A1 Journal article (refereed)
“Anything taking shape?” : Capturing various layers of small group collaborative problem solving in an experiential geometry course in initial teacher education (2022)

Pöysä-Tarhonen, J., Häkkinen, P., Tarhonen, P., Näykki, P., & Järvelä, S. (2022). “Anything taking shape?” : Capturing various layers of small group collaborative problem solving in an experiential geometry course in initial teacher education. Instructional science, 50(1), 1-34. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11251-021-09562-5

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsPöysä-Tarhonen, Johanna; Häkkinen, Päivi; Tarhonen, Pasi; Näykki, Piia; Järvelä, Sanna

Journal or seriesInstructional science



Publication year2022

Publication date26/11/2021


Issue number1

Pages range1-34

PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media LLC

Publication countryNetherlands

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessPartially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/78815


Collaborative problem solving (CPS) is widely recognized as a prominent 21st-century skill to be mastered. Until recently, research on CPS has often focused on problem solution by the individual; the interest in investigating how the theorized problem-solving constructs function as broader social units, such as pairs or small groups, is relatively recent. Capturing the complexity of CPS processes in group-level interaction is challenging. Therefore, a method of analysis capturing various layers of CPS was developed that aimed for a deeper understanding of CPS as a small-group enactment. In the study, small groups of teacher education students worked on two variations of open-ended CPS tasks—a technology-enhanced task and a task using physical objects. The method, relying on video data, encompassed triangulation of analysis methods and combined the following: (a) directed content analysis of the actualized CPS in groups, (b) process analysis and visualizations, and (c) qualitative cases. Content analysis did not show a large variation in how CPS was actualized in the groups or tasks for either case, whereas process analysis revealed both group- and task-related differences in accordance with the interchange of CPS elements. The qualitative cases exemplified the interaction diversity in the quality of coordination and students’ equal participation in groups. It was concluded that combining different methods gives access to various layers of CPS; moreover, it can contribute to a deeper articulation of the CPS as a group-level construct, providing divergent ways to understand CPS in this context.

Keywordsproblem solvingcommunalitycollaborative learninginteractiongroupsmethodscooperation (general)processesteacher training

Free keywordscollaborative problem solving; directed content analysis; interaction; method triangulation; process analysis; process visualizations

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Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2022

JUFO rating2

Last updated on 2024-03-04 at 17:16