Digital Curation as a Pedagogical Approach to Promote Critical Thinking
Published in: Journal of Science Education and TechnologyLogin to get access
Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education aims to develop creative, broadminded, and inquisitive graduates who think critically. Critical thinking (CT) is conceptualized as purposeful, self-regulatory judgment involving thinking skills such as analysis, evaluation, and inference. This research, designed as an exploratory study, presents a theoretical digital curation (DC) model enabling a comprehensive pedagogical framework for developing and utilizing CT in a digital environment in higher education.
The database was composed of digital collections created by undergraduate and graduate students (n = 94) from three Israeli universities. The research questions were: (1) whether and in what ways the engagement of students in the DC activity required CT, (2) whether a significant difference in the level of CT would be found between undergraduate and graduate students in the DC activity, (3) whether a significant difference in the level of CT would be found between students provided with instruction on DC before the DC activity and a control group that received no instruction. Factor analysis of the students’ strategies produced 3 factors corresponding to evaluation, analysis, and inference that accounted for 75.34% of the total explained variance. These results suggest that as a pedagogical approach, DC can tap the key features of CT. Further statistical analyses showed that the graduate students had higher scores on evaluation than the undergraduates and that academic level and previous instruction in DC improved the quality of the DC. The factor that most influenced the quality of the digital curation was the analysis variable. Thus, DC can create a rich, active environment that promotes CT.