J Am Acad Audiol 2013; 24(05): 354-364
DOI: 10.3766/jaaa.24.5.3
American Academy of Audiology. All rights reserved. (2013) American Academy of Audiology

Exploring the Utility of Measures of Critical Thinking Dispositions and Professional Behavior Development in an Audiology Education Program

Stella L. Ng
Doreen J. Bartlett
S. Deborah Lucy
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Publication History

Publication Date:
06 August 2020 (online)

Background: Discussions about professional behaviors are growing increasingly prevalent across health professions, especially as a central component to education programs. A strong critical thinking disposition, paired with critical consciousness, may provide future health professionals with a foundation for solving challenging practice problems through the application of sound technical skill and scientific knowledge without sacrificing sensitive, empathic, client-centered practice. In this article, we describe an approach to monitoring student development of critical thinking dispositions and key professional behaviors as a way to inform faculty members' and clinical supervisors' support of students and ongoing curriculum development.

Purpose: We designed this exploratory study to describe the trajectory of change for a cohort of audiology students' critical thinking dispositions (measured by the California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory: [CCTDI]) and professional behaviors (using the Comprehensive Professional Behaviors Development Log—Audiology [CPBDL-A]) in an audiology program. Implications for the CCTDI and CPBDL-A in audiology entry-to-practice curricula and professional development will be discussed.

Research Design: This exploratory study involved a cohort of audiology students, studied over a two-year period, using a one-group repeated measures design.

Study Sample: Eighteen audiology students (two male and 16 female), began the study. At the third and final data collection point, 15 students completed the CCTDI, and nine students completed the CPBDL-A.

Data Collection and Analysis: The CCTDI and CPBDL-A were each completed at three time points: at the beginning, at the middle, and near the end of the audiology education program. Data are presented descriptively in box plots to examine the trends of development for each critical thinking disposition dimension and each key professional behavior as well as for an overall critical thinking disposition score.

Results: For the CCTDI, there was a general downward trend from time point 1 to time point 2 and a general upward trend from time point 2 to time point 3. Students demonstrated upward trends from the initial to final time point for their self-assessed development of professional behaviors as indicated on the CPBDL-A.

Conclusions: The CCTDI and CPBDL-A can be used by audiology education programs as mechanisms for inspiring, fostering, and monitoring the development of critical thinking dispositions and key professional behaviors in students. Feedback and mentoring about dispositions and behaviors in conjunction with completion of these measures is recommended for inspiring and fostering these key professional attributes.