Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Brooks Applegate

Second Advisor

Dr. Donna Talbot

Third Advisor

Dr. Michael Scriven


Critical Thinking (CT) skills are important for effective evaluation. In order to increase CT competency and use in evaluation to improve evaluation results, training programs for evaluators should incorporate CT instruction.

This study focused on three areas of interest relative to CT strategies, teac practices, and assessments to measure CT performance. Six research questions were identified to investigate Program Evaluation (PE) faculty's perceptions of effective CT teaching strategies. They are: (1) How many CT teaching strategies are faculty members aware of in teaching graduate students?; (2) How often PE faculty utilize CT teaching strategies in their teaching profession?; (3) Which CT teaching strategies are perceived to be effective by faculty members in PE?; (4) What are the practical steps taken by PE faculty in implementing the different kinds of CT teaching strategies?; (5) What are the different outcomes intended by PE faculty in implementing the different kinds of CT teaching strategies?; (6) How do instructors assess the intended outcomes for their favorite "effective" CT teaching strategies?

This study utilized a mixed method approach with a survey providing quantitative data and follow-up interviews providing qualitative information that further explained the collected data. Examination of participating faculty members' course syllabi provided additional qualitative information.

Thirty one PE faculty members received the CT teaching strategies survey. Analysis of the 24 returned questionnaires (a response rate of 77%) revealed that the teaching strategy, Instructor-Directed in Class Exercises in CT, was known by 100% of the participants. Socratic Questionmg was one of the top five strategies used by PE faculty in their classrooms. Class Presentations of Small Group Projects was one of the top five strategies perceived as an effective CT teaching strategy.

The findings from this study suggest that PE educators have basic understanding of CT and are implementing various CT teaching strategies in their classrooms. However, the findings suggest the need to further develop the educators' knowledge of CT and their implementation in the classroom.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access