June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.507.1 - 26.507.21
Developing “Critical Thinking Skills” in Graduate Engineering Program“Critical Thinking Skills” from an engineering context can be defined as the graduate attributedeveloped through a structured process of applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluatingdata/information. The metacognitive ability involving perception, critique, judgment, anddecision making, allows students to orchestrate and self-regulate their own learning strategiesand those abilities encompassed in the term ‘critical thinking.’ It is an important skill thataccrediting bodies and engineering employers consider as a must for engineering graduates.However, the process of achieving critical thinking skills is not always well laid out and /ordeveloped. Although a number of models have been developed in this topic by many academics,developing “critical thinking skills” can be a long and arduous process. In particular, thedevelopment of higher education program level critical thinking skills require detailed courselevel planning, structured assignments, critical analysis of case studies, student centric learning,and guided design using tools such as simulation and gaming, communication exercises, andlaboratory experiments. Research suggests that the development of any skill is best facilitated bypractice and not by demonstration. Students acquire skills most effectively through practice andfeedback. Relying solely on teaching approaches such as problem based learning are unlikely tohelp students to develop critical thinking skills. In addition, emphasis should also be given to theassessment and evaluation of critical thinking skills.This paper provides a critical review of the Master of Science in Engineering Management andSustainability Management programs, both of which were designed to incorporate “criticalthinking skills” as a major focus. In addition, the paper will illustrate examples of structuredassignments and novel exercises that were developed and implemented to promote “criticalthinking skills.” In addition, special rubrics that were developed to measure “critical thinkingskills” will be illustrated.
Viswanathan, S., & Radhakrishnan, B. D. (2015, June), Developing “Critical Thinking Skills” in Graduate Engineering Programs Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23822
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