CPRL Process

Three (3) CPRL Elements

Core Course Concepts.  A critical component of CPR-L is course content that encompasses core concepts aligned with national standardized tests.  This sets the stage for discussion, homework, and examinations aimed at not only learning course basics, but also continually preparing students for performing well on national standardized test instruments.

Ideally, instructors should be thoroughly familiar with the foundational content that supports the content they teach.  This level of understanding ensures that instructors can provide students with problems that require understanding of specific course concepts.  When systematically solved using the three steps in the CPRL process, the instructor can be relatively sure that the student understands the concept. (Note:  the Problem solving process is captured during the audio/visual recording).

Rubrics: Rubrics, or the standards for measuring performance, help students navigate “next steps” in the problem solving process. In our model, twelve (12) rubrics navigate the student through a 4-step process for the proper procedure for analytically solving problems, and counter students’ preference for a “plug and play” approach. Rubrics also have performance measurement protocols, from “meets” target to “unacceptable.”  By measuring student’s adherence to each rubric, instructors can see exactly where a misunderstanding or misapplication of concepts may have occurred.

Technologies.  Technologies permit instructors to know exactly how the student derived the problem’s solution. Smart boards, wireless projectors & tablet PC’s equipped with audio and video recording capabilities are technologies used to create recorded solutions to assigned homework problems. When creating the recording, students write directly on the tablet, while the built in video recorder captures every word written in much the same manner as a movie being filmed. The audio recorder captures the student’s verbal explanation of what is being written. The audio/visual recording  of  the  problem-solving process forces students toward solitude and focus, and to develop an appreciation for the number of iterations required to distill a short succinct presentation. The end product is a Competence Performance Recording of the student’s grasp of course subject matter.


There are three (3) Steps in the CPRL processRubrics, a standard of measurement for performance , are critical to the execution of this process.

How Rubrics Support the 3 steps in CPRL

Step I:  Articulate – Leads to  understanding the nature and scope of the problem

5 Rubrics that support Step I:

1. Articulates thorough understanding of the application of the problem

2. Includes a complete sketch for articulation

3. Includes all of the pertinent data points on the sketch

4. Clearly delineates all of the data that is given (known) in the problem on the sketch

5. Clearly delineates the unknown entity that is requested from the problem on the sketch  When done at target level, it is clear that the student has a thorough understanding of how to read with comprehension and can interpret what is read.

Step II: Analyze and Assess – Leads the student to thoroughly explore  the facts and scope of the problem.

4 Rubrics that support Step II:

1. Thorough understanding of the concepts and equations associated with the known & unknown entities

2. Thoroughly identifies all parameters that are needed to solve for the unknown entity.

3. Thorough understanding of how each parameter for solving the “unknown entity” can be correlated with a datum point found within the problem set

4. Thoroughly demonstrates how each parameter can be obtained, and can indicate whether it is obtained directly, indirectly, or  is implied

When done at target level it is clear that the student has a thorough understanding of all concepts and equations, knowns and unknowns, how each parameter is obtained, and how all elements are correlated.

Step III: Ascertain solution – A Eureka moment

3 Rubrics that support Step III:

1. Can thoroughly identify each dimension of measurement addressed in the problem

2. Can thoroughly demonstrate that identical dimensions have been converted into identical units

3. Can thoroughly solve equation (math or chemical) or assess and correlate data to indicate a conclusion

When done at target level, it is clear that the student has a thorough understanding of how to solve equations (math or chemical), assess and correlate data, dimensions, and units; and draw appropriate conclusions.

CPRL videos showcase students’ understanding of subject matter as they work through assigned problems using the CPRL process.

Creating the A/V Recording That Contains the Step II Solution

With CPRL, students are required to take home homework problems that contain core course concepts, and solve them on tablet PCs following a particular sequence of rubrics.  The tablet PC records the students’ voice, as they are required to talk through the problem as though they were teaching it in class. The laptop also visually captures the student’s work in-progress straight through to its finished form as the problem solution is written on the tablet PC’s surface with a stylus.  The final product must be concise, compressed to essential steps, so students are encouraged to first utilize paper and pen to explore solutions until they believe that they have uncovered all elements in Rubrics Steps I and II, and reduced their findings to an effective description of the solutions process.  The entire process is iterative, and requires intense re-thinking of the solution in order to reduce it to its essence and meet other required criteria. The effectiveness of the solution is measured against all twelve (12) rubrics. Further, the process of recording requires a quiet environment, devoid of music and other typical distractions, as well as reading aloud to “hear” ones’ thoughts.  This effort reinforces the learning process.

The act of talking oneself through the problem-solving process as the recording is being made is a process of “teaching” oneself. Another opportunity to “teach” occurs when tudents present their work in class. Technologies enable the student to wirelessly project a “movie-like” presentation of the homework assignment, with sound, on a large whiteboard for classroom viewing and discussion. In the student’s voice and handwriting, the problem explains itself visually and audibly as it unfolds. Since the student must iron out all of the kinks and fine tune the assignment outside the classroom, this process lessens the amount of time associated with traditional “going to the board” activity, and permits broader classroom participation.

Recordings as Records (Proof of Understanding)

All students’ completed assignments are maintained in their performance file, and are accessible to them and to the instructor.  This gives both a movie-like review of exactly how well the student understands core course concepts and what the progress trail looks like.  Upon careful review of these performance “movies”, instructors can isolate student and course content weaknesses, recommend intervention, and better predict examination outcomes. The visual and oral results of the process migrate to the Digital Village, where feedback and chat protocols support ongoing dialogue about the learning experiences.


Download a pdf of the CPRL process, the results achieved achieved, and a SWOT analysis of the process here. CPRL-Process-Results.

For further information, contact Dr. John K. Coleman by completing the form below.

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