Document Type


Publication Date


Subject: LCSH

Underprepared college students, Chemistry--Study and teaching (Higher)


Chemical Engineering | Chemistry | Higher Education


It is not uncommon for students to find themselves underprepared when entering a post secondary institution. In additional to lower levels of academic achievement, underprepared students may not be aware that they lack the skills needed to be successful and effectively acquire and process information. Because of this, students that enter post-secondary institutions underprepared often require more support in and out of the college classroom.

In computational based classes, such as math, engineering, chemistry or physics, this support often includes an introduction to effective problem solving strategies. This study introduced faded worked examples as a problem solving approach to students identified as mathematically underprepared in a college chemistry course. Faded worked examples are similar to worked examples but fade out steps for students to complete, allowing support within the problem solving approach as learning improves. The goal of this study was to explore students’ perceptions of this problem solving approach and their belief in its potential to enhance their learning, particularly with students identified as academically underprepared. Overall, students reported that faded worked examples enhanced their overall learning and problem solving abilities in chemistry and the step by step process allowed for a better understanding of the course material.


This article is published open access, under a Creative Commons license.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Publisher Citation

Hesser, Tiffany L., and Jess L. Gregory. "Exploring the Use of Faded Worked Examples as a Problem Solving Approach for Underprepared Students." Higher Education Studies 5.6 (2015): 36. DOI:

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