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Learning Portal - Learning Online: Problem Solving

Problem Solving 

This module will explain strategies to help solve practical problems. A problem is when you are experiencing a particular difficulty but have not found any solution. Problems can be practical or emotional. Often these two types of problems can combine and seem difficult to solve.

Top Tips 

✓ Think practically. It will be easier to make progress if you think of specific and realistic ways that you can solve your problem.

✓ Ask for help. Asking for help when you need it is important and useful when trying to solve problems.

✓ Talk to your instructor. If you are having difficulties with assignments, your instructor can clarify or help in other ways.

✓ If at first you don’t succeed, try again! Did your actions solve the problem? If your actions have not helped your situation, try acting on one of the other options that you brainstormed.

How to Solve Practical Problems 

Watch the video or follow the steps below to learn how to solve practical problems. Video by The Learning Portal and College Libraries Ontario, 2016. 


Problem-solving involves strategies that can help you cope with problems in a productive way. Use the 5 step outline below to help you solve a challenge you are currently dealing with.

  1. Identify your problem and what you would like to be different.
  2. Brainstorm all the ways that you could solve the problem.
  3. Think about your choices and decide which ones are possible, reasonable, and doable.
  4. Follow through with the choices that are achievable.
  5. Evaluate your results. Did your actions solve the problem? If your actions have not helped your situation, try acting on one of the other options that you brainstormed.


Unless otherwise stated, the material in this guide is from the Learning Portal created by College Libraries Ontario. Content has been adapted for the NWP Learning Commons in April 2021. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons BY NC SA 4.0 International License.

All icons on these pages are from The Noun Project. See individual icons for creator attribution.