In Send-A-Problem, student teams participate in a series of problem solving rounds, and then evaluate alternative solutions offered by the different groups.
Groups of two to four students work on different problems during the same period of time. Each group receives a problem, discusses issues, and offers possible solutions. Problems can reflect a variety of complex questions, often without one right answer. Teams record their solutions for later evaluation. Each group then passes the problem to another group, which also contributes a solution and passes the problem on. After a number of rounds, time is called and each group evaluates and selects a best solution for one of the problems and reports their conclusion to the class.
Send-A-Problem nurtures collaborative problem solving and related thinking skills. The process encourages creativity in problem solving and emphasizes the value of different perspectives. Originally used in class, Send-A-Problem can be adapted for online learning through use of online forums.
- Barkley, E.F., Cross, K.P., & Major, C.H. (2005). Collaborative learning techniques. A handbook for college faculty. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Wiley. Kindle Edition.
- "On the Cutting Edge" on Send-A-Problem