'Skills Matter: Modeling the relationship between decision making processes and collaborative problem-solving skills during Hidden Profile Tasks"
Lin is particularly interested in applying and developing quantitative methodologies to examine the social and cognitive aspects in online learning. Dowell is serving as her advisor.
Dowell’s research interests encompass cognitive psychology, discourse processing, group interaction, and learning analytics, with focuses on using language and discourse to uncover the dynamics of socially significant, cognitive, and affective processes. She applies computational techniques to model discourse and social dynamics in a variety of environments including small group computer-mediated collaborative learning environments, collaborative design networks, and massive open online courses (MOOCs).
Collaborative problem-solving (CPS) is one of the most essential 21st century skills for success across educational and professional settings. The hidden-profile paradigm is one of the most prominent avenues of studying group decision making and underlying issues in information sharing. Previous research on the hidden-profile paradigm has primarily focused on static constructs (e.g., group size, group expertise), or on the information itself (whether certain pieces of information is being shared). In the current study, we propose a lens on individual and group’s collaborative problem-solving skills, to explore the relationships between dynamic discourse processes and decision making in a distributed information environment. Specifically, we sought to examine CPS skills in association with decision change and productive decision-making. Our results suggest that while sharing information has significantly positive association with decision change and effective decision-making, other aspects of social processes appear to be negatively correlated with these outcomes. Cognitive CPS skills, however, exhibit a strong positive relationship with making a (productive) change in students final decisions. We also find that these results are more pronounced at the group level, particularly with cognitive CPS skills. Our study shed lights on a more nuanced picture of how social and cognitive CPS interactions are related to effective information sharing and decision making in collaborative problem-solving interactions.