Educational Technology Research and Development

, Volume 49, Issue 3, pp 53–67 | Cite as

Problem-solving in a case-based course: Strategies for facilitating coached expertise

  • Donald A. Stepich
  • Peggy A. Ertmer
  • Molly M. Lane


This paper proposes the use of specific coaching strategies to facilitate student use of expert-like problem-solving strategies while analyzing and solving instructional design case studies. Findings from an exploratory study, designed to examine changes in students' problem-solving skills as they analyzed case studies, suggested that students could show expert characteristics at times, under some circumstances, but did not perform like experts on a regular basis. At two midwestern universities, 37 students analyzed 6 to 10 case studies both in class and in on-line discussions. Comparisons were made both within and across students, as well as across time, to examine patterns and changes in student problem-solving approaches. Findings suggested that primary influences on the incidence of expert performance were more external than internal and might be more aptly characterized as “coached expertise”. Specific suggestions are included for coaching the development of student problem-solving skills within a case-based course.


Instructional Design Student Response Case Discussion Reflective Practitioner Assigned Role 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Association for Educational Communications and Technology 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald A. Stepich
    • 1
  • Peggy A. Ertmer
    • 2
  • Molly M. Lane
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Educational Leadership and Development at Northeastern Illinois UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Purdue UniversityUSA

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