts)

* Identify the relevant known and unknown quantities (including any 0s)

* Relate the known and unknown quantities together (e.g., with an equation)

* Transpose the equation into a form with the desired unknown on the left

* Substitute the known values into the transposed equation (checking correct units)

* Calculate the value of the unknown quantity from your substitution (carefully)

* Answer the question (check to see what the question was actually asking you to find)

* Notice if anything seems odd (is your number too big, too small or not suiting the context)

* … and Remember you many need to repeat some of these steps a few times or skip some if they’re not appropriate!

For more on this see my blog post:Thanks for sharing this. Good acronym.

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