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The eight modules included problem tasks such as designing shelves, using a microwave oven, construct a house, etc.
Additionally, in order to ensure criterion-related validity of the effectiveness of the modules, they were tested among 222 Taiwanese junior high students.
Discrimination and difficulty indices were obtained for student CPS performance on each of the eight modules.
In order to construct a dynamic and interactive environment, this study included the design of a series of collaborative problem-solving tasks that are related to junior high school students’ daily life experiences, instead of adopting traditional subject matter-based problems.
By incorporating tasks more grounded in daily life experiences, we hope to increase the motivation and engagement of the students during the CPS tasks.
The study employs the collaborative problem-solving framework proposed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development () as a theoretical basis for the design of the CPS tasks and CPS skills included in the assessment system, and we have analyzed its effectiveness when applied among 222 junior high students in Taiwan.
The assessment system has eight modules each based on a different situation in daily life; and a computer agent (or two agents) that interact with students (simulating human kinds of verbal interactions) in order to assess their collaborative problem-solving skills.In this assessment system, there are eight assessment modules in STEM education developed by four groups of researchers who participated in this study.The modules were delivered as a web-based learning platform, where the computer was programmed to act as the agent of collaboration (rather than human-to-human collaboration), thus making this exploratory study more unique.In recent years, more and more studies have tried to use computer-supported approaches to help students’ learning, in particular their attention and their attitudes toward collaboration (Roschelle et al.) tried to visualize the sequential process of knowledge elaboration in computer-supported collaborative problem solving, and the results showed that there were three different collaboration patterns that emerged in terms of joint and individual knowledge elaboration.Therefore, facility with web-based CPS skills will be an important advantage for those applying for a job in future workplaces.More and more countries, including for example Singapore and Israel, are becoming concerned about fostering key skills for the twenty-first century and are in the process of conducting curriculum reform to address this issue; collaborative problem-solving skills have been one of their major concerns (Darling-Hammond ) believes that the emphasis for the past 40 or 50 years on teaching students how to solve questions rooted in a particular subject matter domain is mistaken, and that the focus should not be on reaching a solution per se, but on the process of problem solving, using a collaborative approach.Because the number of participants in that study was limited (only six), at least two issues are likely to be important for further exploration: (1) more patterns or mechanisms may have been revealed if more participants were included, and (2) with a stronger data set, the correlation of the elaboration patterns with the learning performance could have been explored. () also developed a collaborative problem-solving system in assessing junior high students’ collaborative problem-solving skills, but the tasks in that system were focused on students’ school life, e.g., students had to make an exercise plan in their physical education.However, students were not able to explore their performances in relation to the matrix of collaborative problem-solving skills because the design of the tasks was too simple in Kuo’s () collaborative problem-solving system.Hence, we recommend that further research on students’ performance in establishing and maintaining team organization should be the focus of future studies.Both in the educational environment at various levels and in the workplace, traditional models of skill development have been changing; one area still ripe for reform is the development of skills related to teamwork and problem solving.