Critical Thinking Master Student Preferred Learning Aids: An Experimental Study


  • T. Christine Gordon Saint Leo University
  • Veronika Ospina-Kammerer Saint Leo University



Case Analysis is not new in the realm of learning, use of learning aids and assessment. Critical Thinking requires product design/course, paper completion, and research/citations in support of the student statements and specific parameters of the paper.  Teaching and learning theories (inductive and deductive) and critical thinking are the benchmarks in determining the success of teaching techniques in a course. The deductive method includes a preset assessment.  The “Table of Contents” structures student learning.  A student’s critical thinking becomes self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored and self-corrective.  Textbooks and lectures are often barriers to learning for many students.  A study, of three online Master student cohort groups, was designed to test for (no) preferences of student course aids with respect to critical thinking, learning and assessment.  The aids included the text, sample report paper, subject handouts, specific end of course paper preset table of contents, and group work.   A survey questionnaire was administered to the cohort groups of Master of Business Administration candidates.  A sample of 65 students were surveyed and 53 students responded.  The course delivery format was an online setting only. Chi Square Goodness of Fit Testing suggested that a preset Table of Contents (a list or in the shape of a tree diagram) for the course assessments, was most preferred by the responders. The five course aids (in student preferred rank order) are:Preset table of contents/tree flow diagramRubric/sample reportSubtopic handoutsStudent sharing/group workTextbook readingsThere was a statistically significant difference in student learning aid preferences at alpha a priori .05 percent. Many responders reported that the course aid, table of contents (tree diagram), would generally be helpful in their “follow on” courses.


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