Proposal Title

Developing Concept Inventories for Critical Thinking Skills

Session Type

Presentation

Room

P&A Rm 148

Start Date

July 2015

Keywords

critical thinking, focus groups

Primary Threads

Evaluation of Learning

Abstract

Critical thinking can be defined as the ability of an individual to think both distinctly and rationally. Professors and teachers are generally faced with assessing analytical judgment processes and are, therefore, challenged by whether critical thinking can be taught and how it can be measured. In addition, we have little information on the critical thinking skills that students have when entering university and how available skills change during this transition.

Our study examines the transition from High School to University by engaging first and third year Life Sciences students in a series of online surveys and focus groups in an attempt to understand how students adjust to learning course material through: a) changing study routine, b) multiple equally weighted assessments (including lab reports, midterms and group projects) and c) participating in tutorials and group discussions. Therefore, the main focus of our presentation will be to use focus group findings to discuss whether students have evolved and developed disciplined analysis and appropriate critical thinking skills from during their transition from high school to university. The ability to formally examine student perception of their own learning and its potential changes that have occurred throughout their university experience will provide us with the opportunity to more fully identify challenges facing students and may in turn help to establish a set of guidelines for how to best address student learning in the critical first year.

During our presentation, we will actively engage the audience in a mock focus group session. This focus group/presentation will ask the questions similar to those in our data collection sessions and our presentation will compare answers from the audience with findings obtained from our focus groups.

Elements of Engagement

During our presentation, we will actively engage the audience in a mock focus group session. This focus group/presentation will ask the questions similar to those in our data collection sessions and our presentation will compare answers from the audience with findings obtained from our focus groups.

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Jul 10th, 10:45 AM

Developing Concept Inventories for Critical Thinking Skills

P&A Rm 148

Critical thinking can be defined as the ability of an individual to think both distinctly and rationally. Professors and teachers are generally faced with assessing analytical judgment processes and are, therefore, challenged by whether critical thinking can be taught and how it can be measured. In addition, we have little information on the critical thinking skills that students have when entering university and how available skills change during this transition.

Our study examines the transition from High School to University by engaging first and third year Life Sciences students in a series of online surveys and focus groups in an attempt to understand how students adjust to learning course material through: a) changing study routine, b) multiple equally weighted assessments (including lab reports, midterms and group projects) and c) participating in tutorials and group discussions. Therefore, the main focus of our presentation will be to use focus group findings to discuss whether students have evolved and developed disciplined analysis and appropriate critical thinking skills from during their transition from high school to university. The ability to formally examine student perception of their own learning and its potential changes that have occurred throughout their university experience will provide us with the opportunity to more fully identify challenges facing students and may in turn help to establish a set of guidelines for how to best address student learning in the critical first year.

During our presentation, we will actively engage the audience in a mock focus group session. This focus group/presentation will ask the questions similar to those in our data collection sessions and our presentation will compare answers from the audience with findings obtained from our focus groups.