A Mind of Their Own: Using Inquiry-based Teaching to Build Critical Thinking Skills and Intellectual Engagement in an Undergraduate Neuroanatomy Course
Department or Administrative Unit
A changing undergraduate demographic and the need to help students develop advanced critical thinking skills in neuroanatomy courses has prompted many faculty to consider new teaching methods including clinical case studies. This study compared primarily conventional and inquiry-based clinical case (IBCC) teaching methods to determine which would produce greater gains in critical thinking and content knowledge. Results showed students in the conventional neuroanatomy course gained less than 3 national percentile ranks while IBCC students gained over 7.5 within one academic term using the valid and reliable California Critical Thinking Skills Test. In addition to 2.5 times greater gains in critical thinking, IBCC teaching methods also produced 12% greater final exam performance and 11% higher grades using common grade performance benchmarks. Classroom observations also indicated that IBCC students were more intellectually engaged and participated to a greater extent in classroom discussions. Through the results of this study, it is hoped that faculty who teach neuroanatomy and desire greater critical thinking and content student learning outcomes will consider using the IBCC method.
Greenwald, R.R., & Quitadamo, I.J. (2014). A Mind of Their Own: Using Inquiry-based Teaching to Build Critical Thinking Skills and Intellectual Engagement in an Undergraduate Neuroanatomy Course. The Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education, 12(2), A100-A106.
The Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Educati
Copyright © 2014 Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience