Publications & Resources

Role of Task-Specific Adapted Feedback on a Computer-Based Collaborative Problem-Solving Task

Jun 2006

San-hui (Sabrina) Chuang and Harold F. O'Neil

Collaborative problem solving and collaborative skills are considered necessary skills for success in today’s world. Collaborative problem solving is defined as problem solving activities that involve interactions among a group of individuals. Large-scale and small-scale assessment programs increasingly use collaborative group tasks in which students work together to solve problems or to accomplish projects. This study attempts to research the role of feedback on a computer-based collaborative problem solving task by extending Hsieh and O’Neil’s (2002) computer-based collaborative knowledge mapping study. In their study, groups of students searched a web environment of information to improve a knowledge map. Various types of feedback were investigated. They found that searching has a negative relationship with group outcome (knowledge map scores). By teaching searching and by providing different types of feedback, this study explores the effects of students’ teamwork and problem solving processes on students’ knowledge mapping performance. Moreover, the effects of two types of feedback (adapted knowledge of response feedback and task-specific adapted knowledge of response feedback) were also investigated. Results showed that task-specific adapted knowledge of response feedback was significantly more beneficial to group outcome than adapted knowledge of response feedback. In addition, as predicted, for the problem solving process, information seeking including request of feedback, browsing, searching for information and searching using Boolean operators were all significantly related to group outcome for both groups. Lastly, this study confirmed that computer-based performance assessment in collaborative problem solving was effective. The collaboration between team members and individual students’ problem solving processes and strategies were effectively recorded by the computers. In addition, the use of computers to assess and report group interaction and students’ thinking processes was proven to be more inexpensive and less time consuming than other alternatives.

Chuang, S., & O’Neil, H. F. (2006). Role of taskspecific adapted feedback on a computer-based collaborative problem-solving task (CSE Report 684). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).