Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills (ATC21S) Singapore Trials: Collective Creativity and Collaborative Problem-Solving Competencies among Secondary School Students

Project Number
OER 59/12 TPL

Project Duration
May 2013 - March 2017


This proposed study aims to contribute important new knowledge to the question of how schools can better measure, characterise and foster students’ creativity and collaborative problem-solving competencies, particularly in technology-mediated learning and assessment contexts that are more reflective of our contemporary lifeworlds. It does so by engaging directly with the Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills (ATC21S)—an on-going research programme of international significance aimed at developing new and innovative assessments for 21st century competencies. Designed as a collaborative endeavour between NIE/OER and MOE researchers, this study will perform new and detailed analysis of existing online peer interactional data, students' self-report questionnaire data and demographic data (gender and academic achievement), arising from the ATC21S school trials recently conducted in Singapore, involving 740 Secondary 3 students across 8 school. One key goal of the proposed study is leverage these datasets to define and operationalise the concept of 'collective creativity' and to test its relationship to students' work on ill-structured collaborative problem-solving (CPS) in technology-enhanced learning and assessment settings. For the purpose of this study, 'collective creativity' in CPS contexts is conceptualised as encompassing a suite of metacognitive, cognitive, social and communicative skill dimensions and competency components including reflexivity, divergent and convergent production, and prosocial interaction. Using the aforementioned datasets, this study aims to conduct a series of empirical investigations that will: 1) Generate a theoretically-informed and empirically-grounded peer interaction analytics framework for assessing students’ collective creativity competencies on ill-structured online CPS tasks; 2) Establish an empirical baseline profiling—using the peer interaction analytics framework and appropriate visualization tools—of collective creativity competencies and profiles demonstrated by Singapore students on ill-structured online CPS tasks; and 3) Provide evidence-based insights on the ways and extent to which students’ collective creativity competencies and profiles statistically predict their performance on ill-structured online CPS tasks. The theoretical, methodological and empirical outcomes from this study will be used to generate meaningful and contextualised curricular and pedagogical recommendations that will better address the contemporary learning needs—and strengths—of students in Singapore classrooms, particularly in the areas of creative and collaborative problem-solving competencies and practices. This proposed study also constitutes a first step in what is intended to become a longer-term programme of research focusing on generating new significant knowledge and recommendations in learning analytics and other technology-enhanced assessments of 21st century skills, as well as relevant teacher professional development modules and pathways. Through this collaborative research inquiry, MOE and NIE will collectively build local research capacity and lay the groundwork for locally-generated innovations in 21st century learning and assessment tools that are particularly contextualised to serve the policy and practice needs of the Singapore education landscape.

Research Themes
Creativity/21st CC

Funding Source

Related Links
ReEd Vol 17: How Do We Measure Collective Creativity?

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