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Exploring Teaching and Course Assistants' Interventions With Groups During Collaborative Problem Solving

Sun, April 7, 11:50am to 1:20pm, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Floor: 300 Level, Hall C


The role of the teacher in orchestrating collaborative problem solving activities in face-to-face STEM classrooms has received increasing attention in recent years. Little is known about teachers’ interventions in group work; however, we do not yet know how these interventions look like in actual collaborative problem solving higher education STEM classrooms that are orchestrated by teaching assistants. This study explores the interventions of a teaching assistant and two course assistants (CAs) with groups during a collaborative problem solving undergraduate engineering discussion session. Results indicate that most interventions were initiated by the teacher through asking the group a general question. During the interventions, follow up moves were focused on providing students with elaborated answers, asking follow-up questions, and providing explanations.