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postgraduate thesis: Exploring the relationship between critical thinking and computer-supported collaborative inquiry

TitleExploring the relationship between critical thinking and computer-supported collaborative inquiry
Authors
Advisors
Advisor(s):Law, NWY
Issue Date2013
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Leng, J. [冷静]. (2013). Exploring the relationship between critical thinking and computer-supported collaborative inquiry. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5053393
AbstractCritical thinking is widely acknowledged as crucial for 21st century learners to be able to tackle the complex tasks arising every day in a rapidly changing world. Earlier critical thinking research has mostly focused on the related micro-skills, which have been criticized as inadequate. Recent studies have placed more emphasis on nurturing the dispositions towards critical thinking. Another trend in critical thinking research is the realization that good performance on generic critical thinking skills tests does not guarantee critical thinking performance in the real world. In line with the recent trends in critical thinking development, educators have shown growing interest in fostering critical thinking skills and dispositions in students through collaborative inquiry in authentic problem-solving contexts. However, empirical research that examines students’ critical thinking behavior while they engage in extended collaborative inquiry is rare. Further, it is not clear whether differences in students’ critical thinking abilities contribute to differences in their engagement and learning outcomes in collaborative inquiry. This study aims to investigate the relationship between students’ critical thinking and the quality of their collaborative inquiry. The study involved a class of secondary two students studying a humanities module through collaborative inquiry involving the use of an online platform. Given the debates over the value of different methods of measuring critical thinking, this study first seeks to explore the relationship between three different critical thinking tests: two standardized surveys on generic skills and dispositions, and a constructed-response test on context-specific skills. Second, this study examines whether students with higher critical thinking scores are better able to apply critical thinking to real-life situations. This is done through analyzing students’ critical thinking behaviors exhibited in the context of authentic problem solving. Third, this study explores the relationship between students’ critical thinking behavior and their knowledge building engagement in the learning process. Finally, this study uses the standardized tests to determine whether there is any significant change in the students’ critical thinking ability after a sustained engagement in collaborative inquiry to tackle an authentic problem. The analysis revealed a number of interesting findings. First, the three critical thinking tests are related but measure different aspects of critical thinking. Second, compared with traditional standardized surveys, the context-specific critical thinking test is a better indicator of the likelihood of the students to autonomously apply critical thinking in authentic problem-solving contexts. Third, critical thinking behaviors exhibited by students contributed to their engagement in knowledge building. Fourth, there was a statistically significant increase in students’ critical thinking dispositions after the extended collaborative inquiry of an authentic problem. The study has both theoretical and methodological implications. The study has both theoretical and educational implications. It deepens our understanding of the relationship between critical thinking and computer-supported collaborative inquiry. This study has provided strong evidence that traditional measures of critical thinking cannot predict the quality of students’ critical thinking engagement in authentic problem-solving contexts. Further, it also provides empirical support the theoretical claim that engaging students in knowledge building activities will enhance their critical thinking skills and dispositions.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectCritical thinking.
Group work in education - Computer-assisted instruction.
Dept/ProgramEducation
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/188274

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorLaw, NWY-
dc.contributor.authorLeng, Jing-
dc.contributor.author冷静-
dc.date.accessioned2013-08-27T08:03:05Z-
dc.date.available2013-08-27T08:03:05Z-
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.identifier.citationLeng, J. [冷静]. (2013). Exploring the relationship between critical thinking and computer-supported collaborative inquiry. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5053393-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/188274-
dc.description.abstractCritical thinking is widely acknowledged as crucial for 21st century learners to be able to tackle the complex tasks arising every day in a rapidly changing world. Earlier critical thinking research has mostly focused on the related micro-skills, which have been criticized as inadequate. Recent studies have placed more emphasis on nurturing the dispositions towards critical thinking. Another trend in critical thinking research is the realization that good performance on generic critical thinking skills tests does not guarantee critical thinking performance in the real world. In line with the recent trends in critical thinking development, educators have shown growing interest in fostering critical thinking skills and dispositions in students through collaborative inquiry in authentic problem-solving contexts. However, empirical research that examines students’ critical thinking behavior while they engage in extended collaborative inquiry is rare. Further, it is not clear whether differences in students’ critical thinking abilities contribute to differences in their engagement and learning outcomes in collaborative inquiry. This study aims to investigate the relationship between students’ critical thinking and the quality of their collaborative inquiry. The study involved a class of secondary two students studying a humanities module through collaborative inquiry involving the use of an online platform. Given the debates over the value of different methods of measuring critical thinking, this study first seeks to explore the relationship between three different critical thinking tests: two standardized surveys on generic skills and dispositions, and a constructed-response test on context-specific skills. Second, this study examines whether students with higher critical thinking scores are better able to apply critical thinking to real-life situations. This is done through analyzing students’ critical thinking behaviors exhibited in the context of authentic problem solving. Third, this study explores the relationship between students’ critical thinking behavior and their knowledge building engagement in the learning process. Finally, this study uses the standardized tests to determine whether there is any significant change in the students’ critical thinking ability after a sustained engagement in collaborative inquiry to tackle an authentic problem. The analysis revealed a number of interesting findings. First, the three critical thinking tests are related but measure different aspects of critical thinking. Second, compared with traditional standardized surveys, the context-specific critical thinking test is a better indicator of the likelihood of the students to autonomously apply critical thinking in authentic problem-solving contexts. Third, critical thinking behaviors exhibited by students contributed to their engagement in knowledge building. Fourth, there was a statistically significant increase in students’ critical thinking dispositions after the extended collaborative inquiry of an authentic problem. The study has both theoretical and methodological implications. The study has both theoretical and educational implications. It deepens our understanding of the relationship between critical thinking and computer-supported collaborative inquiry. This study has provided strong evidence that traditional measures of critical thinking cannot predict the quality of students’ critical thinking engagement in authentic problem-solving contexts. Further, it also provides empirical support the theoretical claim that engaging students in knowledge building activities will enhance their critical thinking skills and dispositions.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B50533939-
dc.subject.lcshCritical thinking.-
dc.subject.lcshGroup work in education - Computer-assisted instruction.-
dc.titleExploring the relationship between critical thinking and computer-supported collaborative inquiry-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5053393-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEducation-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5053393-
dc.date.hkucongregation2013-

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