Examining problem-solving skills in technology-rich environments as related to numeracy and literacy

Feiya Xiao, Lucy Barnard-Brak, William Lan, Hansel Burley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This study sought to a better understanding of the construct of problem solving in technology-rich environments and the effect of literacy and numeracy on problem solving. Data used in this study were drawn from Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies US data which includes 5010 completed cases and a total of 1326 variables. The assessment of literacy, numeracy and problem-solving competencies were administrated using computer-based approaches. The result of the study showed that adults with higher numeracy and literacy competencies were more likely to have higher level of problem-solving skills. The results of the analyses also revealed that solution latency (i.e. time) were an important factor influencing problem-solving skills. This study indicates that basic mathematical skills are essential for solving problems that require interpersonal communication, computer and software knowledge, planning, and organising. The findings from this study provide several implications for researchers, educators, teachers and policymakers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-338
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Lifelong Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 4 2019


  • Problem solving
  • literacy
  • numeracy
  • technology-rich environments


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