Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines

Volume 23, Issue 1/2, Fall/Winter 2003/2004

Critical Thinking and Adult Literacy

David G. Lebow, Dale W. Liek, Hope J. Hartman
Pages 69-79

HyLighter and Interactive Annotation
New Technology to Develop Higher-Order Thinking Skills

The ability to gain knowledge from text in widely different subject matter areas is key to academic success and lifelong leaming. The process of attaining critical understanding of ideas in text requires a robust repertoire of leaming or study strategies, metacognitive knowledge for regulating their use, and willingness to apply them. Although much is known about the basic design of leaming environments to develop higher-order thinking skills and motivation to learn, educators have, in general, not changed their practices to reflect new knowledge. The lack of procedures that are easy for teachers to administer and provide results that teachers may use in their classrooms for assessment of complex cognitive skill development is a major obstacle to widespread adoption of new approaches. This paper describes a new technology, referred to as HyLighter, and a pedagogically sound implementation of this technology, referred to as the Interaclive Annotation Model. This approach suggests a promising direction for improving the quality of instruction and promoting active reading (i.e., an approach to the development of leaming ability that combines reading with critical thinking and a range of learning-to-Iearn skills) for students in higher education across academic disciplines.