Assessing tenth-grade students' problem solving ability online in the area of Earth sciences

Chun Yen Chang*, James P. Barufaldi, Ming Chao Lin, Yi Chun Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined tenth-grade students' (n = 263) problem solving ability (PSA) online through assessing students' domain-specific knowledge (DSK) and reasoning skills (RS) in Earth sciences as well as their attitudes toward (AT) Earth sciences related topics in a secondary school of Taiwan. The students' PSA was evaluated based on a previous model (Chang, C. Y. (2004, November 26-27). Trends in assessing student earth science problem solving ability: the importance of domain-specific knowledge and reasoning skills in earth sciences. Paper presented at the Seoul Conference for International Earth Science Olympiad (IESO), Seoul, Korea; Chang, C. Y., & Barufaldi, J. P. (submitted). Does problem solving = prior knowledge + reasoning skills in science? An exploratory study. Journal of Experimental Education; Chang, C. Y., & Weng, Y. H. (2002). An exploratory study on students' problem-solving ability in earth science. International Journal of Science Education, 24(5), 441-452) which empirically established that students' PSA is a composite of DSK, RS and AT subscales. Major findings are as follows: (a) The correlation coefficient among students' DSK, RS and AT was relatively small, indicating that these subscales might have successfully represented different constructs of students' PSA; (b) a significantly positive correlation existed between students' PSA total scores and each subscale. It is, therefore, suggested that students' PSA may be potentially assessed online by measuring their essential components in the area of Earth sciences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1971-1981
Number of pages11
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Jul


  • Assessment
  • Problem solving
  • Science education
  • Secondary school

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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