Information Problem Solving

Learning projects, such as researching and authoring a major paper (lab reports, business plans, theses, perhaps co-constructed in a team), call for information problem solving (IPS). We characterize round-trip IPS as: defining parameters about needs for information, searching for and filtering sources of information (e.g., websites, documents, discussion forums) judged to meet needs, analyzing and selecting information in filtered sources, organizing selections, designing a solution, drafting a report, and testing and revising the draft to develop a polished and productive result (cf. Eisenberg, 2008). Our goal is to synthesize and extend work across learning science and computing science to design features in our nStudy software that can help (a) learners expand knowledge and improve motivation by bootstrapping increasingly more effective IPS skills and (b) instructors plan, monitor, test and share instructional designs for improving their students’ IPS skills.