• Judith van Werkhoven

Assessing Collaborative Problem Solving

In collaboration with Alvaro Caballero, OrangeTrail is developing an approach to assess the collaborative problem solving skills of teams in the workplace.  


Collaborative Problem Solving 

The importance of collaborative problem solving skills is no new topic in the sphere of formal education. As a prime example of this, the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a worldwide study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) evaluates educational systems in member and non-member nations. And as part of the PISA assessment in 2015, 15-year-old pupils’ performance was assessed not only around ‘traditional’ subjects like mathematics, science and reading, but also in their ability to operate effectively in a group and solve a problem. Collaborative Problem Solving has won a place as an important 21st century skill.  


What this means 

The workforce of tomorrow is bringing collaborative problem skills to the work floor. But is the workforce of today successfully accommodating these capabilities? With collaborative work becoming more and more crucial in the modern workplace, how can companies effectively measure the overall effectiveness of a team and bring it to the next level?  

By building on existing frameworks from the educational sphere, our assessment pulls from tried and tested, scientific methodologies that have identified the components of effective collaborative problem solving. We do however bring this approach to a next level, by not only focusing on the individual performance but instead on the overall team’s ability to work together on a given task.  


Through our Collaborative Problem Solving assessment, we speak to one of the key challenges (and opportunities!) of contemporary organisations – bringing together people with different backgrounds, communication styles and levels of digital literacy in a collaborative team-work environment. By not only assessing the individual’s ability to solve problems in a collaborative setting, but instead on the whole team’s ability to – as a group – get to a successful outcome, we can provide targeted recommendations for increasing the performance of teams, identify gaps and build on existing skills. 


We are looking for a team or company to pilot our approach with. Please reach out to judith.vanwerkhoven@orangetrail.com if you're interested!

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