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Exercising Critical Thinking in Higher Education through

Structured Gameplay

The purpose of this thesis is to conduct explorative research in determining the efficacy of instantiating learning objectives into gameplay.

The subject of research are students' in higher education critical thinking ability.

My population of study is broadly students in higher education. A panel of participants from several universities will be selected for the experiment group based on interest and responses to pre-test survey.

My unit of analysis of study are individual students in the selected panel.

The unit being analyzed by this study is critical thinking ability

Critical Thinking Measurement Tool

Instrument: California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory (CCTDI)

Use Case: To determine Student Self View of CTS, pre/post Test to measure development in student attitude toward critical thinking.

  • Dimension: Disposition towards Consistent Critical Thought

  • Indexes: truth-seeking, open-mindedness, analytical tendencies, systematic tendencies, critical thinking self-confidence, inquisitiveness, and cognitive maturity.

Why This Tool?

The instrument is regularly used to test how an experience or set of experiences may influence a student's disposition towards critical thinking. One can then use the aggregated data to determine if positive changes in individual predispositions to critical thinking was related to and planned educational objectives. One can test the effects of specific programs, courses, or experiences.

Operational Definitions of Measurement Indexes

  •  Truth-Seeking: is the habit of always desiring the best possible understanding of any given situation; it is following reasons and evidence wherever they may lead, even if they lead one to question cherished beliefs. Truth-seekers ask hard, sometimes even frightening questions; they do not ignore relevant details; they strive not to let bias or preconception color their search for knowledge and truth.

  • Open-Mindedness: is the tendency to allow others to voice views with which one may not agree. Open-minded people act with tolerance toward the opinions of others, knowing that often we all hold beliefs which make sense only from our own perspectives.

  • Analyticity: is the tendency to be alert to what happens next. This is the habit of striving to anticipate both the good and the bad potential consequences or outcomes of situations, choices, proposals, and plans.

  • Systematicity: the tendency or habit of striving to approach problems in a disciplined, orderly, and systematic way. The habit of being disorganized is the opposite tendency. The person who is strong in systematicity may not know of a given approach, or may not be skilled at using a given strategy of problem solving, but that person has the desire and tendency to try to approach questions and issues in an organized and orderly way.

  • Confidence In Reasoning: is the habitual tendency to trust reflective thinking to solve problems and to make decisions. As with the other attributes measured here, confidence in reasoning applies to individuals and to groups.

  • Inquisitiveness: is intellectual curiosity. It is the tendency to want to know things, even if they are not immediately or obviously useful. It is being curious and eager to acquire new knowledge and to learn the explanations for things even when the applications of that new learning are not immediately apparent.

  • Cognitive Maturity: is the habit of seeing the complexity of issues and yet striving to make timely decisions.  A person with maturity of judgment understands that multiple solutions may be acceptable while appreciating the need to reach closure at times even in the absence of complete knowledge.

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