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Research Problem . Students have a difficult time with critical thinking, especially the aspects of analysis and evaluation necessary to evaluate data. Research Question.

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Presentation Transcript
research problem
Research Problem

Students have a difficult time with critical thinking, especially the aspects of analysis and evaluation necessary to evaluate data.

research question
Research Question
  • Can explicitly including a critical thinking emphasis in lab report directions and grading rubric improve students’ critical thinking data analysis abilities?
  • What is the context (e.g. class setting, student audience) in which you will conduct your research?
    • Overall underprepared student population (assessment data show campus wide lack of success in critical thinking abilities)
    • 300 level genetics or cell biology lecture/laboratory course
    • 20-25 students
primary research methods
Primary Research Methods

Design critical thinking rubric with scientific focus

  • Modify AAC&U critical thinking VALUE rubric
  • Check reliability of rubric with other Biology faculty

Compare student abilities from current semester (experimental group with critical thinking directions) to past semester (control group) on three major multi-week lab reports

Obtain nominal data regarding student characteristics in past and current class to determine similarity of the two student groups

methods of collecting data
Methods of Collecting Data
  • Rubric category scores on lab reports assigned over course of the semester
  • Registrars office for de-identified student characteristic data
  • Pre/post California Critical Thinking Skills and Dispositions Test
analysis of data
Analysis of Data

Compare characteristics

Past Class (Control)

Current Class (treatment)

Average GPA, type/# majors, student level, past courses taken

Compare Means

Compare for trends

Determine mean scores in rubric categories for individual lab reports

Determine mean scores in rubric categories for individual lab reports

Examine changes in pre and post CCTST scores

Individual reports and change in means over time

Do rubric changes correspond to changes in CCTST scores

alignment of research question and methods
Alignment of Research Question and Methods

Can explicitly including a critical thinking emphasis improve students’ critical thinking data analysis abilities?

Comparison of past class with no critical thinking emphasis to current class with emphasis

Rubric designed for scientific focus on the analysis and evaluation subset of critical thinking

CCTST contains analysis and evaluation subscores

alignment of research question and methods1
Alignment of Research Question and Methods

The data will help me answer my question by:

  • Determining if there is an improvement in analysis and evaluation abilities on lab reports from the treatment group compared to past class
  • Determine if a focus on discipline specific critical thinking can influence more general critical thinking
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