Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The impact of completing authentic tasks on the development of critical thinking skills
by Colletti, Nancy E., Ph.D., Capella University, 2011, 160; 3478083
Abstract (Summary)

Educators in allied health and nursing agree, due to the nature of health care systems and the increasingly complex diagnosis and treatment regimens in multi-generational, multi-cultural health care environments, teaching students to think critically is a fundamental concern. There is a need to identify effective instructional strategies that facilitate the development of critical thinking skills in undergraduate allied health and nursing students. The activity-based approach to learning following the APLUS (Activate, Plan, Learn, Use, Show) instructional design model developed by Choo supports authentic learning tasks and provides the scaffolding needed to assist students in acquiring thinking skills by actively engaging them in the course content and providing the opportunity for learners to discuss ideas, reflect on their own practice, and connect new meaning to their experiences. This quasi-experimental research study applied the APLUS instructional design model to support authentic learning tasks in Respiratory Care education to determine the impact of completing authentic tasks on the development of critical thinking skills in novice allied health students. Fifty-one students enrolled in accredited Respiratory Care programs in an East North Central state participated in this study. The Health Sciences Reasoning Test (HSRT) was used to measure critical thinking skills at the beginning and the end of the academic quarter. The treatment group consisted of 24 participants who completed the authentic task of creating a branching logic clinical simulation along with traditional learning tasks during academic quarter. The control group consisted of 27 participants who completed only traditional learning tasks. Results of this study indicated completing the authentic learning task did improve overall critical thinking scores on the HSRT slightly, but not significantly. Further study is needed with a larger sample size and over a longer study period to understand the full effect of authentic learning tasks on the development of critical thinking skills. The study results provided a basis for creating an interactive online learning environment that may assist novice learners in the development of critical thinking skills through authentic learning tasks.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Redden, Charlotte
Commitee: Johnson, Diane, Kozoll, Charles
School: Capella University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 73/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Instructional Design, Medicine, Health education
Keywords: Authentic tasks, Critical thinking, HSRT, Respiratory care
Publication Number: 3478083
ISBN: 978-1-124-95295-6
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