Analysis And Critical Thinking In Assessment

Analysis And Critical Thinking In Assessment-51
A scoring session with 29 readers from across campus was led by Professor Helmbrecht and Professor Josh Machamer, chair of the General Education Governance Board, on June 27, 2014.Readers were comprised of faculty members who had submitted their students’ work for assessment, members of the learning community, members of the Academic Assessment Council, and other interested faculty members.The learning community was initially charged with defining what critical thinking means at Cal Poly.

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They will look for logical connections between ideas, consider alternative interpretations and evaluate the strength of arguments presented.

Everyone experiences some degree of subconscious bias in their thinking.

The sample sizes are given in the first row; the numbers vary due to the removal of the discrepant papers on that trait. Facione, “Critical Thinking: A Statement of Expert Consensus for Purposes of Educational Assessment and Instruction” (Millbrae CA: California Academic Press, 1990).

Also known as “The Delphi Report,” it articulates the findings of a two-year effort to make a “systematic inquiry into the current state of CT and CT assessment.” The report can be found at

Assessing for Trait 5 proved somewhat challenging, as most academic papers do not require self-assessment, yet this trait was deemed an essential component of critical thinking by the learning community.

As such, instructors were asked to include a short reflection with the assignment, using the following language: When submitting your paper, please include a typed, one-page (minimum) “Writer’s Memo” wherein you reflect on the choices you made as you wrote your essay.For example, a 1.5 indicates that the student’s paper received a 1 and a 2 on a single trait, and a score of 2 indicates that the paper received a 2 and a 2, any 1/3 splits having been removed.The tables and graphs show the percentage distributions of these average scores for the five traits by class; the three lowest and two highest score categories were grouped together.Excerpts from the WASC Interim Report Investigation (AY 2012-13).The assessment began its three-year cycle with the establishment of the Critical Thinking Learning Community comprised of faculty from across disciplines.The learning community developed a five-point critical thinking rubric (appendix B.2) based on the five traits identified above, on the language in “The Delphi Report,” and on the Cal Poly University Writing Rubric, which was developed for the University Learning Objectives Assessment Project that ran from 2008 to 2011.The critical thinking rubric is analytic in the sense that it assesses for five traits separately as opposed to giving an artifact a single holistic score.To determine whether the instructors’ assignments elicited argumentative writing, Professor Helmbrecht collected and reviewed the assignments in advance.Nearly every assignment was deemed acceptable for the assessment project.Readers were each paid 0 for their participation.In preparation for the scoring session, faculty members read and scored three essays in advance, so that they could become familiar with the rubric’s language.


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