The <a target="">Assessment & Teaching of 21st-Century Skills</a> Project (ATC21S) began with the definition of the concepts of 21st-century skills. These were considered, analysed and organised within a knowledge, skills, attitudes, values and ethics (KSAVE; Binkley et al. 2010) framework. This paper explores the next phase of the project with regards to a combination of two of the key skills – collaborative problem solving. It outlines the research and development program that is expected to yield innovative, technology-based, interactive, complex group and individual analyses of performance within a collaborative problem solving context. The project is still a work in progress. The current phase of the project constitutes development of tasks that can be completed in classrooms. The tasks can be used to explore the thought processes and strategies that students use as an individual within a group to solve both well defined and poorly defined problems. We illustrate ways in which tasks can lend themselves to coding to yield information that is usable by teachers formatively to improve student performance.
In developed economies changing employment practices demand changes in how students are assessed and taught with a focus on 21st-century skills. Employment opportunities increasingly demand collaboration as well as problem-solving skills. This project works with a definition of collaborative problem including both cognitive and social perspectives to examine the process. It examines the circumstances under which collaborative problem solving might best take place, and outlines a structure through which the contributing processes can be monitored in an electronic environment.
<p>Patrick Griffin is a former faculty member of the School of Education at HKU. He currently holds the Chair of Education (Assessment) at the University of Melbourne and is Director of the Assessment Research Centre. He is the Associate Dean of the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. Professor Griffin was awarded the John Smythe medal for research in profiling literacy development. He is a project team leader for UNESCO in southern Africa, and was awarded, in 2005, a UNESCO Research Medal by the Assembly of Ministers of Education from Southern African nations. Professor Griffin is a World Bank consultant in Vietnam and China, leading national and international teams in studies of literacy and numeracy assessment. He developed a system of teacher assessment recently signed into law by the Vietnam Government and applied to more than 380,000 teachers. He has led the development of leadership frameworks for school principal and instructional development models for classroom teachers in Victoria. His work focuses on item response modelling applications in interpretive frameworks for criterion referenced assessment and its application of item response modelling to performance assessment. He is currently he executive director of the Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills Project and has co edited the volume published by Springer. Patrick Griffin, Barry McGaw and Esther Care (editors) (2011). Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills. Springer.</p>