Feedback During Problem Solving

Imagine a learner encounters a novel math problem. Should feedback be provided right away or should the learner work through the solution on her own? In this line of work, we explore what type of feedback works for whom and under what conditions. A key contribution of this work is to show that, for certain learners, problem solving without feedback can be more effective. We are currently investigating reasons why feedback does not always have the desired, positive effects. In particular, we are focusing on whether the feedback draws attention to a self-evaluation (e.g., I’m not very good at this problem) or to task-specific processing (e.g., what other strategy could work).