Viewing puzzles as two-faced: theoretical and practical implications for puzzle-based learning

Mario Madureira Fontes*, Leonel Caseiro Morgado, Pedro Pestana, Daniela Pedrosa, José Paulo Cravino

*Autor correspondente para este trabalho

Resultado de pesquisarevisão de pares


The Puzzle-based Learning approach has been applied to several fields of knowledge. In education research papers, the instructional usage of puzzles is considered to improve learners' motivation and engagement and help them to develop critical skills but difficulties concerning learners' interaction with puzzles have also been pointed out. Our paper investigates the dynamics of the concept of a puzzle and its interface to provide a better understanding of its form and functions, and help learners interact with puzzles. We consider Puzzle-based Learning tenets as well as their educational impacts on both critical thinking and learner engagement and provide an original proposal concerning the understanding of puzzles. Our proposal centered on the dynamics of puzzles bears conceptual and educational facets. Conceptually, puzzle dynamics is viewed as composed of two elements: a mechanism, the Puzzle Trigger, and a process, the Puzzle-Solving. From an educational point of view, the rationale for integrating Puzzle Triggers in Puzzle-based Learning is meant to help learners interact with puzzles and consequently become motivated and engaged in the Puzzle-Solving process. This way, learners' critical thinking skills are reinforced and focused on finding solutions to challenges. We illustrate the implementation of Puzzle Triggers and Puzzle-Solving by considering two instructional activities in a Software Development undergraduate course of an online learning Informatics Engineering Program.

Idioma originalEnglish
Número do artigo101470
Número de páginas15
RevistaThinking Skills and Creativity
Estado da publicaçãoPublicado - jun. 2024

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