1996-3777 (online)
1990-8539 (print)
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A series of reports on the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment’s (PISA) periodic testing program on student performance. The reports generally compare student (15 year olds) academic performance across countries, or discuss the methodology used to gather the data.

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PISA 2015 Results (Volume V)

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PISA 2015 Results (Volume V)

Collaborative Problem Solving You or your institution have access to this content

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21 Nov 2017
9789264285521 (PDF) ;9789264285507(print)

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The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) examines not just what students know in science, reading and mathematics, but what they can do with what they know. Results from PISA show educators and policy makers the quality and equity of learning outcomes achieved elsewhere, and allow them to learn from the policies and practices applied in other countries. PISA 2015 Results (Volume V): Collaborative Problem Solving, is one of five volumes that present the results of the PISA 2015 survey, the sixth round of the triennial assessment. It examines students’ ability to work with two or more people to try to solve a problem. The volume provides the rationale for assessing this particular skill and describes performance within and across countries. In addition, it highlights the relative strengths and weaknesses of each school system and examines how they are related to individual student characteristics, such as gender, immigrant background and socio-economic status. The volume also explores the role of education in building young people’s skills in solving problems collaboratively.

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  • Foreword

    For as long as there have been societies, people have had to work with others. As the world becomes even more interconnected, it will need more people who know how to collaborate. Do today’s students have the skills it takes to work with others? Do they know how to listen to other people, how to act as part of a team to achieve a goal?

  • Editorial

    Successes and failures in the classroom will increasingly shape the fortunes of countries. And yet, more of the same education will only produce more of the same strengths and weaknesses. Today’s students are growing up into a world hyperconnected by digitalisation; tomorrow, they’ll be working in a labour market that is already being hollowed-out by automation. For those with the right knowledge and skills, these changes are liberating and exciting. But for those who are insufficiently prepared, they can mean a future of vulnerable and insecure work, and a life lived on the margins.

  • Executive summary

    Today’s workplaces demand people who can solve problems in concert with others. But collaboration poses potential challenges to team members. Labour might not be divided equitably or efficiently, with team members perhaps working on tasks they are unsuited for or dislike. Conflict may arise among team members, hindering the development of creative solutions. Thus, collaboration is a skill in itself.

  • Reader's guide
  • What is PISA?

    “What is important for citizens to know and be able to do?” In response to that question and to the need for internationally comparable evidence on student performance, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) launched the triennial survey of 15-year-old students around the world known as the Programme for International Student Assessment, or PISA. PISA assesses the extent to which 15-year-old students, near the end of their compulsory education, have acquired the key knowledge and skills that are essential for full participation in modern societies. The assessment focuses on the core school subjects of science, reading and mathematics. Students’ proficiency in an innovative domain is also assessed (in 2015, this domain is collaborative problem solving). The assessment does not just ascertain whether students can reproduce knowledge; it also examines how well students can extrapolate from what they have learned and can apply that knowledge in unfamiliar settings, both in and outside of school. This approach reflects the fact that modern economies reward individuals not for what they know, but for what they can do with what they know.

  • Overview: Collaborative problem solving

    Today’s workplaces demand people who can solve problems in concert with others. The increase in jobs requiring a high level of social skills has been accompanied by an increase in the wages for such jobs, suggesting that there is higher demand from employers for such skills instead of simply a surplus of workers who hold such skills. For example, wages have risen by over 20% for jobs that require high social skills but low mathematics skills, suggesting that social skills are increasingly of value to employers.

  • What is collaborative problem solving?

    This chapter introduces the PISA 2015 assessment of collaborative problem solving. It provides the rationale for assessing collaborative problemsolving competence in PISA and introduces the innovative features of the 2015 assessment, particularly in contrast to the individual problem-solving assessment of PISA 2012. The framework for the assessment is discussed and sample items are presented.

  • Performance in collaborative problem solving

    This chapter explains how PISA measures students’ collaborative problemsolving skills. It defines the five proficiency levels on the collaborative problem-solving scale and describes what students who attain those levels can do. The chapter also examines the relationship between student performance in collaborative problem solving and performance in the three core PISA subjects — science, reading and mathematics — and the links between collaborative problem solving and individual problem solving. It concludes with a discussion of the extent to which students’ experiences with ICT are related to their performance in this computer-based assessment.

  • Student demographics and performance in collaborative problem solving

    This chapter examines performance differences within countries and economies that can be related to the demographic and social characteristics of students and schools. The factors considered include students’ gender, socio-economic status and immigrant background. The impact of student diversity on performance in collaborative problem solving is also discussed.

  • Students' attitudes towards collaboration

    This chapter describes responses to the student questionnaire, in which students were asked about eight facets of their attitudes towards collaboration. The chapter then looks at differences in these attitudes between different groups of students, and the relationship between attitudes towards collaboration and other attitudes towards learning and school discussed in PISA 2015 Results (Volume III): Students’ Well-Being (OECD, 2017). It concludes by examining the relationship between attitudes towards collaboration and performance in the PISA 2015 collaborative problem-solving assessment.

  • Student activities, school practices and collaboration

    This chapter considers various student activities that might be related to students’ attitudes towards collaboration and their ability to solve problems collaboratively. These factors include students’ participation in physical activity and attendance in physical education classes, their outof- school activities, whether they play truant or arrive late for school, and their attendance at pre-primary school.

  • Collaborative schools, collaborative students

    This chapter examines the impact of positive relationships among and between students, teachers, principals, parents and the wider community on students’ proficiency in collaborative problem solving and attitudes towards collaboration. It tries to answer the question: if all school stakeholders get along well and work together to achieve common goals, does that help students develop their own collaborative problem-solving skills?

  • What the PISA 2015 results on collaborative problem solving imply for policy

    Most people will have to work together with others throughout their life, in both professional and personal capacities. Addressing this need, PISA has developed an assessment that measures students’ ability to solve problems collaboratively. Based on this assessment, this chapter presents some policy recommendations that might lead to improved skills in and attitudes towards collaboration.

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