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The Importance of Assessing Critical Thinking This Fall

Group of college students celebrating their graduation, showing of their mortarboards

Why is it important to assess critical thinking this Fall? 

     To get data to support student success.

Testing the critical thinking of incoming students in the Fall semester builds the foundation for student accomplishment.

Critical thinking skills are predictive of student success.

It’s hard to think of a career or life effort that doesn’t benefit from the application of critical thinking. Skills like analysis, evaluation, explanation, inference, deduction and numeracy are essential for problem solving. Critical thinking mindset attributes such as truth-seeking, open-mindedness, inquisitiveness, and systematicity, further underpin the motivation to resolve issues.   

Individual and group reports of critical thinking skills provide valuable analytics to support student learning and improve educational effectiveness.

Objective, reliable critical thinking data is a powerful tool.

6 ways critical thinking assessment data enables student success

A well designed assessment program delivers:

1.  Diagnostic data to support student success

Evaluating student strengths and weaknesses in critical thinking skills and attributes, as they enter academic schools or programs, provides useful information to all faculty.

2.  Input for advising students

Fall test data aids in placement and guiding students working to complete educational degree programs and professional preparation programs.

3.  Improve student retention

Measuring the thinking skills and attributes of incoming students provides essential data for student support programs. At risk students benefit from early intervention with necessary developmental programs.

4.  Comparison data for new student cohorts

Fall data establishes a baseline for the comparison of entering cohorts over time. Campus cohorts can be followed in relation to national norm comparison groups, marking their performance toward a campus quality enhancement goal. It can also provides an objective measure of improvements in student critical thinking.

5.  Evaluate impact of new curricula or instructional approaches

Examining baseline data on entering cohorts is one way to measure the impact of new curriculum or pedagogical approaches at both the program and campus level. With a well-planned pre-post test design, data can be used to follow targeted test takers throughout their program, assessing the long term effectiveness of specific curricula.  Validated data demonstrates student achievement of thinking learning outcomes for accreditation studies.

6.  Critical thinking data for researchers

Research on the effectiveness of various strategies for training critical thinking skills and habits of mind in differing educational contexts has become a valuable contribution to student learning. Researchers obtain data at the beginning and end of a designed learning opportunity to examine strategies used to train critical thinking.

Report graphic of histogram showing distribution of CCTST Overall Critical Thinking score comparison percentiles

Data to improve critical thinking skills in students 

It is important to assess critical thinking in the fall to obtain data to support student success in learning.

Insight Assessment delivers comprehensive and meaningful data that can be easily disseminated and applied to assist your efforts to document educational effectiveness plans.

Colleges and universities in every state of the nation and many countries around the world use Insight Assessment validated tools for accreditation, quality improvement, selective admissions and benchmarking.

Contact us to learn more about our test instruments and to receive a price quote.

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