Annotated Bibliography: Critical Thinking

Bullen, M. (2007). Participation and critical thinking in online university distance education. International Journal of E-Learning & Distance Education, 13(2), 1-32.

Bullen (2007) investigated a case study of students in a university level course delivered through computer conferencing to determine students’ participation, building on each other’s contributions, and using critical thinking about the discussion topics. The study also tries to investigate the factors affecting the participation and critical thinking skills of the students in this course. The results of this study suggest that appropriate course design, instructor’s interventions, content, and students’ characteristics facilitate the critical thinking among students. The study establishes that computer conferencing must be giving serious consideration by distance learners and educators to facilitate interaction and critical thinking among students of today.

McMillan, J. H. (1987). Enhancing college students’ critical thinking: A review of studies. Research in higher education, 26(1), 3-29.

McMillan (1987) analyzed twenty seven published studies to investigate the effects of instructional methods, courses, programs, and general college experience on changes in college students’ critical thinking. Majority of the included researches were non-equivalent retest and posttest control groups while only two studies considered true experimental designs.  Although the major findings of the study rejected the hypothesis that instructional design or course conditions can enhance critical thinking, however, interestingly proved that college attendance improves critical thinking.