To thrive in the hypercompetitive environment of the 21st century, problem-solving has emerged as one of the top competencies needed by adult learners, workers, and citizens. Affordances of technology and software intersecting with globalization and demographics are having a demonstrable impact on the nation's future, its corporations, its citizens, and the field of adult education. Lifelong self-directed learning skills are essential for adults in order to meet 21st century demands for just-in-time learning and to deepen understanding of and to solve problems for which there are no known solutions. Given the importance of 21st century skills, such as solving problems, it is important to determine whether students exiting school have developed competencies in these areas. A review of the literature reveals the need for a robust instrument to assess the behavioral intentions by adults to solve problems in learning endeavors. This quantitative study will validate the Solving Problems Scale, as a standalone instrument, developed from a subscale of the Inventory of Learner Resourcefulness (ILR) created by P. B. Can (1999). Renamed the Solving Problems Scale (SPS), this 31-item Likert-style self-assessment instrument is comprised of three factors: planning, evaluating alternatives, and anticipating consequences. The SPS was administered online via SurveyMonkey® using recent high school graduates. Face and content validity were assessed to insure that results make sense and are meaningful. Reliability was assessed using Cronbach's alpha coefficient to measure internal consistency, and a pre-/post analysis of the survey, using Pearson product moment correlation, was performed to establish the construct stability of the instrument. As this instrument has a firm foundation from a theoretical basis, confirmatory factor analysis was used to confirm the hypothesized factors. Principal component factor analysis was used to assess the validity of the three-factor construct. Based on results of this research, a valid and reliable instrument can be constructed using select items from the SPS to measure 21st century goals worthy of striving for. This research contributes to a deeper level of understanding of the behavioral intentions by adults to solve problems in learning endeavors.
Keywords: Problem-solving skills, 21st century skills, and Solving Problems Scale
|Advisor:||Derrick, M. Gail|
|School Location:||United States -- Virginia|
|Source:||DAI-A 72/05, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational tests & measurements, Educational evaluation, Adult education|
|Keywords:||21st century skills, Adult learners, Problem-solving, Solving Problems Scale, Top competencies|
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