Problem solving and its role in large-scale assessments: Transversal skills in educational research
Session 1B, 10:30 - 12:00, VIA
One goal of society is placing people in jobs and educational tracks according to their individual skill level and systematically fostering their abilities. To do so, these skills have to be quantified in one way or the other. This talk considers problem solving and several types of it (e.g., Adaptive Problem Solving, Complex Problem Solving, and Collaborative Problem Solving). In fact, problem solving plays an important role in recent large-scale assessments as transversal skill including PISA and PIAAC. For instance, a computer-based assessment of Complex Problem Solving was included in the PISA 2012 survey and Collaborative Problem Solving was assessed in the latest PISA 2015 cycle with over half a million students in over 70 countries. While results of these assessments will yield important implications for educationalists and politicians around the globe, the role of problem solving is controversial among cognitive scientists. In this talk, conceptual backgrounds, assessment instruments, empirical findings, and political implications will be presented in a nutshell and directions for future scientific endeavors will be discussed.