The Key to Great Instruction: Problem Solving

For this week’s assignment I was to find sources of information about our topic of discussion in class, the brain and learning, information processing theory, and problem-solving methods during the learning process. While research these topics I came to the conclusion that great instruction and education does not come from just implementing the proper text and materials with the correct assignments. It also needs the problems that an educator gives to a student to solve to be created and defined properly. As I continue in my education to becoming an Instructional Designer I must use this knowledge to provide my trainings with the correct types of problems to maximize the students learning and comprehension.

The first source I found was an article on entitled simply “Problem Solving“. In checking with the credibility of this article, I came to find out that the authors of this work have both received the E.L.Thorndike award. This is awarded to individuals that have produced substantial progress in the Educational Psychology community. I thoroughly enjoy this article not only because it is quite well written and almost entertaining to read. It also explains problem solving in a way that helps you reach a stranger understanding on the subject. It begins be defining why problem solving is key for a strong classroom. Mayer, R. E. & Wittrock, M. C. (2009) explain that “problem solving is fundamental to education because educators are interested in improving students’ ability to solve problems”. The article continues to define problem solving and discuss the different theories and process of problem solving. The authors then explain how to teach and use these theories to help teachers create and use better problem solving skills for their classroom. As an Instructional Designer I hope to be creating curricula and trainings for the school system. This article will help me create a stronger training or curricula by using problem solving to assess the students understand and comprehension of the learning material.

My second resource I found was from The link I provided takes you to an explanation of the Information Process theory. I enjoyed this explanation because it the author keeps it short and sweet. He explains what the theory is and the different concepts within the theory. Finally he provides an example to allow the reader a better understand. The great art about this source is if you were to search the website you would find that it contains a larger amount of information on different learning theories. The author includes definitions for many theories including Gestalt and Dual-Coding theory witch we learned about this week. The site also includes a list of important instructional designers as well as a job board for ID’s. The author of the website is Richard Culatta, who is the Acting Director of the Office of Educational Technology for the US Department of Education.  I enjoy his definition of Instructional Design “The process by which instruction is improved through the analysis of learning needs and systematic development of learning materials. Instructional designers often use technology and multimedia as tools to enhance instruction” (Culatta, R. 2011). This is a great resource to help me find resources and definitions during my ID education.

Last but certainly not least is an article I found in the ASTD library from T+D archives entitled “Inside the Learning Brain“. This is a great article explaining the field of neruoeducation and why organizations should allow for professional development. The author Nick van Dam (2013) describes in the article “Knowledge provides the building blocks for innovation, which is the number one priority for many enterprises.” It continues to explain evidence – based results on how organizations should design and deploy trainings. This is a great article for me because it provides a basic list of practices I need to make sure I use when creating trainings or educational material. It also provides a list of other articles that discuss neruoeducation and its use in the workplace.


Culatta, R. (2011). Instructional design. Retrieved from

Mayer, R. & Wittrock, M. (2009, December 29). Problem solving DOI:

Van Dam, N. (2013, april 08). Inside the learning brain T D, Retrieved from


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