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Evaluate Students’ Collaborative Problem-Solving Skills Through an Experiential Approach to Teach Non-metals (A Case Study in High School of Education Sciences and Viet Duc High School in Hanoi, Vietnam)

Vu Phuong Lien , Tran Thi Van Trang, Tran Trung Ninh
World Journal of Chemical Education. 2018, 6(4), 190-199. DOI: 10.12691/wjce-6-4-6
Received August 02, 2018; Revised September 06, 2018; Accepted September 25, 2018

Abstract

Experiential learning aims to enable students to make use of learning tools and materials, and apply their previous understanding to deductive reasoning process to discover new knowledge and solve learning problems. This type of learning also enhances the collaboration among students in their learning tasks so as to develop students’ collaborative problem solving. Based on the research of the structure of CPS of high school students by Patrick Griffin & Esther Care (2015) and Kolb’s (1984) experiential learning cycle, research group proposes the assessment toolkit, theme building process, and teaching process in teaching properties of nonmetals to develop students’ CPS through experiential learning. In order to examine the efficiency of the proposed processes, researchers apply the toolkit and processes to teach two lessons to 50 students in high school of education science. The results illustrate positive changes in students’ CPS after two lessons, which suggests high level of reliability of the toolkit and proposed processes.

1. Introduction

In this 21st century, nothing can exist on its own. Individuals seek to not only enrich their knowledge but also connect to people around. Thus, cooperating in problem solving is considered one of the most important skills for students. This ability needs to be developed among learners during teaching process in order to enhance desired traits such as diligence, creativity and competitiveness in the present day. Chemistry requires students to apply knowledge from other subjects like Biology, Physics, Mathematics, Geography, etc. Moreover, this subject also relates to many daily phenomena. Therefore, learners have to combine their scientific insights and life experiences in order to figure out different real-life problems about environment, medical, and food safety, etc. As a result, teachers have to give students challenging tasks. The purpose of those tasks is to apply prior knowledge and cooperate with others in learning process. In addition, tools need to be used to evaluate how well students are doing at school. After the evaluation, appropriate strategies and interventions will be carried out to improve students’ proficiency in cooperating in problem solving. 1, 2

2. Research Content

2.1. Collaborative Problem-solving Competency

“Collaborative problem-solving competency is the capacity of an individual to effectively engage in a process whereby two or more agents attempt to solve a problem by sharing the understanding and effort required to come to a solution and pooling their knowledge, skills and efforts to reach that solution”. (PISA 2015) 3

The structure of the Collaborative problem-solving. The structure of the Collaborative problem-solving competency according to PISA provides three core collaborative problems-solving competencies: establishing and maintaining shared understanding, taking appropriate action to solve the problem, establishing and maintaining a team organization. These major competencies are based on a combination of co-operation and problem solving. This competency is also influenced by factors such as mission, team composition, task environment, as well as the general context of the problem solving task. (we can see the factors that affect Collaborative problem-solving competency).

The three Major competencies of Collaborative problem-solving competency are defined to serve the process of measurement and evaluation. The three core competencies of the Collaborative problem-solving competency are combined with four individual problem solving processes to form a Matrix of collaborative problem-solving skills (Table 1). These evaluation criteria relate to actions, processes, and strategies to determine what it means for students. 3

Assessing collaborative problem-solving competency. We use several tools to determine student’s learning aptitude: framework, rubric, assessment test, self-assessment form and peer-assessment form. Each tool is built based on 36 indicators within 3 levels of rating: elementary, intermediate and advanced following these 12 criteria (Table 2)

According to PISA 2015, the Collaborative problem-solving competency is divided into 4 levels. Each student participating in the assessment will be graded according to the achievement level of each scale. The level of each student will be determined by the average of the Collaborative problem-solving competency, which corresponds to levels 1-4 as described below.

Level 4: - At this level, the students preserves in attempting to complete the task. They explore their task systematically and they appear committed to solving the problem together so they work with their team members with strategies and proactively. Students have an awareness of their performances on the task and monitor the progress towards a solution to the given problem and identify obstacles to be overcome. Students at this level can complete CPS tasks successfully.

Level 3: - At this level Students demonstrates efforts towards solving the problem. The students recognize their team member’s roles and the importance of working together. They help each other within the team to understand the task and they share, gather more and connect pieces of information together in order to solve the problem. Students are responsive and report their own activities on the task.

Level 2: - At this Level, students can contribute to a collaborative effort within a problem space of medium difficulty. They can solve a problem by communicating with team members about the actions to be performed. They can help the team establish a shared understanding of the steps required to solve a problem, however students only use the resources that are immediately available even though they can request additional information which is needed to solve the problem.

Level 1: - At this level 1, students can complete tasks with low problem complexity and limited collaboration complexity. The students commence the task independently focusing only on the information provided. At this level, students can confirm actions or proposals made by others. With support from team members, and working within a simple problem space, these students can contribute to a problem solution.

2.2. Experiential Learning

Experimental learning involves activities that enable learners to observe, discuss, analyze, and reflect to make decisions to solve problems.

The process of experimental learning includes: teacher’s activities (control, guidance, orientation) with the experiential learning activities (based on the specific knowledge and experience) of the learner to confirm and systematize the knowledge, skills to meet the teaching objectives. In experiential learning, the teaching activity of teachers is mainly derived from the individual knowledge, the specific experience of the learners. This is analyzed and synthesized by the teachers, and the training objectives are to present the contents and tasks as well as the solutions for each group and each subject so that each student feels that their knowledge and experience are shared and they are contributing to the content of the lesson. So whenever possible, teachers have to create situations and learning opportunities for learners to find out the answers and solve problems. 2

Based on the study of David Kolb’s experiential theory, the process of experiential learning can be described in Figure 2 (Kolb, 1984).

• Concrete Experience - (a new experience or situation is encountered, or a reinterpretation of existing experience).

• Reflective Observation of the new experience. (of particular importance are any inconsistencies between experience and understanding).

• Abstract Conceptualization (reflection gives rise to a new idea, or a modification of an existing abstract concept).

• Active Experimentation (the learner applies them to the world around them to see what results).

Procedure. From the proposed learning process, we developed a teaching plan for 2 topics, which include activities described in detail in four steps of the process:

Step 1 corresponds to task 1 & 2: formulate, construct the conceptual and definition system. Students read books, textbooks, magazines, articles on related topics, attend lectures, watch some videos on the internet on the topics they are learning from; from then on, they will build and form their own concepts and definitions of structural formulas and physical properties.

Step 2 corresponds to task 3: explain and apply knowledge to hypothetical situations. After forming the definition and concept in step 1, at this stage the learner needs to reflect and ask themselves self-answering questions about issues related to the topic. Make sense of hypothetical situations in the topic.

Step 3 corresponds to task 4 & 5: apply knowledge to the real situation creatively. After observing and thinking about the logic reflection in step 3, learners concretize that knowledge by explaining the phenomena in daily life in a flexible and creative way based on chemical properties, structural formulas of substances, compounds. Through the process of applying the knowledge into the phenomena in daily life, those experiences become the knowledge of the learner’s.

Step 4 corresponds to task 6: It is the step of doing all the work to solve problems related to the topic through concepts, definitions, structural formulas, physical properties, chemical properties. Then it is the process of evaluating the implementation process, from which to detect, correct and refine the shortcomings.

2.3. Build Documents for both Teachers and Students

Students’ document will include 5 to 6 specific study missions. The tasks will help enhance students’ cognition in accordance to Bloom scale. Each of them includes objectives and procedure. Objectives will help students identify the mission, from which, learners will be able to evaluate whether they have completed the task or not. Below the objectives is procedure of many activities for students to interact. The interaction on given document and the experience in final task (task 4,5) will help students answer the big question of the topic. The table below shows the correlation between teachers and students’ documents.

2.4. Current Study

- Experiential objects: Class 10A5 in high school education of science, 10A2 in Viet Duc high school

- Experiential lesson plan:

Topic 1: Compounds of sulfur in daily life

Topic 2: Oxygen, Ozone and their applications in daily life

Develop assessment toolkit corresponding to 2 topics

To assess the achievement of the objectives of the lesson, we used four different types of assessment: observation form, peer assessment form, test and report of group product Selection of indicators follows the following principles:

- Observation form: The indicators included in the observation form are often easy to expose and can be assessed through group assessments as well as the teacher’s knowledge for assessment. This will make it easier for teachers to observe large number of students in the classroom.

- Peer assessment form: Selection of personal indicators, not highly knowledgeable, are usually indicators of the consciousness, the team members can easily measure their own indicators, as well as members of the group.

- Test and group product: Measure indicators related to knowledge, attitude, skills, attitude of the subject as well as the matter. The two tools will measure the same indicators, but the test will give you an estimation of the level of individual achievement rather than just group assessment.

Below, we propose a CPS matrix assessment tool based on four criteria and 36 indicators.

Teaching process

Lesson 1: Teacher introduces the topic, divides students into 3 groups (and assigns tasks for students to report in Lesson 2) (15 minutes)

- Students complete the task 1 + 2 in the student materials in pairs (2 students sitting next to each other is a pair). (15 minutes)

- Teacher gives a few pairs of students an opportunity to present and agree on the correct answers. (15 minutes)

Lesson 2: Resolve tasks 3,4 and 5

- Students discuss and complete tasks at home

- Groups report group product. Each group shall present in (10 minutes)

- Teacher asks students to follow the group presentation, ask questions, make comments, and then the teacher will adjust (15 minutes)

Lesson 3: Assessment

- Students take a quiz (15 minutes)

- Students discuss with the team members to complete the observation form, peer assessment form.

- Teacher collects the forms and receives feedbacks from the students, agreeing the assessment results.

Data analysis

Reliability of the assessment tools

We measured the reliability of each assessment tool, obtaining the result that Cronbach’s Alpha reliability of tools with values ranging from 0.692 to 0.855 are usable (Nunally, 1978; Peterson, 1994; Slater, 1995), as follows:

Thus, it is entirely possible to use this assessment tool to carry out an assessment of the student’s collaborative problem-solving competency through the process of teaching chemistry in the form of experiential learning.


Suggestion for an assessment scale for Collaborative problem-solving competency and Major competencies

Based on the results of the reliability calculation of the toolkit and the competency structure, we conducted a statistical analysis describing the second result to be able to propose an assessment scale for Collaborative problem solving competency.

The results of the above statistics show that the mean, median, and mode scores of the measurement results of collaborative problem-solving competency and component capabilities are close to the standard distribution, therefore; the standard distribution theory can be used to identify and propose an assessment scale for collaborative problem-solving competency in this study as follows:

From the above statistics, the average student’s collaborative problem solving competency is 40.8/ 72 points. Students mostly score 2.3 points; demonstrating that students can contribute to collaborative efforts in a problem space at moderately difficult levels or that some students can complete tasks with high complexity or complex collaborative needs.

GPA of major competency 1 (13.48/24.0) of students achieves level 3; major competency 2 (13.29/24.0) and major competency 3 (14.49/24.0) of students achieves level 3. This shows that students continue to maintain their good engagement, communication and sharing in the process of establishing a common understanding of the relationship between theory and practice, which resolves contradictions in the process of maintaining common understanding by understanding strengths of each individual. In addition, students need to practice the ability to compare and evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of problem solving methods to be able to provide the most optimal, feasible solution, consistent with the goal to be formed. At the same time, students need to improve the ability to evaluate the strengths of their arguments and those of other members, thereby adjusting their views and behaviors to suit the common knowledge to resolve disputes in the process of cooperation.

3. Conclusion

Develop and experiment two topics of teaching chemistry in the form of experiential learning with two sets of materials for students and teachers. Through the pedagogical experience process, the reliability of the assessment tool has been verified to an acceptable level. Most students have developed moderate and good Collaborative problem solving competency, and they can contribute and complete tasks with moderate and high complexity.

Two topics of teaching chemistry in the form of experiential learning with two sets of materials for students and teachers are developed and experimented. Through the pedagogical experience process, the reliability of the assessment tool has been verified to an acceptable level. Most students have developed moderate and good Collaborative problem solving competency, and can contribute and complete tasks with moderate and high complexity.

Collaborative problem-solving competency of high school students can be assessed through the teaching of chemistry from the experiential approach. However, in addition to reviewing and re-expressing some indicators, teachers need to have better supervision and control in the process of team work of students as planned. Applying the experiential education process in a broader chemistry teaching approach can help students develop Collaborative problem solving competency, while continuing to standardize toolkits and compare collaborative problem-solving competency among students in different regions.

References

[1]  Le Thai Hung, Vu Phuong Lien, Nguyen Thi Phuong Vy, Assessing Collaborative Problem Solving Competency Through Integrated Theme Based Teaching Chemistry, Proceedings of the International Conference on Research of Educational Administration and Management (ICREAM 2017), October 17, 2017, Bandung, Indonesia, Taylor & Francis Group, UK.
In article      
 
[2]  Vu Phuong Lien, Ngo Nam Sinh, Establish the Collaborative problem-solving competency of students through teaching chemistry in the form of experiential education, Journal of Educational Science, 146, 11/2017.
In article      
 
[3]  PISA 2015, Draft Collaborative Problem Solving framework, OECD Program for International Student Assessment 2015.
In article      
 
[4]  Grinffin, E. C. Assessment of Collaborative Problem Solving, 2015
In article      
 
[5]  NESTA, Solved! Making the case for collaborative problem solving, 2017.
In article      
 
[6]  Patrick Griffin, Esther Care, developing learners’ collaborative problem solving skills, 2015.
In article      
 
[7]  PISA 2018, Draft framework.
In article      
 
[8]  Rod Ellis, The Methodology of Task-based teaching.
In article      
 
[9]  Worf, A, Competence – Based Assessment, 1995.
In article      
 
[10]  Tran Trung Ninh, Vu Phuong Lien, Collaborative problem-solving competency of students through teaching chemistry in high school, Journal of Educational Sciences, Vol. 2, 02/2018.
In article      
 

Published with license by Science and Education Publishing, Copyright © 2018 Vu Phuong Lien, Tran Thi Van Trang and Tran Trung Ninh

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Cite this article:

Normal Style
Vu Phuong Lien, Tran Thi Van Trang, Tran Trung Ninh. Evaluate Students’ Collaborative Problem-Solving Skills Through an Experiential Approach to Teach Non-metals (A Case Study in High School of Education Sciences and Viet Duc High School in Hanoi, Vietnam). World Journal of Chemical Education. Vol. 6, No. 4, 2018, pp 190-199. http://pubs.sciepub.com/wjce/6/4/6
MLA Style
Lien, Vu Phuong, Tran Thi Van Trang, and Tran Trung Ninh. "Evaluate Students’ Collaborative Problem-Solving Skills Through an Experiential Approach to Teach Non-metals (A Case Study in High School of Education Sciences and Viet Duc High School in Hanoi, Vietnam)." World Journal of Chemical Education 6.4 (2018): 190-199.
APA Style
Lien, V. P. , Trang, T. T. V. , & Ninh, T. T. (2018). Evaluate Students’ Collaborative Problem-Solving Skills Through an Experiential Approach to Teach Non-metals (A Case Study in High School of Education Sciences and Viet Duc High School in Hanoi, Vietnam). World Journal of Chemical Education, 6(4), 190-199.
Chicago Style
Lien, Vu Phuong, Tran Thi Van Trang, and Tran Trung Ninh. "Evaluate Students’ Collaborative Problem-Solving Skills Through an Experiential Approach to Teach Non-metals (A Case Study in High School of Education Sciences and Viet Duc High School in Hanoi, Vietnam)." World Journal of Chemical Education 6, no. 4 (2018): 190-199.
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  • Table 5. Describe the levels of students’ Collaborative problem-solving competency formed in the process of interdisciplinary integration in the teaching of natural science
  • Table 6. Describe the levels of students’ major competency Establish and maintain shared understanding formed in the process of interdisciplinary integration in the teaching of natural science
  • Table 7. Describe the levels of students’ major competency Take appropriate action to solve the problem formed in the process of interdisciplinary integration in the teaching of natural science
  • Table 8. Describe the levels of students’ major competency Maintain team organization formed in the process of interdisciplinary integration in the teaching of natural science
[1]  Le Thai Hung, Vu Phuong Lien, Nguyen Thi Phuong Vy, Assessing Collaborative Problem Solving Competency Through Integrated Theme Based Teaching Chemistry, Proceedings of the International Conference on Research of Educational Administration and Management (ICREAM 2017), October 17, 2017, Bandung, Indonesia, Taylor & Francis Group, UK.
In article      
 
[2]  Vu Phuong Lien, Ngo Nam Sinh, Establish the Collaborative problem-solving competency of students through teaching chemistry in the form of experiential education, Journal of Educational Science, 146, 11/2017.
In article      
 
[3]  PISA 2015, Draft Collaborative Problem Solving framework, OECD Program for International Student Assessment 2015.
In article      
 
[4]  Grinffin, E. C. Assessment of Collaborative Problem Solving, 2015
In article      
 
[5]  NESTA, Solved! Making the case for collaborative problem solving, 2017.
In article      
 
[6]  Patrick Griffin, Esther Care, developing learners’ collaborative problem solving skills, 2015.
In article      
 
[7]  PISA 2018, Draft framework.
In article      
 
[8]  Rod Ellis, The Methodology of Task-based teaching.
In article      
 
[9]  Worf, A, Competence – Based Assessment, 1995.
In article      
 
[10]  Tran Trung Ninh, Vu Phuong Lien, Collaborative problem-solving competency of students through teaching chemistry in high school, Journal of Educational Sciences, Vol. 2, 02/2018.
In article