Practical Consideration of Pair Problem Solving in Computer Literacy Education

Yoshihiko Oya, Nagoya University of Foreign Studies, Japan
Kimiko Uchida, Nagoya University of Arts and Sciences, Japan
Published: May 2013

Citation: Oya, Y., & Uchida, K. (2013). Practical Consideration of Pair Problem Solving in Computer Literacy Education. IAFOR Journal of Education, 1(1).


Direct instruction to students enrolled in a computer literacy program at the undergraduate level frequently involves difficulties due to varied knowledge levels and skills among the students, as well as an increase in the number of unmotivated students. An available solution is the pair problem solving approach which can prove to be effective as an effective method. This report shares the findings of an investigation regarding the efficacy of pair problem solving, as compared to individual problem solving in computer literacy education. Furthermore, the paired approach analysis was able to extract specific criteria for successful pairs. The research, which included two (paired and individual) 15-minute practical examinations and questionnaires, a test on basic scholastic ability, and a survey on PC experiences, was conducted with approximately 280 students from three universities who were enrolled in a computer literacy program in 2008 and 2009. The results reveal that the overall scores of the pairs exceeded those of the individuals. Moreover, more than 90% of students found pair problem solving to be a positive experience. From the viewpoint of learning effectiveness, it is worth mentioning that the most effective pair combinations included those with a small difference in basic academic ability, a large difference in PC experience, and a partner of the opposite sex.


pair problem solving, computer literacy