Assessing the Implementation of Critical Thinking Skills in the University: A Focus on Technology Education

Malose KolaORCID iD and Habasisa Molise ORCID iD

Issue: Vol.4  No.5 May 2023  Article 1  pp.501-515
DOI: |   Published online 5th May, 2023
© 2023 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CCBY license (


There is a great demand for universities to foster critical thinking skills and this requires universities to develop effective assessment methods. Critical thinking skills enable students to interpret and integrate new information and the manner in which it is applied in unfamiliar settings. The purpose of this article is to determine the extent to which technology lecturers set summative questions that stimulate students to apply critical thinking skills. Facione’s framework for critical thinking skills was used to assess how technology lecturers stimulate critical thinking during the summative assessment. A qualitative approach was applied using a case study design. The sample constituted four technology lecturers who taught four technology modules at the undergraduate level. The findings indicated that technology lecturers in the selected university, to some extent, elicited critical thinking skills, which is important as modern education requires students to develop critical thinking skills to find technological solutions to everyday problems. 

Keywords: Analysis; Assessment; Bloom’s Taxonomy; Critical Thinking Skills; Deduction; Evaluation

Airasian, Peter W, and Helena Miranda. “The Role of Assessment in the Revised Taxonomy.” Theory into Practice 41, no. 4 (2002): 249–54.

Ary, Donald, Lucy Cheser Jacobs, and Chris Sorensen. Introduction to Research in Education. Belmont: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2012.

Berzenski, Sara R, Ryan LaSalle-Castro, Ana Kamille Marcelo, and Tuppett M Yates. “The Development of Divergent Thinking despite Poverty: Moderating Factors.” Cognitive Development 64 (2022): 101244.

Black, Paul. “Formative Assessment in the Learning and Teaching of Design and Technology.” Design and Technology Education: An International Journal 13, no. 3 (2008).

Brinkmann, Svend, and Steinar Kvale. Doing Interviews. Vol. 2. Sage, 2018.

Cohen, Louis, Lawrence Manion, and Keith Morrison. Research Methods in Education. Eighth edition. | New York: Routledge, 2018.: Routledge, 2007.

Davari, Farzad Vaghef, Farzad Teymouri, Hadi Ahmadi Amoli, Helia Mojtabavi, Amirsina Sharifi, Farshid Alaeddini, Mohammad Ashouri, Hossein Zabihi, Ghazal Shariatpanahi, and Mohammadreza Zafarghandi. “Problem-Based Learning as an Effective Method for Teaching Theoretical Surgery Courses to Medical Students.” Journal of Education and Health Promotion 10 (2021).

Department of Basic Education. Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement Grades R-12, First Additional Language. Pretoria: Department of Basic Education, 2011.

Dunne, Gerry. “Beyond Critical Thinking to Critical Being: Criticality in Higher Education and Life.” International Journal of Educational Research 71 (2015): 86–99.

Ennis, Robert H. “Critical Thinking Assessment.” Theory Into Practice 32, no. 3 (June 1993): 179–86.

Ennis, Robert Hugh, and Eric Edward Weir. The Ennis-Weir Critical Thinking Essay Test: An Instrument for Teaching and Testing. Midwest Publications, 1985.

Facione, P.A. Critical Thinking: What It Is and Why It Counts. Insight Assessment, Pearson           Education, 2015.

Facione, Peter. “The California Critical Thinking Skills Test: College Level Experimental Validation and Content Validity,” January 1, 1990.

Halpern, Diane F. “Assessing the Effectiveness of Critical Thinking Instruction.” The Journal of General Education 50, no. 4 (2001): 270–86.

———. The Nature and Nurture of Critical Thinking. Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Hart, Claire, Cliff Da Costa, Daryl D’Souza, Amanda Kimpton, and Jelena Ljbusic. “Exploring Higher Education Students’ Critical Thinking Skills through Content Analysis.” Thinking Skills and Creativity 41 (2021): 100877.

Hill, Roger B. “The Design of An Instrument to Assess Problem Solving Activities in Technology Education.” Journal of Technology Education 9, no. 1 (September 1, 1997).

Howe, Edward R. “Canadian and Japanese Teachers’ Conceptions of Critical Thinking: A Comparative Study.” Teachers and Teaching 10, no. 5 (2004): 505–25.

Insight Assessment. “California Critical Thinking Test (CCTST),” 2021.

Janse van Rensburg, Joalise, and Willem Rauscher. “Strategies for Fostering Critical Thinking Dispositions in the Technology Classroom.” International Journal of Technology and Design Education 32, no. 4 (September 5, 2022): 2151–71.

Jonassen, David H. “Instructional Design Models for Well-Structured and III-Structured Problem-Solving Learning Outcomes.” Educational Technology Research and Development 45, no. 1 (1997): 65–94.

Jones, Alister, and Judy Moreland. “Enhancing Practicing Primary School Teachers’ Pedagogical Content Knowledge in Technology.” International Journal of Technology and Design Education 14, no. 2 (May 2004): 121–40.

Ku, Kelly Y L. “Assessing Students’ Critical Thinking Performance: Urging for Measurements Using Multi-Response Format.” Thinking Skills and Creativity 4, no. 1 (2009): 70–76.

Maree, Kobus. First Steps in Research. Hatfield: Van Schaik Publishers, 2014.

Mazal, Huda Qasim, and Suhad Abdul Ameer Abbood. “The Divergent Thinking Skills of Secondary School Students.” Annals of the Romanian Society for Cell Biology 25, no. 7 (2021): 255–72.

McCade, Joseph. “Problem Solving: Much More than Just Design.” Journal of Technology 2, no. 1 (1990).

Merriam, Sharan B. Qualitative Research and Case Study Applications in Education. Revised and Expanded from” Case Study Research in Education.”. ERIC, 1998.

Meyer, L W, and P G Warnich. “Outcomes-Based Education and Outcomes-Based Assessment in South African Schools: The Way Forward.” Meyer, L, Lombard, K, Warnich, P & Wolhuter, C. Outcomes-Based Assessment for South African Teachers, Van Schaik’s Publishers: Pretoria, 2010, 161–73.

Mtshali, Thokozani I. “Critical Thinking Skills for Civil Technology Practical Assessment Tasks (PATs).” World Transactions on Engineering and Technology Education, WIETE 18, no. 2 (2020): 237–41.

Norris, Stephen P. “Can We Test Validly for Critical Thinking?” Educational Researcher 18, no. 9 (1989): 21–26.

Paul, R, and L Elder. “The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Tools and Concepts.” Foundation for Critical Thinking Press: Tomales, CA, 2007.

Paul, Richard, and Gerald M. Nosich. “A Model for the National Assessment of Higher Order Thinking.” Foundation for Critical Thinking, 4655 Sonoma Mountain Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95404 ($3)., 1992.

Phuong Uyen, Bui, Duong Huu Tong, and Nguyen Ngoc Han. “Enhancing Problem-Solving Skills Of 8th-Grade Students in Learning the First-Degree Equations in One Unknown.” International Journal of Education and Practice 9, no. 3 (2021): 568–87.

Renaud, Robert D, and Harry G Murray. “A Comparison of a Subject-Specific and a General Measure of Critical Thinking.” Thinking Skills and Creativity 3, no. 2 (2008): 85–93.

Sarantakos, S. “Social Research.” London: Macmillan International Higher Education, 2012.

Sermeus, Jan, M. De Cock, and J. Elen. “Critical Thinking in Electricity and Magnetism: Assessing and Stimulating Secondary School Students.” International Journal of Science Education 43, no. 16 (November 2, 2021): 2597–2617.

Sharma, Nitu, and Rajni Dhingra. “Divergent Thinking Skills Among Primary School Students in     Jammu: Perception of School Personnel.” International Journal of Current Research Key Words 9, no. 9 (2017): 57751–55.

Singh, Rajni, Devika, Christoph Herrmann, Sebastian Thiede, and Kuldip Singh Sangwan. “Research-Based Learning for Skill Development of Engineering Graduates: An Empirical Study.” Procedia Manufacturing 31 (2019): 323–29.

Wang, Meiqian, and Xudong Zheng. “Using Game-Based Learning to Support Learning Science: A Study with Middle School Students.” The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher 30, no. 2 (April 13, 2021): 167–76.

Wilberding, Erick. Socratic Methods in the Classroom: Encouraging Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Through Dialogue (Grades 8-12). Routledge, 2021.

Wiliam, Dylan. “Assessment: The Bridge between Teaching and Learning.” Voices from the Middle 21, no. 2 (2013): 15.

———. “What Is Assessment for Learning?” Studies in Educational Evaluation 37, no. 1 (March 2011): 3–14.


Prof. Malose Kola is an Associate Professor: School of Education, Department of Education Studies at the University of Limpopo, South Africa. He holds a Ph.D. in Education Studies. His research interests focus on Technology Education.

Habasisa Molise (PhD Student) is a Lecturer: School of Education, Department of Education Studies at the University of Limpopo, South Africa. He holds a Master’s Degree. in Curriculum Studies. His research interests focus on Commerce Education.

Kola, M. and Molise, H. “Assessing the Implementation of Critical Thinking Skills in the University: A Focus on Technology Education,E-Journal of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences 4, no.5 (2023): 501-515.

© 2023 The Author(s). Published and Maintained by Noyam Publishers. This is an open access article under the CCBY license (