Can robotics increase critical thinking skills?

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Can robotics increase critical thinking skills?

Postby John » Sun Dec 01, 2013 2:18 pm

Can robotics increase critical thinking skills in high school students? How do you assess critical thinking?
John Abraham
John
 
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Re: Can robotics increase critical thinking skills?

Postby John » Sun Dec 01, 2013 2:19 pm

Of course robotics can increase critical thinking skills! Whenever you design and build something, you learn to think on your feet and figure out different ways to do things to make things work. Critical thinking is not a passive skill. You can have robotics in the classroom and let someone tell you each step of the process... you don't really learn as much that way.

How do you assess critical thinking? I assume you are asking how individual teachers might assess a student. This can vary. Typically robotics will generate its own set of problems for students to figure out and solve. Observing students as they work and listening to their thought process as they talk their way through a problem, gives great insight into their critical thinking skills.

Often, teachers require that students put these thoughts in a journal or answer a question in an essay form. This provides one method of assessing a student's critical thinking skills but it is probably not the best way. Problem solving is very dynamic. You try things... test to see if they work... if they don't (which happens often), you try something else. Having to list all this in a journal can be very tedious and take away from the problem solving.

One way to get around this problem is to assign people jobs on their teams and let one person write the journal for the team. Team members rotate through different jobs so everyone gets the chance to do all the different jobs. This technique is one I like. Observation is a good learning experience. Writing is also something necessary in any career. The journalist for the team can observe and log the activities during problem solving and allow the teacher more insight into the group's activities.

The thing I like best about robotics is how much fun it is to learn. Making "mistakes" and trying new things is a big part of robotics and a great learning experience. It is an amazing feeling to finally get something to work the way you want.

I hope this helps!
John Abraham
John
 
Posts: 419
Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2013 9:15 pm


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