The role of computer tools in experts’ solving ill-structured problems Academic Article uri icon


  • The focus of this study is first, the qualitative changes within the human agent as a result of extensive computer tool use (over 5 years), also described as the effect of tool use [Pea, R. D. (1985). Beyond amplification: using the computer to reorganize mental functioning. Educational Psychologist, 20(4), 167-182; Salomon, G. (1990). Cognitive effects with and of computer technology. Communication Research, 17(1), 26-44], and second, the "quantitative changes in accomplishment" of the human agent in the presence of computer tools, also described as effect with-tools [Pea (1985, p. 57); Solomon (1990)]. This research used ill-structured problem solving as the task and experts with more than 6 years of domain and tool experience to document the changes in their knowledge structures. The study also compared the differences between the ill-structured problem solving with and without the computer tool to identify differences that may be a result of the computer's presence. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

author list (cited authors)

  • Wijekumar, K. K., & Jonassen, D. H.

citation count

  • 6

publication date

  • January 2007