It’s frustrating when you learn new material and think that you have a good grasp of the concept, but when it comes time to solve a problem on your own, the right answer is elusive. Getting help at that moment can be difficult, if not impossible. Identifying which part of the solution path is incorrect can be a burdensome, time-consuming process.

At AppleSTEM, we have developed a “mirror problem-solving” approach that makes it easier for you to get the useful feedback (formative assessment) you need immediately, while you are solving the problem. The way it works is that you and the computer are given similar, but conceptually identical problems to solve. You control how much of the computer’s progress is revealed at any given time. The computer shows each step of the problem-solving process and provides a short explanation of what it did.

You can try solving your problem first and then see how the computer did it, you can have the computer solve its problem first and then you solve your problem, or you can solve them together, step-by-step. If you get an incorrect answer, you can compare your solution steps to those of the computer to see where things went wrong. Feedback is immediate - you do not need to go searching for help.