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Assessing Critical Thinking Summer Critical Thinking Institute. QEP Team, Faculty Champions, and Academic Roundtables. 2008. Critical Thinking. “Beyond the Obvious”. Assessment Basics. Purpose of assessment Creating valid and reliable measures Alignment of goals/measures

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Assessing critical thinking summer critical thinking institute

Assessing Critical ThinkingSummer Critical Thinking Institute

QEP Team, Faculty Champions, and Academic Roundtables

2008


Critical thinking

Critical Thinking

“Beyond the Obvious”

Critical Thinking Institue


Assessment basics

Assessment Basics

  • Purpose of assessment

  • Creating valid and reliable measures

  • Alignment of goals/measures

  • Use of multiple methods

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Assessment basics1

Assessment Basics

Why do we assess?

  • To see how well we are doing

  • To confirm what we already know

  • To share our progress with others

  • To see where we can improve and change

  • In some cases to demonstrate what does not work

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Assessment basics2

Assessment Basics

Why do we assess?

Source: http://www.c-pal.net/course/module2/pdf/Week1_Lesson5.pdf

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Assessment basics3

Assessment Basics

Does one size fit all?

  • Assessments need to be valid

  • Assessments need to be reliable

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Validity

Validity

Does the assessment measure what it is suppose to measure?

  • “Validation is the process of accumulating evidence that supports the appropriateness of inferences that are made of student responses…” (AERA, APA, & NCME, 1999)

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Types of validity evidence

Types of Validity Evidence

  • Content Related - the extent to which a student’s responses to a given assessment reflect that student’s knowledge of the content area

  • Construct Related - the extent to which the responses being evaluated are appropriate indicators of the underlying construct

  • Criterion Related - the extent to which the results of the assessment correlate with a current or future event

  • Consequential – the consequences or use of the assessment results

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Questions to examine validity

Questions to Examine Validity

Content Validity Evidence

  • Does the evaluation criteria address any extraneous content?

  • Does the evaluation criteria address all of the aspects of the intended content?

  • Is there any content addressed in the task that should be evaluated, but is not?

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Questions to examine validity1

Questions to Examine Validity

Construct Validity Evidence

  • Are all the important elements of the material evaluated through the scoring criteria?

  • Are any of the evaluation criteria NOT relevant to the material?

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Questions to examine validity2

Questions to Examine Validity

Criterion Validity Evidence

  • What are the important components of the future performance that may be evaluated through the use of this assessment?

  • How does the scoring criteria measure the important components of the future performance?

  • Are there any elements of the future performance that are not reflected in the scoring criteria?

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Reliability

Reliability

Consistency of the assessment scores

  • Types of reliability…

    • Interrater Reliability – scores vary from instructor to instructor.

    • Intrarater Reliability – scores vary from a single instructor from paper to paper

  • A test can be reliable and not valid, but never valid and not reliable

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Reliability concerns

Reliability Concerns

Reliability

  • Are the score categories well defined?

  • Are the differences between the score categories clear?

  • Would two independent raters arrive at the same score for a given student response based on the scoring rubric?

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Improving scoring consistency

Improving Scoring Consistency

  • Provide grading rubrics or scoring criteria to students prior to assessment

  • Grade papers anonymously

  • Use anchor papers to define levels of proficiency for reference

  • Use multiple scorers

  • Calculate reliability statistics during training and grading

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Assessment basics4

Assessment Basics

Assessment Purpose

  • Everything needs to align (objectives through assessment)

  • SPC QEP example

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Assessment basics5

Assessment Basics

Operational Elements (KSAs)

Definition

Appropriate Assessment Measures

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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Spc definition

Operational Elements (KSAs)

Definition

Appropriate Assessment Measures

Measurable Learning Outcomes

SPC Definition

“Critical thinking is the active and systematic process of communication, problem-solving, evaluation, analysis, synthesis, and reflection, both individually and in community, to foster understanding, support sound decision-making, and guide action.”

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Student learning outcomes

Student Learning Outcomes

  • In order to link specific and measurable student learning outcomes, SPC’s definition of critical thinking was operationalized.

  • This provided a more concrete and less abstract linkage or bridge between the student learning outcomes and the definition of critical thinking.

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Student learning outcomes1

Operational Elements (KSAs)

Definition

Appropriate Assessment Measures

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Student Learning Outcomes

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Student learning outcomes2

Operational Elements (KSAs)

Definition

Appropriate Assessment Measures

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Student Learning Outcomes

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Outcomes to assessments

Outcomes to Assessments

  • Student Learning Outcomes were then linked to appropriate assessment instruments

  • SPC’s QEP contained multiple measures for use in assessing student learning in the area of critical thinking

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Outcomes to assessments1

Operational Elements (KSAs)

Definition

Appropriate Assessment Measures

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Outcomes to Assessments

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Recent alumni survey

Recent Alumni Survey

  • Question 31: Thinking logically and critically to solve problems

    • Gathering and assessing relevant information

    • Inquiring about and interpreting information

    • Organizing and evaluating information

    • Analyzing and explaining information to others

    • Using Information to solve problems

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Employer survey

Employer Survey

  • Question 3: Use mathematical and computational skills

    • Comfortable with mathematical calculations

    • Uses computational skills appropriately

    • Accurately interprets mathematical data

  • Question 5: Think logically and critically to solve problems

    • Gathers and assesses relevant information

    • Inquires and interprets information

    • Organizes and evaluates information

    • Analyzes and explains information to others

    • Uses Information to solve problems

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Ccsse

CCSSE

  • Question 5: During the current school year, how much has your coursework at this college emphasized the following mental activities?

    • b. Analyzing the basic elements of an idea, experience, or theory

    • d. Making judgments about the value or soundness of information, arguments, or methods

  • Question 12: How much has YOUR EXPERIENCE AT THIS COLLEGE contributed to your knowledge, skills, and personal development in the following areas?

    • e. Thinking critically and analytically

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Assessment basics6

Assessment Basics

Multiple Measures

  • SPC will determine improvement in students’ critical thinking skills using the multiple measures.

  • These include standardized direct instruments, authentic assessments, and indirect methods.

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Student assessment points

Student Assessment Points

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Standardized direct instruments

Standardized Direct Instruments

Direct assessments include:

  • CAT - Critical Thinking Assessment Test is designed to assess and promote the improvement of critical thinking and real-world problem solving skills. 

  • Measure of Academic Proficiency and Progress (MAPP), developed by Educational Testing Services (ETS), is a measure of college-level reading, mathematics, writing, and critical thinking in the context of the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences

  • The iSkills™ assessment (former ICT Literacy Assessment), developed by ETS, is a comprehensive test of Information and Communication Technology proficiency that uses scenario-based critical thinking tasks to measure both cognitive and technical skills.

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Indirect methods

Indirect Methods

Student, alumni, employer, faculty, and staff reports, such as end-of-course, institutional, and national surveys and questionnaires, can provide indirect measures that help deepen the interpretation of student learning (Maki, 2004).

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Indirect methods1

Indirect Methods

Indirect methods include:

  • Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE), established at UT at Austin, a tool for assessing quality in community college education. CCSSE contains specific survey items intended to assess various Core Operational Elements (KSAs) associated with a student’s critical thinking.

  • Entering Student Survey, Enrolled Student Survey, Graduating Student Survey, and Recent Alumni Survey are the primary surveys that have been developed to collect student feedback on their experiences.

  • Employer Surveys are sent out to employers of recent SPC graduates in order to gather information on graduates’ knowledge and behavior.

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Authentic assessments

Authentic Assessments

Authentic assessments serve dual purposes of encouraging students to think critically and of providing assessment data for measuring improved student learning.

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Authentic assessments1

Authentic Assessments

Authentic assessments include…

  • Criterion-referenced rubrics. Complex, higher-order objectives can be measured only by having students create a unique product, whether written or oral [in-class essays, speeches, term papers, videos, computer programs, blueprints, or artwork] (Carey, 2000).

  • Student Reflection.Written reflection is espoused to have several important benefits: it can deepen the quality of critical thinking, increase active involvement in learning, and increase personal ownership of the new learning by the student (Moon, 1999).

  • Student Portfolios. Collections of students’ work over a course or a program and can be an effective method of demonstrating student progress in the area of critical thinking (Carey, 2000).

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Rubrics

Rubrics

What is a rubric?

  • Scoring guidelines, consisting of specific pre-established performance criteria, used in evaluating student work on performance assessments

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Rubrics1

Rubrics

SPC currently uses rubrics in such programs as…

  • College of Education

  • College of Nursing

  • Paralegal

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Assessing critical thinking summer critical thinking institute

Assessment Rubric

for Critical Thinking (ARC)

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Assessment rubric for ct

Assessment Rubric for CT

ARC was designed to…

  • Enhance the QEP

  • Align with the College’s definition of critical thinking

  • Be flexible for use in multi-disciplines

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Assessment rubric for ct1

Assessment Rubric for CT

  • ARC is a ‘global’ rubric template developed to provide a snapshot view of how student learning is being affected by the critical thinking initiative.

  • ARC will be designed to assess a variety of student projects from a critical thinking perspective. For example, students in a composition class may be asked to write a paper on a specific topic.

  • ARC rubric template will evaluate the student’s use of critical thinking skills in the development of the paper as opposed to specifically evaluating the quality of student’s writing skills.

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Assessment rubric for ct2

Assessment Rubric for CT

  • ARC rubric template will be designed to be flexible enough to address a number of student project modalities including written and oral communications.

  • The development of a rubric is an iterative process and will be improved and strengthened as it is used more widely; however, the first iteration of the rubric has been developed by the QEP faculty champions.

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Rubric development process

Rubric Development Process

  • Re-examine the learning objectives to be addressed by the task 

  • Identify specific observable attributes your students should demonstrate 

  • Describe characteristics at each attribute 

  • Write narrative descriptions for each level of continuum 

  • Collect samples of student work 

  • Score student work and identify samples that exemplify various levels 

  • Revise the rubric as needed 

Repeat as Needed

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Assessment rubric for critical thinking

Assessment Rubric for Critical Thinking

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Assessment rubric for critical thinking1

Assessment Rubric for Critical Thinking

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Assessment rubric for critical thinking2

Assessment Rubric for Critical Thinking

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Arc assignment profile

ARC Assignment Profile

  • Designed to provide consistency and accuracy in the evaluation of the ARC at the institutional level as well as provide guidelines for the use at the course level

  • ARC is essentially a ‘tool’ to evaluate critical thinking, but for a tool to be effective it must be in the correct situation or ‘job.’ It would be inefficient to use a machete to conduct heart surgery.

  • Purpose of the ARC Assignment Profile is to outline the most appropriate course assignment

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Arc assignment profile1

ARC Assignment Profile

  • Participating faculty should have one assignment during the course that can be evaluated using the ARC scoring rubric.

  • Course assignment could be a graded homework assignment or a major assessment for the course.

  • Course assignment should include all of the elements of the rubric and should be aligned with the task outlined for each element.

  • Assignments that only evaluate some of the elements or are not aligned with the specific ARC tasks will be considered incomplete and not used in the institutional analysis.

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Arc assignment profile2

ARC Assignment Profile

  • Faculty may add additional discipline specific rubric elements (such as grammar and punctuation in a composition class), but must maintain the ARC elements as listed.

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Arc assignment profile3

ARC Assignment Profile

Students should be provided a copy of the assignment rubric (ARC and any additional discipline specific elements). The specific elements and tasks include:

  • Communication:Define the problem in your own words.

  • Analysis: Compare & contrast the available solutions within the scenario.

  • Problem Solving: Select one of the available solutions and defend it as your final solution.

  • Evaluation:Identify the weaknesses of your final solution.

  • Synthesis: Suggest ways to improve/strengthen your final solution (may use information not contained within the scenario).

  • Reflection:Reflect on your own thought process after completing the assignment.

    • “What did you learn from this process?”

    • “What would you do differently next time to improve?”

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Arc assignment profile4

ARC Assignment Profile

  • Evaluating scenario (selected or created) should be stated in such a manner to allow the student to address each of the tasks.

  • QEP team is willing to assist you with the creation of the scenario or identify possible sources of existing scenario that could be used.

  • Completed student assignments should include a copy of the scenario, the assignment provided to the student (with the rubric), the students work and the final graded rubric.

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Deer population scenario

Deer Population Scenario

Three teenagers were seriously injured in a car accident when swerving to avoid a deer in on a two-lane road near a small, rural town in Florida. The residents of the town have seen more and more deer enter the town’s populated areas over recent years. Local law enforcement has been called numerous times this year to remove the animals from backyards and neighborhood streets, and one deer even caused considerable damage as it entered a restaurant in town. The mayor has been charged by the city leaders to keep the town residents safe. Local crops have even been damaged by the animals. Some long time residents have requested that the hunting season and catch limits be extended in order to reduce the deer population. One city leader even proposed that the city purchase electronic devices to deter the deer from entering populated areas. Health concerns have recently been elevated as three deer carcasses were found at the edge of town and local law enforcement suspect that the animals had been poisoned.

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Next steps

Next Steps

  • Another Scoring workshop will be held this Fall

  • Pairs of Faculty Champions (scorers) will individually score student work samples and identify samples that exemplify various levels

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Next steps1

Next Steps

  • Faculty Champions (scorers) will complete evaluation forms regarding the validity and reliability of the ARC rubric

  • Interrater reliability will also be calculated from ARC ratings

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Next steps2

Next Steps

  • Faculty champions will make revisions to the ARC and the assignment profile as needed.

  • ARC Development Process will be repeated (Steps 5 - 7)

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Questions next steps

Questions/Next Steps

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Assessing critical thinking summer critical thinking institute1

Assessing Critical ThinkingSummer Critical Thinking Institute

QEP Team, Faculty Champions, and Academic Roundtables

2008


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