USING INNOVATIVE MEASUREMENT TOOLS BASED ON BIG DATA ANALYTICS TO ASSESS COLLABORATIVE PROBLEM-SOLVING SKILLS AND IMPROVE TEACHING STRATEGIES IN ESSENTIAL SKILLS FOR 21ST CENTURY EDUCATION

P. Griffin, E. Care, A. Vista, C. Scoular

University of Melbourne (AUSTRALIA)
Collaborative problem-solving (CPS) is an essential skill in a knowledge-based economy. As the world moves towards inter-connectedness, economically and politically, CPS is one of the several defined skills that will be critical in the 21st century (Binkley et al., 2012). Developing these skills will be a mandate for 21st century education. In line with the imperative that something cannot be improved unless it can be measured, there is considerable challenge in measuring CPS skill using conventional assessment tools. This paper presents an innovative online assessment tool that is based on big data analytics to measure CPS skill for any pair of students in real-time and without language or geographic restrictions. This tool has been trialled across 6 countries and is currently presented in four languages (English, Spanish, Finnish and Dutch).

Results from this assessment tool are presented in instant summative reports that teachers can use to determine the appropriate area of intervention for students. A pedagogical strategy has been developed to improve the teachers’ understanding of the CPS construct and improve teaching strategies to target CPS skills. The development of a framework for teachable CPS skill (Hesse et al., 2012) impacts and informs upon the pedagogy of domain-general and domain-specific skills that are essential in 21st century education. Considerations are essential for determining how 21st century skills can best be embedded within the existing and developing curricula in each country. This has implications for policy and practice not just in education and government but in industry as well.