CT: A Measurable Outcome for SACS QEPs

Insight Assessment HSRT Difference Scores in pretest posttest critical thinking skills assessments
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Insight Assessment has over twenty years of experience working with the premiere institutions in the Southeastern Association of Colleges and Schools. The strategic thinkers leading these educational organizations count on the critical thinking assessment tools provided by Insight Assessment for the detailed evidence required to refine curricular approaches and to demonstrate educational success.

The SACS Principles of Accreditation require evidence of an institutional commitment to the concept of quality enhancement through continuous assessment and improvement.  Institutions are expected to document the quality and effectiveness of all its programs and services. Developing strong critical thinking in students is a challenging goal widely embraced by education stakeholders at every level, including employers, policy makers and faculty.

Critical thinking skills and habits of mind can be measured.  Successful QEP plans identify goals for the attainment of critical thinking skills and habits of mind learning outcomes and create a plan to assess their achievement.

Having a strong measurement plan is the key to a successful QEP project.

  • Measurement tools must be matched to the desired outcome. Insight Assessment’s academically focused tools have established their value as high quality measures of educational gains, as well as indicators of academic potential, and predictors of professional licensure and successful workplace transition.  For critical thinking skills use the CCTST or one of its discipline specific versions; for critical thinking habits of mind use the CCTDI.
  • Students’ baseline must be documented as early as possible in the project. This helps the faculty and staff learn about strengths as well as areas for improvement.
  • When developing a QEP, reasonable goals must be set based on a specified criterion: students’ readiness to learn (early program outcome), students’ readiness to assume workplace responsibilities (exit program outcome); demonstrated gains in individual students and group of students (tesing for gains across two time frames).
  • Use valid and reliable instruments from Insight Assessment to ensure dependable measures that can address any of these variables in your QEP plan.

One of the main values of a Quality Enhancement Plan for a SACS institution is that students, faculty, and administration join together to achieve a designated outcome. This requires commitment in the development of the plan, its effective execution, and a thoughtful analysis and presentation of the QEP results. Your critical thinking QEP initiative, supported by Insight Assessment, ensures integrity and accuracy in data gathering and results reporting.  All tests and measures come with assured validity and reliability. Our secure, encrypted online testing system results reporting allow you to tailor your assessment design to the needs of your campus.  Contact us to discuss your assessment plan today.

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