Developing an active-learning app to improve critical thinking: item selection and gamification effects

Kota Jodoi, Nobu Takenaka, Satoru Uchida, Shiina Nakagawa, Narahiko Inoue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Critical thinking (CT) is widely recognized as an important skill and attitude in this modern world, but few apps (web-based or installed on devices) have been developed to effectively train it. There is also little research on what kind of content to put into such apps and in what order, if the content is a series of reasoning questions that are intended as CT exercises. Therefore, this research project, consisting of two studies, tries to demonstrate how exercise questions can be presented to learners to sustain their motivation to work on multiple-choice CT ques-tions. In Study 1, question banks were drawn from popular workbooks for CT and verbal reasoning. The questions were ranked in terms of difficulty based on the participation of university students (N = 73). In Study 2, the questions were loaded onto two types of web-based apps: (1) one that sequentially gives multiple-choice questions with immediate feedback and (2) one with minimum gamification of group/individual competition. The experiment to examine the effect of the gamification was conducted (N = 114). Both groups with and without gamification showed improvements in the scores of the pre-/post-tests using comparable questions, but there was no clear effect of gamification. These findings show that an effective CT app can be developed using existing question banks but that the effect of gamification needs further research.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere08256
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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