Facilitating Critical Thinking In Asynchronous Problem Solving Sessions : A Study Of First Year University Engineering Mathematics

Seibu Mary, Jacob (2010) Facilitating Critical Thinking In Asynchronous Problem Solving Sessions : A Study Of First Year University Engineering Mathematics. PhD thesis, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS).

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Abstract

Higher education is failing in its goal of teaching Critical Thinking skills to undergraduate students. The influence of Critical Thinking skills on mathematical problem solving has attracted research. In contrast to the traditional text book dominated approach, the mathematics classrooms of the present were encouraged to be places where discussion and collaboration were valued in building a climate of intellectual challenge. This research study set out to investigate the occurrence, progress and effects of Critical Thinking skills during mathematics problem solving sessions activated through online Discussion Forums. The objectives were to: (1) Investigate the level and progress of Critical Thinking of individuals and groups from the postings in the online Discussion Forums using an adapted model, called the CAIS model, called after the phases of Classification, Assessment, Inference and Strategies; (2) Determine the effect of moderation technique (Socratic questioning and reflection scaffolds) in guiding and promoting Critical Thinking; (3) Determine participants' perceptions about Critical Thinking and satisfaction with the online Discussion Forums; (4 ) Investigate the changes in learners' general Critical Thinking skills (CCTST scores) using the California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST) instrument; (5) Investigate changes in attitudes toward mathematics; and, (6) Determine the relationship between the level of Critical Thinking in the online Discussion Forums and (a) initial mathematics ability; (b) general Critical Thinking ability (CCTST scores); (c) mathematical achievement; and (d) attitudes toward mathematics. A first year Engineering Mathematics unit of the Malaysian campus of an Australian University, conducted over 14 weeks was used as a platform to investigate how Critical Thinking could be facilitated using online asynchronous discussions. The sample of the study consisted of 43 and 60 participants respectively of two batches (year 2008 and year 2009) of the unit, and who were divided into small collaborative groups of four to six. These were formed over the Blackboard Learning System of the unit. Problem solving sessions, consisting of ill-structured problems from engineering contexts were activated over the online Discussion Forums of the collaborative groups twice during the semester of 14 weeks.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: Thesis (Ph. D) -- Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 2010.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Engineering mathematics, Critical Thinking skills, problem solving, undergraduate students, intellectual challenge, unimas, university, universiti, Borneo, Malaysia, Sarawak, Kuching, Samarahan, ipta, education, Postgraduate, research, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Divisions: Academic Faculties, Institutes and Centres > Faculty of Cognitive Sciences and Human Development
Depositing User: Gani
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2019 00:42
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2019 00:42
URI: http://ir.unimas.my/id/eprint/26833

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