Many students experience difficulties in solving applied physics problems. Most programs that want students to improve problem-solving skills are concerned with the development of content knowledge. Physhint is an example of a student-controlled computer program that supports students in developing their strategic knowledge in combination with support at the level of content knowledge. The program allows students to ask for hints related to the episodes involved in solving a problem. The main question to be answered in this article is whether the program succeeds in improving strategic knowledge by allowing for more effective practice time for the student (practice effect) and/or by focusing on the systematic use of the available help (systematic hint-use effect). Analysis of qualitative data from an experimental study conducted previously show that both the expected effectiveness of practice and the systematic use of episode-related hints account for the enhanced problem-solving skills of students.
- Computer-assisted instruction
- Individualized instruction
- Problem solving
- Science education