Peer led team learning in introductory biology: Effects on peer leader critical thinking skills

Julia J. Snyder, Jason R. Wiles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


This study evaluated hypothesized effects of the Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL) instructional model on undergraduate peer leaders' critical thinking skills. This investigation also explored peer leaders' perceptions of their critical thinking skills. A quasi-experimental pretest/post-test with control group design was used to determine critical thinking gains in PLTL/non-PLTL groups. Critical thinking was assessed using the California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST) among participants who had previously completed and been successful in a mixed-majors introductory biology course at a large, private research university in the American Northeast. Qualitative data from open- ended questionnaires confirmed that factors thought to improve critical thinking skills such as interaction with peers, problem solving, and discussion were perceived by participants to have an impact on critical thinking gains. However, no significant quantitative differences in peer leaders' critical thinking skills were found between pre- and post-experience CCTST measurements or between experimental and control groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0115084
JournalPloS one
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 28 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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