Dr. Lan Anh Nguyen Khoa: Modeling Generic Problem-solving Competence Underlying Domain-specific and Domain-general Problem Solving

October 4, 2022

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

2:00 - 4:00 PM (PDT) at Berkeley Way West 4500 and on Zoom

Open to GSE faculty, students, and community.


Problem-solving, one of the generic competencies in the so-called ‘21st-century skillset, is critical to learners' personal and professional success. This study focuses on Generic problem-solving competence, particularly on the existence of this competence underlying both domain-specific and domain-general problem-solving constructs. Adapting the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing’s validity framework as its theoretical framework (AERA, APA, & NCME, 2014), this study employed a mixed-method approach to seeking answers to a series of research questions. Using data from the Programme for International Student Assessment, the study draws provisional conclusions about the existence of a coherent content and internal structure of Generic Problem-Solving competence underlying both domain-specific and domain-general problem-solving constructs. The study uses a novel Rasch-based modeling approach for interpreting problem-solving as both (i) individual domain-specific and domain-general problem-solving constructs and (ii) a summative combination of those multiple dimensions. Implications for policy and practice are also discussed.

About the speaker:

Dr. Lan Anh Nguyen Khoa is a Research Fellow at the Assessment and Evaluation Research Center out of the University of Melbourne, Australia. Her primary research interests are psychometrics, educational measurement and applied statistics focused on competency-based assessment and large-scale assessments (PISA, TIMSS).

Lan Anh has extensive research experience in developing and reporting on the validity and reliability of instruments using a variety of computer software packages, including Mplus, ACER ConQuest, Facet model, Pascal, R programming language, SAS, and IBM SPSS Statistics. She can also apply Item Response Theory, Structural Equation Modeling and Multilevel Modeling. Her PhD research focused on modeling generic problem-solving underlying domain-specific and domain-general problem-solving. Before joining the University of Melbourne, Lan Anh worked for the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and she spent 15 years teaching pre-teachers for the Department of Physics at Hue University.