Digital Mobile-Based Behaviour Change Interventions to Assess and Promote Critical Thinking and Research Skills Among Undergraduate Students

  • Yousef Asiri
  • David Millard
  • Mark Weal
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 725)


University students’ attempts at critical thinking in research projects frequently require supervisor interventions in the form of advice giving, feedback and supportive information. Providing such interventions to each student through classroom teaching or conventional meetings is restrictive as to timing and place. By using a Digital Behaviours Change Intervention (DBCI) technique, students can get continual assistance from supervisors in their research work through the web or mobile platforms. This research sought to understand students’ perceptions of using digital mobile-based behaviour change interventions to improve their critical thinking and research skills. A survey instrument inspired by the Paul-Elder Critical Thinking Framework was designed to measure student self-perceived critical thinking abilities before and after an experiment. Five supervisors were interviewed to validate the instrument and the behaviour change intervention content. An experimental study was conducted to explore how students interact with a mobile app-based behaviour change intervention, which was developed using the LifeGuide Toolbox platform, to support critical thinking over three months of a research project. The results showed a significant improvement in students’ critical thinking skills with respect to five intellectual standards (clarity, precision, relevance, logic, and fairness) after using the system.


Critical thinking Research skills Digital Behaviour Change Intervention (DBCI) Assessment and evaluation Mobile learning 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, a part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK

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