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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An application of the critical incident technique to teaching Crawford, Douglas Gordon


The purpose of the study was to report on an adaptation of the Critical Incident Technique to university teaching with specific reference to its usefulness for: 1. Determining the "critical requirements" of university teaching as evolved from the descriptions of lecturer behavior by university students; 2. Studying the relationship between information on teaching obtained by "critical incidents," and supplementary information given as 'opinions' derived from general experience; 3. Educing a set of practical recommendations that may be of value to lecturers in the improvement of their university teaching practices. Volunteer fourth year Arts students were employed as the source of criterion data. The data were recorded in the form of "critical incidents" and supplementary information in the form of 'opinions.' Three classifications were applied to these data. Two classifications were made of the critical incidents, one being based exclusively on descriptions of lecturer behaviors; the other on the reported result of the lecturer behaviors. The third was applied to the opinion information. All these data were systematized according to a progression of more inclusive categories. From the first two classifications, two lists of "critical requirements" were evolved. In addition, the 'practical recommendations' were based on these data. A summary of implications and conclusions was included, as well as suggestions for future research possibilities.

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