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See detailAssessing collaborative problem-solving skills among elementary school students
Rojas, Matias; Nussbaum, Miguel; Chiuminatto, Pablo et al

in Computers and Education (2021), 175

As 21st century skills have become increasingly important, Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) is now considered essential in almost all areas of life. Different theoretical frameworks and assessment ... [more ▼]

As 21st century skills have become increasingly important, Collaborative Problem Solving (CPS) is now considered essential in almost all areas of life. Different theoretical frameworks and assessment instruments have emerged for measuring this skill. However, more applied studies on its implementation and evaluation in real-life educational settings are required. In this sense, pre-post experimental designs are essential for identifying new methods for developing collaborative problem-solving skills. To do so, equivalent tests are needed to facilitate consistent score interpretations and reduce the practice effect. In the present study, a Design-Based Research approach is used to design and validate an assessment tool with two equivalent forms based on a framework proposed by the OECD and applied to a collaborative activity. A total of 719 students aged between 10 and 13 years old participated in the different stages of the study. The results show that the proposed instrument effectively measures the problem-solving dimension of collaborative problem-solving skills among students of this age. Moreover, the results from the test were equivalent for both forms and across genders. Finally, there were no significant differences when assessing collaborative problem-solving in human-human groups versus human-agent groups using the proposed instrument. For future work, we recommend including other data sources than just text-based conversations. This would allow us to capture the rich social interactions present in this type of activity. Future work should also consider exploring the extent to which skills could be trained. This could be done in an experimental design assessed using the equivalent forms of the proposed instrument as a pre- and post-test. Doing so would provide a more accurate measure of students’ collaborative skills. [less ▲]

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See detailThe assessment of collaborative problem solving in PISA 2015: An investigation of the validity of the PISA 2015 CPS tasks
Stadler, Matthias; Herborn, Katharina; Mustafic, Maida et al

in Computers and Education (2020)

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See detailThe role of planning in complex problem solving
Eichmann, Beate; Goldhammer, Frank; Greiff, Samuel UL et al

in Computers and Education (2019), 128

Complex problem solving (CPS) is a highly transversal competence needed in educational and vocational settings as well as everyday life. The assessment of CPS is often computer-based, and therefore ... [more ▼]

Complex problem solving (CPS) is a highly transversal competence needed in educational and vocational settings as well as everyday life. The assessment of CPS is often computer-based, and therefore provides data regarding not only the outcome but also the process of CPS. However, research addressing this issue is scarce. In this article we investigated planning activities in the process of complex problem solving. We operationalized planning through three behavioral measures indicating the duration of the longest planning interval, the delay of the longest planning interval and the variance of intervals between each two successive interactions. We found a significant negative average effect for our delay indicator, indicating that early planning in CPS is more beneficial. However, we also found effects depending on task and interaction effects for all three indicators, suggesting that the effects of different planning behaviors on CPS are highly intertwined. [less ▲]

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See detailStudents' exploration strategies in computer-simulated complex problem environments: A latent class approach
Greiff, Samuel UL; Molnár, Gyöngyvér; Martin, Romain UL et al

in Computers and Education (2018), 126

Complex problem solving (CPS) is considered an important educational achievement indicator. Previous research has indicated that CPS performance depends to a substantial extent on the way students explore ... [more ▼]

Complex problem solving (CPS) is considered an important educational achievement indicator. Previous research has indicated that CPS performance depends to a substantial extent on the way students explore problem environments. In this study, we investigated qualitative differences in the way students interact with such environments. In a sample of N = 2226 Hungarian students in Grades 6 to 8, we applied a latent class approach to investigate the use of the principle of isolated variation as an exploration strategy across six CPS tasks that were developed within the MicroDYN approach. Six qualitatively different class profiles emerged: proficient explorers, intermediate explorers, low-performing explorers, rapid learners, emerging explorers, and nonpersisting explorers. We further validated the profiles by comparing the latent classes with regard to students' overall CPS performance and additional indicators of task exploration. In analyzing age-related and gender differences on a cross-sectional level, we found only a small progression toward better performing class profiles from Grade 6 to Grade 8 (e.g., 14.6% of students in Grade 6 were proficient explorers vs. 24.6% in Grade 8; 27.1% of students in Grade 6 were low-performing explorers vs. 25.8% in Grade 8), and there were no substantial gender differences. This study contributes to the understanding of how students interact with complex problems and is the first to address whether variations in these behaviors indicate qualitatively different levels of strategic behavior. We discuss the theoretical underpinnings and potential of identifying class profiles of students' exploration behavior in the field of educational psychology. [less ▲]

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See detailConcept maps: A useful and usable tool for computer-based knowledge assessment? A literature review with a focus on usability
Weinerth, Katja UL; Koenig, Vincent UL; Brunner, Martin UL et al

in Computers and Education (2014), 78

The concept map is now widely accepted as an instrument for the assessment of conceptual knowledge and is increasingly being embedded into technology-based environments. Usability addresses how ... [more ▼]

The concept map is now widely accepted as an instrument for the assessment of conceptual knowledge and is increasingly being embedded into technology-based environments. Usability addresses how appropriate (for a particular use) or how user-friendly a computer-based assessment instrument is. As we know from human-computer interaction research, if the interface is not user-friendly, a computer-based assessment can result in decreased test performance and reduced validity. This means that the usability of the interface affects the assessment in such a way that if the test is not user-friendly, then the test taker will not be able to fully demonstrate his/her level of proficiency and will instead be scored according to his/her information and communication technology (ICT) literacy skills. The guidelines of the International Test Commission (2006) require usability testing for such instruments and suggest that design standards be implemented. However, we do not know whether computer-conducted concept map assessments fulfill these standards. The present paper addresses this aspect. We conducted a systematic research review to examine whether and how researchers have studied and considered usability when conducting computer-based concept map assessments. Only 24 out of 119 journal articles that assessed computer-based concept maps discussed the usability issue in some way. Nevertheless, our review brings to light the idea that the impact of usability on computer-based concept map assessments is an issue that has received insufficient attention. In addition, usability ensures a suitable interaction between test taker and test device; thus, the training effort required for test use can be reduced if a test's usability is straight forward. Our literature review, however, illustrates that the interplay between usability and test use training has mostly been neglected in current studies. [less ▲]

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