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The effect of three computer conferencing designs on critical thinking skills of nursing students at a distance

, The University of New Mexico, United States

The University of New Mexico . Awarded


This study addresses the need for educators to design experiences that enhance students' critical thinking ability within mediated-learning environments. The significance for the nursing profession is to foster an attitude of inquiry and advance critical thinking skills among nurses.

An experimental study was designed to test the effect of advance organizers and computer conference designs on critical thinking skills. The convenience sample (N = 96) consisted of pre-licensed Bachelor of Nursing university students in Australia and RN-BSN completion university students in the United States who were randomly assigned to one of three conference designs. A total of 18 conferences were run between September 1997 and May 1999. Critical thinking ability was measured using the California Critical Thinking Skills Tests (CCTST) and the California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory (CCTDI). Content analysis of a sample of conference transcripts was done to assist in determining levels of critical thinking.

There was no significant difference between the conference designs on critical thinking skills. Those conferences designed to support critical inquiry did show higher critical thinking means. Content analysis of the conference transcripts confirmed these findings. No significant differences in critical thinking were found between groups receiving advance organizers and those not receiving advance organizers. Country was found to have a significant effect on critical thinking. An important finding was related to learner characteristics. Age, work experience, nursing grade point average, and critical thinking disposition were all positively correlated with critical thinking skills. Nursing grade point average was found to be the best predictor of critical thinking skills. All three computer conferencing designs supported critical thinking indicating that this medium has very good potential for facilitating critical thinking in nursing education and practice.


Duphorne, P.L.O. The effect of three computer conferencing designs on critical thinking skills of nursing students at a distance. Ph.D. thesis, The University of New Mexico. Retrieved March 22, 2019 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

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