Problem based learning through laboratory work and authentic assessment: empowering critical thinking abilities in indonesia students

Hilarius Jago Duda., Herawati Susilo and Peter Newcombe

Twenty-first century learning has seen the memorizing concept of learning replaced by a new concept, namely self-finding and self-constructing concept aimed to boost students’ high order thinking skill, critical thinking, creative thinking, and problem-solving ability. The present research incorporated a Problem-Based Learning (PBL) model through laboratory work and authentic assessment to enhance the student’s critical thinking ability. The design of the study was quasi-experimental with pretest-posttest non-equivalent control group. The participants were 60 students of biology department of School of Teacher’s Training and Education of Persada Khatulistiwa Sintang, Indonesia. The students were taking animal physiology course and were randomly allocated into wither a PBL class or a standard instruction control class. Students were pre-tested for their critical thinking ability and then tested again after the 12-week semester. Both classes significantly improved their critical thinking skills over the semester. However, at post-test, the PBL class scores on the final essay test were significantly higher than the control class. These results support the inclusion of PBL with laboratory work and authentic assessment to improve students’ critical thinking abilities in biology courses.

Download PDF: