Title: Integrating the development and usage of higher order thinking skills in the communication classroom: perceptions and impact

Authors: Muna Balfaqeeh; Asli Hassan

Addresses: The Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi, UAE ' The Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Abstract: Freshman communication course focuses on the application of critical thinking and problem-solving through the development of the engineering students' speaking and writing skills. Students synthesise, analyse, make critical evaluation of reading texts and integrate them with their freshman year experiences in their writings. Although these objectives attempt to lead students to incorporate higher order thinking skills (HOTS), most students' writings demonstrate more of the lower order thinking skills (LOTS), i.e. summarising, informing, describing and not enough evaluating and synthesising. The challenge remains for teachers to incorporate teaching practices and the corresponding assessment of students' writings that meet the course objectives and improve the acquisition of HOTS. This research plans to assist students in making the connection of LOTS and HOTS taught through an intervention that substantiates the effort to develop and increase the usage of HOTS in their writings. Based on a pilot research conducted in autumn 2013 and published as a conference proceeding, we plan to follow an improved version of the methodology used in the pilot study, as an attempt to find systematic solutions that would expand the repertoire of students' HOTS in their writings.

Keywords: critical thinking; English for special purposes; evaluation; higher order thinking skills; synthesis; writing.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCEELL.2017.084837

International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning, 2017 Vol.27 No.3, pp.163 - 182

Available online: 04 Apr 2017 *

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