The development of critical-thinking skills as a graduate attribute for undergraduate and postgraduate students: A quantitative and qualitative approach

Principal Supervisor

Professor Keith Thomas, Centre for Learning Enhancement And Research


2 years & 4 months

Approved Budget

HK $700,000

  • Project Objectives
  • Description of process, outcomes or deliverable
  • Evaluation
  • Dissemination, diffusion and impact

Project Objectives

The objectives are to: (1) identify what critical thinking means to students, teachers and alumni; (2) seek evidence of achievement of outcomes in terms of how critical thinking is assessed and reported; and (3) align learning outcomes and practice in case studies of best practice.

Description of process, outcomes or deliverable

Qualitative and quantitative approaches were used in order to clarify critical thinking (CT) in the CUHK context. A conceptual picture of CT in theory and practice was constructed from literature and this framework was used to design and inform the study. Methods included interviews with Associate Deans (Education), teachers and students from each discipline, open-ended questionnaires for alumni, and diagnostic tests.


Student test results for CT, self-evaluation on CT from test takers and interview data from faculty staff were triangulated to provide evidence of achieving outcomes. Analysis of CT-related learning outcomes and other related academic documents were triangulated with the above data in order to describe best CT teaching practices. Triangulation is thus the main form of evaluation in the project:

Publicly available guidelines:

  • Good practices according to disciplinary (rule-based, knowledge-based and skills-based) faculty groups
  • Suggestion on further improvement (development) strategies for each disciplinary group
  • Dissemination, diffusion and impact

  • Individual consultations.
  • Several presentations (12 in the 2010–2011 year)
  • CLEAR Working Paper 10.