The relationship between collaborative problem solving behaviors and solution outcomes in a game-based learning environment

Chen Sun, Valerie J. Shute, Angela E.B. Stewart, Quinton Beck-White, Caroline R. Reinhardt, Guojing Zhou, Nicholas Duran, Sidney K. D'Mello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Collaborative problem solving (CPS) is an essential skill for the 21st century workforce but remains difficult to assess. Understanding how CPS skills affect CPS performance outcomes can inform CPS training, task design, feedback design, and automated assessment. We investigated CPS behaviors (individually and in co-occurring patterns) in 101 (N = 303) remote triads who collaboratively played an educational game called Physics Playground for 45-min. Team interactions consisted of open-ended speech occurring over videoconferencing with screen sharing. We coded participant's utterances relative to a CPS framework consisting of three facets (i.e., competencies such as constructing shared knowledge) manifested in 19 specific indicators (e.g., responds to others' questions/ideas). A matching technique was used to isolate the effect of CPS behaviors on CPS outcomes (quality of solution of a game level) controlling for pertinent covariates. Mixed-effects ordinal regression models indicated that proposing solution ideas and discussing results were the major predictors of CPS performance, and that team-member activities surrounding idea generation mattered. These findings highlighted the importance of both individual and collective contributions and social and cognitive skills in successful CPS outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number107120
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume128
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2022

Keywords

  • Collaborative problem solving
  • Game-based learning
  • Human-human interaction
  • Triads

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)

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