Computer-based Assessment of Collaborative Problem Solving Skills: Human-to-Agent versus Human-to-Human

Computer-based Assessment of Collaborative Problem Solving Skills: Human-to-Agent versus Human-to-Human

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Computer-based Assessment of Collaborative Problem Solving Skills: Human-to-Agent versus Human-to-Human

In order to understand how students perform on collaborative problem solving (CPS) computer-based assessment, it is necessary to examine empirically the multi-faceted performance that may be distributed across collaboration methods. The aim of this study was to explore possible differences in student performance in human-to-agent (H-A), compared to human-to-human (H-H) CPS assessment tasks. One hundred seventy nine 14 years-old students from the United States, Singapore and Israel participated in the study. Students in both H-H and H-A modes were able to collaborate and communicate by using identical methods and resources. However, while in the H-A mode, students collaborated with a simulated computer-driven partner and in the H-H mode students collaborated with another student to solve a problem. Overall, the findings showed that CPS with a computer agent involved significantly higher levels of shared understanding, progress monitoring, and feedback. However, no significant difference was found in a student’,s ability to solve the problem or in student motivation with a computer agent or a human partner. This study is among the first of its kind to investigate systematically the effect of collaborative problem solving in H-A and H-H standardized assessment settings.KEYWORDS: Collaborative problem solving, computer-based assessment, groups

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