Enhancing critical thinking skills of civil engineering students through supplemental instruction

Ricardo Jacquez, Veera Gnaneswar Gude, Adrian Hanson, Michele Auzenne, Sarah Williamson

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Supplemental instruction in civil engineering curriculum has been conducted at New Mexico State University since spring 2003. The SI session is designed to develop critical thinking skills of the students by applying collaborative learning methods. The SI session meets once per week to resolve student's questions in the topics of domestic water and wastewater treatment. Prior to meeting in the SI session, students submit questions on the engineering and design concepts discussed within the previous week of class. Active learning in the classroom and self-directed learning outside of class create opportunities for the students to identify questions which can be resolved in the SI session. Students follow a set of steps to develop proper questions and find solutions to their own questions by applying critical thinking skills. The course also requires the students to exercise critical thinking skills as it involves design oriented open-ended problem solving. The student improvement through the SI sessions has been monitored for three consecutive semesters. Comparisons have been made between the SI group and non-SI group students in terms of academic performance throughout the semester. Bloom's levels of learning have been considered to measure the student learning through critical thinking exercises. It has been observed that SI participants have performed better than others in monitoring work examples. Also the SI group earned better grades than the non-SI group in the class.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2007
Event114th Annual ASEE Conference and Exposition, 2007 - Honolulu, HI, United States
Duration: Jun 24 2007Jun 27 2007


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