How to Architecture Open-ended Problem-solvers? Student Reflections on Scaffolding Experiences in an Open-ended Problem-solving Bioengineering Course Sequence

Arash Mahboobin, Renee M. Clark


Through reflection, learning experiences that students most-frequently valued during open-ended, scaffolded problem solving in a bioengineering two-course sequence were identified in this study. Reflective knowledge of this type can inform instructors in orchestrating experiences to scaffold problem solving of this kind and were useful in directly demonstrating students’ development in problem solving. Reflection is necessary for learning and is an important aspect of scaffolding. The literature has made recent calls for the additional use and study of reflection and scaffolding within STEM. This paper is intended to respond to these calls by focusing on students’ reflections about the experiences they most-frequently valued during scaffolded work. Students reflected at multiple points about their scaffolded, problem-solving experiences. These reflections were systematically content-analyzed for the experiences valued by students for their learning and development. These valued experiences can be the focus of instructional and scaffolding efforts for open-ended problem-solving in similar courses.

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Copyright (c) 2019 Arash Mahboobin, Renee M. Clark

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Journal of Curriculum and Teaching ISSN 1927-2677 (Print) ISSN 1927-2685 (Online)  Email:

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