Thinking-Aloud Pair Problem Solving (TAPPS)
To solve case studies, complex problems, or to interpret text, students can pair with one individual designated as the explainer and the other as the questioner. The explainers outline the issues at hand and then begin detailed descriptions of how they would solve the case, problem, or interpretation. The questioners listen, for the most part, but they can also pose questions or offer helpful hints. At a given point, the students reverse roles, a process that continues until the exercise concludes (Felder and Brent, 2009, p. 3).
Weimer (2012) regards think-alouds as a valuable assessment tool that helps faculty monitor their students' growing critical thinking skills. Hearing students' interpretations and conjectures about difficult material, including their false starts, confusions, and misunderstandings, can highlight patterns of thinking. Because faculty are experts and students are novices in given subject areas, knowing where the students are can be a useful revelation for faculty members.
Felder, R. M. & Brent, R. (August 2009). Active learning: An introduction. ASQ Higher Education Brief, 2(4).
Weimer, M. (January 6, 2012). Think alouds shed light on how students grapple with content. Faculty Focus: Focused on Today's Higher Education Professional.
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