To succeed in the 21st century workforce, graduates need to be able to deal effectively with complex, unstructured, novel problems using rigorous evidence-based reasoning and critical thinking skills. In science this includes developing both a deep understanding of the scientific process and the ability to articulate why scientific knowledge is both contestable and testable through inquiry.

In order to aid the development of those skills, we are creating evidence-based learning and assessment tasks that give students specific opportunities to practice and cultivate their scientific reasoning and critical thinking skills. Importantly, our research focus is on gathering evidence of the development of scientific reasoning and critical thinking skills by characterising the variation and measuring the quality of critical thinking taking place as students engage with inquiry-based learning and assessment tasks.

Staff:  Kay Colthorpe, Kirsten Zimbardi, Lesley Lluka, Andrea Bugarcic (IMB)

Current projects:  

  • An evaluation of blended inquiry-based learning in an authentic environment.
  • An analysis of the scientific arguments presented in oral presentations by undergraduate biomedical science students.


  • Graduated Students: Kelly Jackson (Hons 1st class)
  • Current Students: Wayne Marriage (PhD), Randall Su (Hons)