Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Fifth International Conference on Higher Education Advances

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Critical thinking in PBL: Development of a bespoke tool for critical thinking
Nazim Ali, Russell Crawford, Margaux Horn

Last modified: 25-06-2019


As an active learning strategy, problem based learning (PBL) puts the emphasis on students being responsible for their learning (Hmelo-Silver and Barrows 2006). Although it is student-centred, PBL facilitators can help students achieve deep learning through strategies which allow them to check their understanding and engage in critical thinking skills (Wood, 2003; Azer et al,. 2013). However enabling students to engage in critical thinking skills and assessing their learning requires the use of innovative strategies (Azer et al., 2013). This paper describes the development of a learning tool to allow students undertake their own-self assessment. It was developed on the principles of ill-structured problems which encourage the utilization of critical thinking skills (Kek and Huijser, 2011). Thus the aim of the research was to assess whether the tool would allow the students to engage in critical thinking skills such as deep understanding and application of knowledge. Results show students found the tool to be effective for their learning where they were able to apply their knowledge and test understanding. This suggested that the developed tool proved to be useful in engaging students in critical thinking skills and as a means to check student understanding.

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