Teaching, Training and Learning Tools includes practical strategies and tools that have proven valuable in training excellence in reasoning. Highlights include sample critical thinking questions, free thinking rubrics and training techniques.
Teaching, Training and Learning Tools
Sample Thinking Skills Questions
The sample skills test questions on this page are intended to illustrate the types of questions which might appear on a generic adult level reasoning skills test. However, the topics, reading levels, and degree of difficulty of the questions used on actual tests match the educational level and / or professional interests of the population for which a given test is designed. Some versions of these tests include a greater proportion of items which call for numeracy, as illustrated by Sample Item #6. To view a specific test qualified purchasers should purchase the preview pack for the test most appropriate for…
Sample Items for Measuring Thinking Attributes
The sample “agree-disagree” style items on this page illustrate the types of statements that could appear on a college or adult level measure of critical thinking habits of mind. The topics and reading levels of statements used on attribute assessments intended for use with children or with professional groups are aligned with the common interests and the educational levels of those populations. Consider the following statements about beliefs, opinions, values, and preferences. Decide whether you agree or disagree with each one. Remember that since you are being asked about your own beliefs, opinions, values, and preferences, there really is no…
Critical Thinking Insight App
Are you looking for a critical thinking self test?The Critical Thinking Insight app provides free sample questions and in app purchasable personal thinking assessments. Reports for each in app self-test include scores on specific components of thinking as well as analysis to help you interpret your scores and identify ways to help develop strength in each area covered by the tests. These reasoning skills tests and mindset evaluation tools are based on the employment and educational tests Insight Assessment provides to businesses, health care agencies, colleges and high schools around the world. This is the first time these kinds of…
Holistic Critical Thinking Scoring Rubric (HCTSR)
The HCTSR is a rating measure that can be used to assess the observable critical thinking demonstrated by presentations, reports, essays, projects, classroom discussions, panel presentations, portfolios, and other ratable events or performances. Students and instructors have found the HCTSR ideal for learning to make critical thinking operational in a wide variety of educational contexts. The HCTSR provides criteria for assigning a rating at one of four levels ranging from strong to weak critical thinking. Instructionally, the use of the HCTSR facilitates an understanding of the language of critical thinking in everyday conversation and practices the rater in the evaluation…
Professional Judgment Rating Form (PJRF)
The Professional Judgment Rating Form (PJRF) was developed by our research team to make holistic assessments of critical thinking in educational and workplace settings. The PJRF is used for teaching critical thinking as well, because it is easy to use as the basis for mentoring and reflective discussions about reflective and fair-minded problem solving and decision making. The Professional Judgment Rating Form (PJRF), available in PDF format below, is designed to assess novice professionals on the quality of their judgment in workplace situations requiring critical thinking. The PJRF can be used by supervisors, peers, or as a self-evaluation instrument. The…
USAF Performance Assessment Rubric
There are vital learning outcomes in the professions which are taught and reinforced through academic course work in conjunction with well-planned student development programming and supervised training experiences. This is true for management, health care, law, social work, education, military leadership, and many other fields of study offered at today’s colleges and universities.At the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, for example, the capacity to respond to ill-defined problems of many different kinds is an outcome that is expected of all cadets. There are manifestations of those capacities in the military leadership training that cadets receive, as well as…
Evaluating Written Argumentation (REWA)
Evaluating Written Argumentation (REWA) is designed to provide detailed feedback on written material intended to argue persuasively on behalf of a given claim, opinion, or recommendation. REWA addresses eight different aspects of sound and effective writing: Purpose and Focus, Depth of Thought, Thesis, Reasoning, Organization, Voice, Grammar and Vocabulary, and Mechanics of Presentation. REWA presents the criteria for effective written communication. ‘Highly Developed’ writing (leftmost column) describes the desired performance in each area and ‘Developed’ writing describes a minimal standard for effective communications. Lesser ratings detail degrees of error or shortcoming.
Techniques for Trainers of Reasoning Skills and Decision Making PDF
Techniques for Trainers of Reasoning Skills and Decision Making – Use these techniques to strengthen the training strategies you currently use to improve thinking skills and mindset in your trainee and student groups. Apply these strategies to all training exercises where the goal is to improve thoughtful problem identification and reflective decision making. Reflecting periodically on these three directives will offer you insights about your current best training practices and help you to focus your training efforts on critical thinking across content domains and educational contexts.
The Reflective Log – Critical thinking is vital to your success in life and work. It’s worth developing strong thinking skills. This critical thinking tool is intended to give structure and focus to journaling by students or trainees to integrate their insights about their thinking and decision making. Metacognition is trained through reflective writing. This version of the exercise, aimed at the undergraduate or novice professional, is easily adapted for use in other populations. Use the Reflective Log to coach trainee’ self-monitoring and self-correction skills
Mapping Decisions and Arguments
Published in INQUIRY, SUMMER 2015, VOL. 30, NO. 2, this paper by Peter A. Facione, Measured Reasons, and Carol Ann Gittens, Santa Clara University, describes a powerful new tool for examining decision making.Whether in business, government, healthcare, education, or daily life, group and individual decision making determines financial, military, policy, legal, healthcare, learning, and personal outcomes. But too often the decision making which impacts our lives and our businesses so heavily can seem opaque. Diagramming as presented in this paper holds the potential of making human decision making, particularly in contexts of risk and uncertainty, much more transparent. Diagramming the…
Participant Course Evaluation Form
The “Participant Course Evaluation Form” is a five-factor tool that can be used either for formative evaluation to assist with mid-course corrections, or as a summative instrument after the course is completed. Students are able to complete the evaluation in just a few minutes. The results can quickly be summed and reviewed because the form conveniently divides information into separate areas of concern.
Critical Thinking Exam Questions and Study Guides for High Content Courses
Dr. Carol A. Gittens, former Director of Assessment at Santa Clara University, shows how to design exam questions which evoke critical thinking in content heavy courses. See how “Why Correct?” and “Why Wrong?” formats convert standard content-based multiple choice items into explanations. Success on exams built using these formats demands much more of students than simple response option triggered content memory recall.
Course Evaluation Design Discussion Questions
A student course evaluation form, if well-conceived and designed, can reinforce educational goals, shape student expectations, and assist faculty to improve their courses and their teaching in many ways. The assessment research team at Insight Assessment offers this set of guiding questions to faculty and academic leaders seeking an effective and integrated approach to student course evaluations.
Critical Thinking Requirement Evaluation Guidelines
A set of guidelines for evaluating the position of critical thinking as an educational requirement in an institution’s general education or degree program learning outcomes. These guidelines, developed by Measured Reasons LLC, may be applied by academic leaders to gauge whether an institution’s commitment to teaching for critical thinking is superior, strong, positive, marginal, weak or deficient.
Strategies to Avoid Locking in Decisions Prematurely
In decision making we move, more or less quickly, through a process that includes sorting through options. We discard the implausible ones, identify one or more promising options, evaluate it or them on the basis of our decision-critical criteria, and select the option we come to judge to be superior.The challenge is always how to avoid locking-in prematurely. Strategies to Avoid Locking in Decisions Prematurely offers sixteen practical strategies to improve the decision making process and outcomes.This module is designed to assist in the training of personnel and agency leaders responsible for high stakes decision making in all types of…
Training Session Feedback Form
Training Session Feedback Form – This tool is intended to function as both a self-evaluation tool for the trainee and as an evaluation of the training program itself for its ability to engage the learner as intended. Completing the feedback form guides trainees to reflect specifically on their thinking experience related to the learning opportunity. Responses for each of the individual items are informative, and as a collection they serve as a subjective report of the trainee’s engagement in the embedded training exercises aimed at improving thinking skills and mindset. This is not a direct measure of the objective quality…
Strong Critical Thinking in Groups
Strong Critical Thinking in Groups is designed to trigger and augment the benefits of strong critical thinking that occurs in groups during projects, discussions or presentations. This one page tool guides evaluation of the quality of the thinking and decision making demonstrated by the group process. When used as a rating tool by someone evaluating the group process (perhaps as a leadership exercise), the rater is asked to explain the basis for his or her ratings of the group’s work in framing and analyzing the problem, and formulating solutions. When used as a self-evaluation, this tool assists group participants to…
The Culture of Thinking in your Organization
The Culture of Thinking in your Organization – Use this tool to assess the culture of thinking and decision-making that is characteristic of your organization. Consider how prevalent these manifestations of strength in thinking and decision making can be found in various working groups and in overall expectations. These characteristics can be difficult to achieve, but they are the hallmark of strong thinking organizations both in the leadership and in the membership. These ideas apply to all types of organizations: business, health sciences, education, defense, security, commerce.
Designing A Study of Workplace Productivity
Designing A Study of Workplace Productivity – Use this tool to infuse strong reasoning and decision making into studies of workplace conditions or as an example of how strong thinking and decision skills are embedded in each step of an a well- designed investigation. Well-designed studies provide trustable information, poorly designed studies do not. This example examines factors that are believed to impact productivity. The same process could be used to study the variables that influence innovation.
Training Critical Thinking and Clinical Reasoning
The following best practices essays are excerpted from “Critical Thinking and Clinical Reasoning in the Health Sciences.” Each essay provides an example of training reasoning skills and thinking mindset described by international experts in training clinical reasoning. Contributors were asked to describe their favorite lesson, but one that could be generalized to other disciplines, and to provide evidence of its effectiveness.Although the specific example lessons described by these authors focus on the content knowledge of their respective practice disciplines, the educational approaches and techniques are highly transferable to all types of training programs and educational projects. Download these essays with our…
Select Tools For Teaching For and About Thinking
When we refer to someone as ‘well educated’ we are often focusing on their display of relevant content knowledge. Yet owning content knowledge is a trivial pursuit if one cannot retrieve appropriate knowledge in the context of well analyzed problems or use it to draw critical inferences in emergency situations. For this reason, “Education is nothing more, nor less, than learning to think.” Peter Facione Everyone can learn to think better. Training someone to attend to their own thinking process, and teaching them about how they evaluate information, draw inferences, and avoid thinking errors, is a lifelong gift. On this…