Fred DiCostanzo

Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

Ed.D. Educational Leadership


Educational Leadership


College of Education

First Advisor

Coaxum, James


Critical thinking; Health services administration--Study and teaching--Simulation methods


Other Educational Administration and Supervision


The purpose of this action research study was (a) to observe the impact of simulation on the critical thinking disposition of undergraduate students in a health administration program, and (b) to observe faculty perceptions of the efficacy of simulation as a training and evaluative tool for undergraduate students in a health administration program. The California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory (CCTDI) was used to measure critical thinking disposition in an experimental group of subjects before and after a simulation, and in a control group of subjects who did not undergo simulation. The experimental group scored higher on the post-test CCTDI than on the pre-test, and overall scores from the experimental group post-test were higher than those of the control group. Qualitative findings demonstrated that simulation challenged subjects in areas germane to critical thinking, such as leadership and interpersonal communication. Faculty observers of the simulations recognized that simulation-teaching techniques can be useful for management, leadership, and ethics instruction, and that simulation can be useful as a tool to evaluate technical and conceptual competencies of undergraduate students in a health administration program. Additionally, the research demonstrated how simulation could provide a concrete experience, which launches experiential learning that, in turn, has the potential to improve critical thinking. A simulation/ experiential learning model is also suggested.