Improving Critical Thinking Using a Web-Based Tutorial Environment

Stephen M. Wiesner, J. D. Walker, Craig R. Creeger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


With a broad range of subject matter, students often struggle recognizing relationships between content in different subject areas. A scenario-based learning environment (SaBLE) has been developed to enhancing clinical reasoning and critical thinking among undergraduate students in a medical laboratory science program and help them integrate their new knowledge. SaBLE incorporates aspects of both cognitive theory and instructional design, including reduction of extraneous cognitive load, goal-based learning, feedback timing, and game theory. SaBLE is a website application that runs in most browsers and devices, and is used to develop randomly selected scenarios that challenge user thinking in almost any scenario-based instruction. User progress is recorded to allow comprehensive data analysis of changes in user performance. Participation is incentivized using a point system and digital badges or awards. SaBLE was deployed in one course with a total exposure for the treatment group of approximately 9 weeks. When assessing performance of SaBLE participants, and controlling for grade point average as a possible confounding variable, there was a statistically significant correlation between the number of SaBLE levels completed and performance on selected criticalthinking exam questions addressing unrelated content.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-116
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of allied health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


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