Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Preferred Name - First Author

Zachary Buchin

Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Department

Department of Psychology

Advisor(s)

Krisztina Jakobsen

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare critical thinking and higher-order thinking skills across the semester in lecture and team-based learning classes. Team- based learning classes utilize techniques that were thought to foster an increase in critical thinking and higher-order thinking skills when compared to lecture classes. The Halpern Critical Thinking Assessment S2 (HCTA S2) was used to measure critical thinking skill changes and Bloom’s Taxonomy coded higher-order thinking questions on the final exam. Raw score changes on the HCTA S2 and scores on the higher-order thinking questions on the final exam were compared between the two classes. No significant difference was found between the two classes when comparing raw score changes on the HCTA S2. A significant difference was found when comparing number of correct answers on the higher-order thinking application questions on the final exam between the two classes. No such significant difference was found between the two classes on higher- order thinking analysis questions. Finally, a significant negative correlation was found between raw score changes on the HCTA S2 and number of higher-order thinking questions correct on the final exam. There were many limitations in this study, including limited time, strict critical thinking and higher-order thinking definitions, and low student motivation. Future studies should continue to assess the increase in higher-order application skills in team-based learning classes as well as re-asses the effect of class structure on critical thinking skills.

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