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Trends and research outcomes of technology-based interventions for complex thinking development in higher education: A review of scientific publications

Azeneth Patiño 1 * , María Soledad Ramírez-Montoya 1, Gerardo Ibarra-Vazquez 1

CONT ED TECHNOLOGY, Volume 15, Issue 4, Article No: ep447

Submitted: 03 April 2023, Published Online: 19 June 2023

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Complex thinking is a desired competency in 21st-century university students, so technology-based teaching and learning strategies must be carefully considered when training them in complex reasoning skills. This systematic review aims to map research on the use of teaching and learning strategies supported by technology to enhance complex thinking skills in university students. This review reports results according to PRISMA (preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses) guidelines. The search strategy was performed in June 2022 in Scopus and Web of Science databases. Of 151 records initially identified between 2018 and 2022, 32 papers were included in the final synthesis per the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The results of this review indicate that (1) tech-based strategies for complex thinking development are based on active learning approaches including problem-based learning, case-based learning, collaboration-driven and discussion-based learning, project-based learning, assessment- and feedback-oriented activities, and mind mapping techniques; (2) most of the documented strategies were implemented in hybrid contexts; (3) traditional instructional materials commonly used for promoting higher order thinking skills such as reading assignments, videos, and eliciting/reflexive questions are still effective in fostering complex thinking when delivered through technology; and (4) custom-built technological development for complex thinking development software that incorporates emerging technologies is scarce at present. Further research is needed to document the interventions that train students interactively in complex thinking skills using Education 4.0 technologies.



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