HEA STEM: A Guide to Puzzle-Based Learning in STEM Subjects


This report is part of a project funded by the Centre for Learning and Academic Development (CLAD)

  • Publication Date: 01-06-2012
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The objective of the project was to develop new learning resources to enable staff working in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to incorporate puzzle-based learning in their teaching. This guide to puzzle-based learning accompanies a selection of mathematical and logic-based puzzles, grouped by mathematical topic and approximate “level”, as judged by our experiences. We shall comment more on this later. It is written to provide advice to staff on how to adapt such puzzles for use in their subject at the appropriate level(s).

Our motivation for this project is a belief, based on our experience here and elsewhere, that puzzlebased learning is under-exploited in the teaching of mathematics and problem solving to STEM students. In Section 2 we define our terms and provide examples. Our teaching experience strongly suggests that embedding puzzles in the curriculum enhances students’ learning by developing their general problem-solving and independent learning skills. We also expect this will increase their motivation to learn mathematics, whether as a subject in its own right or as vital learning for other STEM disciplines. We expand on this theme in Section 3 and in Section 4 we provide case studies of how such puzzles have been used with students.

Publisher: University of Birmingham
Type: Guide


Authors
  • M. Badger
  • C. J. Sangwin
  • E. Ventura-Medina
  • C. R. Thomas

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