While countless studies have collected data on the effectiveness of various problem- solving models, few have attempted to identify which components of the training process are helpful to participants. Two teacher teams consisting of seven participants were trained in an adapted version of the Team-initiated Problem Solving (TIPS) model, observed each meeting, and provided performance feedback regarding how well they had adhered to the model. A mixed method approach was used to collect quantitative data in the form of the teams' adherence to the TIPS model and qualitative data once successful adherence to the model had been shown. Researchers interviewed each participant and used some strategies from the critical incident technique (CIT) to identify which components the training and performance feedback process were helpful, unhelpful, and which components they wished had been there that weren't. Themes among incidents reported as helpful were the expectation of meeting in professional learning community (PLC) teams to solve problems and consistent feedback on how closely they were adhering to the model. Unhelpful and wish list incidents included the difficult to use problem- solving form, structural components of meetings and training, and a desire to have more participants in meetings, particularly ones from other grades. Researchers and administrators who are looking to train teams with the TIPS model are recommended to use consistent performance feedback, include participants in the planning of the study, and have more question- and-answer style mini-trainings spaced throughout the observation phase. Lastly, two alternate problem-solving forms are presented as options to be used in place of the current meeting minutes form provided by the TIPS model. Both alternate versions aim to retain the components of the model, but with increased usability.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education



Date Submitted


Document Type





Critical incident method, problem solving, qualitative research, systems analysis, mixed method research



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Education Commons