Theoretical underpinnings


Cognitive Load Theory

Desirable Difficulties

Activating, Differentiating, and Encoding Knowledge

Learner Agency and Preparation for Future Learning


Instructional choices: Instruction followed by problem-solving

Peer-led Team Learning (PLTL)

Worked examples


Instructional choices: Problem-solving followed by instruction

Productive Failure

Process-oriented, guided-inquiry learning (POGIL)

Contrasting cases

Problem-based learning


Assessment choices

Return to Map

Cite this guide: Frey RF, Brame CJ, Fink A, and Lemons PP. (2022) Evidence Based Teaching Guide: Problem Solving. CBE Life Science Education. Retrieved from
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