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Problem-Solving Skills

Core Competency 2 — Problem-Solving Skills

The following data was collected by Alpena Community College as part of its ongoing student outcomes assessment process. (Last updated March 22, 2022.)

Student Outcomes Full-Time Faculty Participants (Distinct)

Fall Semester 2020 4
Spring Semester 2021 1
Fall Semester 2021 4

Student Outcomes Course Assessments

Fall Semester 2020 11
Spring Semester 2021 4
Fall Semester 2021 7

Student Outcomes Course Assessments Meeting Benchmark

Fall Semester 2020 11
Spring Semester 2021 4
Fall Semester 2021 7

Student Outcomes Course Assessments Percentage Meeting Benchmark

Fall Semester 2020 100.0%
Spring Semester 2021 100.0%
Fall Semester 2021 100.0%

Core Competency 2 Comments and Action Plans

Faculty reviewed results and made the following comments and action plans:

Fall Semester 2020

  • None needed.

Spring Semester 2021

  • None.

Fall Semester 2021

  • No action required at this time. Will continue to monitor for trends.

Historical Data

A. October 2014 -  Initial Survey (467 responses) 
     October 2014 Questions and Results

B. Spring 2015 – Based on a review of the student survey results the faculty recommend the following ideas for improvement.

General Education

  • Spend more time on story problems
  • Teach real-world problem-solving skills
  • Make students think more in class
  • Teach the scientific method
  • Strive to make our students more accountable regarding critical reading.  For example, include critical questions and/or quizzes with reading assignments. 
  • Include more problem/solution papers in English courses
  • Allow opportunities to test hypotheses through observation of physical phenomena based on readings
  • Spend a few more minutes on the research method section of course
  • Emphasize abstract thinking, logical constructions, and critical thinking skills in course materials
  • Emphasize engaging applications to apply concepts in different circumstances – develop lucidity.

Career Technical Education

  • Encourage more analytical and problem-solving in-class activities, discussions, and assignments, and emphasize the importance of these skills in school, life, etc.
  • Refer students to opportunities to improve these skills such as course work (PHL 125-Language and Reason), and financial literacy training through the Student Support Services program.
  • Stress in the learning environment, that problems and solutions are generally beyond our own personal experience, ergo researching information and consulting with others is necessary in order to effectively problem solve.
  • Incorporate more real-life work in class, keep reviewing, more in class work
  • Use problem-solving scenarios – role-playing, case studies, small group work.
  • Continue to work on problem-solving/critical thinking skills. 
  • Develop discipline-specific problem-solving questions

 C. Improvements implemented

  • More faculty included critical thinking type assessments in their courses.
  • Emphasis problem-solving processes in the occupational courses.

D. February 2016 – Re-assessment Survey (141 responses)
     February 2016 Questions and Results