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ERIC Number: ED557558
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 143
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3211-7880-7
The Impact of Cooperative Learning on Critical Thinking Test Scores of Associate's Degree Graduates in Southwest Virginia
Hodges, James Gregory
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, TUI University
This study examined the impact that the teaching technique known as cooperative learning had on the changes between pre- and post-test scores on all sub-categories ("induction, deduction, analysis, evaluation, inference", and "total composite") associated with the "California Critical Thinking Skills Test" (CCTST) for two years' worth of associate's degree graduates (n = 188) at one rural community college in Southwest Virginia. Moreover, the percentage of cooperative learning credits that were completed within these graduates' associate's degrees were studied. So too were the students' scores of cooperative learning implementation (as determined by faculty self-reporting measures) and the students' scores of classroom engagement, the latter of which was derived from the results of a locally administered survey. By running six repeated measures within factors ANOVA's, a statistically significant difference was found between students' pre-test scores and post-test scores on all but one of the sub-categories associated with the CCTST: Induction -- F (1, 187) = 11.26, p = 0.001; Deduction -- F (1, 187) = 19.78, p < 0.001; Evaluation -- F (1, 187) = 15.73; p < 0.001; Inference -- F (1, 187) = 20.35; p < 0.001; Total Composite -- F (1, 187) = 26.71; p < 0.001. The difference between the pre-test scores and post-test scores for the Analysis sub-category was not statistically significant: Analysis -- F (1, 187) = 0.96; p = 0.33. Moreover, through a series of multiple tests of hierarchical regression while controlling for potentially confounding co-variables, a statistically significant relationship was found between the independent variables (percentage of cooperative learning credits completed, scores of cooperative learning implementation, and scores of student engagement) and the change between pre-and post-test scores on the total composite sub-category of the California Critical Thinking Skills Test. The regressions yielded the following: Total Composite - F (7, 180) = 24.21; p < 0.001 and overall R[superscript 2] of 0.485; Induction - F (7, 180) = 9.31; p < 0.001 and overall R[superscript 2] of 0.266; Deduction - F (7, 180) = 11.56; p < 0.001 and overall R2 of 0.310; Analysis - F (7, 180) = 6.65; p < 0.001 and overall R[superscript 2 of 0.206; Evaluation - F (7, 180) = 4.89; p < 0.001 and overall R[superscript 2] of 0.160; Inference - F (7, 180) = 6.43; p < 0.001 and overall R[superscript 2] of 0.200. The study revealed that positive collaboration and interaction with peers advances the cognitive abilities of learners. The results validated the theoretical underpinnings of the study -- the social interdependence theory, the cognitive-developmental theory, and the behavioral learning theory. Moreover, the research proved that cooperative learning teaching techniques had a statistically significant impact on the changes between pre-and post-test critical thinking test scores in all sub-categories of the California Critical Thinking Skills Test. As students interact in a positive and effective manner with one another, their cognitive abilities are enhanced. The results also demonstrated that cooperative learning techniques had a statistically significant impact on students' critical thinking abilities even if the differences between their pre-tests and post-tests were not statistically significant. This means that even if the differences between the two tests are minimal, the pedagogy of cooperative learning impacts students' learning and success in all areas associated with critical thinking. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Virginia
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: California Critical Thinking Skills Test (College)