An Examination of College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Faculty Perceptions Regarding Higher Order Thinking Opportunities and High Impact Learning Experiences for Students
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Higher order thinking is a cognitive process that occurs at higher-levels of thinking. Institutions of higher education desire to graduate persons with the ability to think critically and to be able to contribute effectively in the work force. Higher order thinking opportunities are a critical part of this process. The purpose of this study was to assess higher order thinking opportunities for students from the perceptive of faculty members in a college of agriculture at a land grant institution and to gain an understanding of these same faculties’ thoughts towards high impact learning opportunities. The two-part study examined higher order thinking opportunities and high impact learning awareness. Guiding questions for the study included: What level(s) of cognitive engagement and experiences do teaching faculty in a College of Agriculture and Life Sciences provide for students? And, how familiar are faculties with high impact learning teaching strategies? An online questionnaire was created based on the work of Whittington that sought to describe attitude towards providing higher order thinking opportunities with additional questions to describe the awareness of high impact learning strategies. The questionnaire was constructed through the use of Qualtrics™, the university’s survey software, and distributed to faculty through university email. Data collected was analyzed using SPSS™, a statistical analysis program. Analysis of data revealed that faculties in the college of agriculture contain a positive attitude toward instructing at higher levels of thinking with a mean of 226 on a scale ranging from 50 to 300, and provide their students with a wide range of learning activities. Gender, tenure, or receiving of a teaching award was not found to be a statistically significant predictor of attitude toward instructing at higher levels of thinking. Findings revealed assessment development as one area of need and also an inconsistent awareness of Bloom’s Taxonomy. Respondents were predominately positive toward the implementation of high impact learning experiences but indicated the need for additional support from administration related to the implementation of high impact learning strategies.
Dube, Crystal Adela (2014). An Examination of College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Faculty Perceptions Regarding Higher Order Thinking Opportunities and High Impact Learning Experiences for Students. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from