Summary: What is Tackling a Wicked Problem?

This is a bulleted summary of the important points of the previous chapter.

  • TWP is cornerstone course of the General Education program.
  • Main goal: Give students opportunities to practice the four Habits of Mind–purposeful communication, problem-solving, integrated perspective, and self-regulated learning.
  • To provide these opportunities, we use the cluster learning model in which students from different majors (interdisciplinarity) work on projects (project-based learning) that try to make an impact on the wicked problem in the world (open education).
  • Student projects should, as much as possible, be designed and implemented by the students in order to help them practice self-regulated learning.
  • These projects will likely go in directions that the instructor didn’t anticipate. The role of the instructor is to facilitate students’ completion of the project.
  • Many of these projects will fail to meet the goal of impacting the world because students are still learning how to plan projects.
  • We want to help students learn how to identify what they need to learn and then figure out how to learn those things in order to complete a task. Again, this is part of self-regulated learning.
  • One of the major tools students need in order to this kind of work is information literacy. This is why there are so many chapters in the OER about information literacy.
  • The information literacy that we teach goes beyond “traditional” literacy where students use library databases to research a topic.
  • The assignments in the course should include: the design, planning, and implementation of a project that tries to impact the world outside the classroom, a series of self-reflections related to each student’s personal development of the Habits of Mind, and some activities related to information literacy.


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TWP Instructor's Manual by Cathie LeBlanc is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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