Improving Help-Seeking Behavior for Online Mathematical Problem-Solving Lessons
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The present study investigated if students change their use of heuristics and help-seeking behavior during a two-lesson course. This course was designed to give students the opportunity to solve mathematical problems with help use through heuristic trees and a help-seeking model. During the course students worked on mathematical problems after they watched a video about the desired behavior in an online learning platform. Students can ask for pre-programmed help: hints and heuristics are available for each of the usual phases of problem solving. While working on a problem students made use of a model that supported them to seek help in a right way. We analyzed student questionnaires, working sheets for the help-seeking model, and student’s use of hints and results on the problems. The results are as follows: students worked with concentration and enthusiasm; students were seeking more digital help when the difficulty of the problems increased; the specific hints were clear to students; the occurrence of help-abuse is negligible; at least 21% and a maximum of 71% of the students reported they have changed their approach to mathematical problem solving. Despite our efforts to motivate students to reflect and generalize their results after solving a problem, they did not. Unfortunately our attempts to measure compression of knowledge did not succeed.