Student Success - Measuring Critical Thinking Using Rubrics
Rubrics as an Assessment Tool for Critical Thinking
Assessments that require students to use information they have learned rather than to regurgitate facts helps students develop critical thinking skills as well as measure their proficiency. Therefore, assessments can become an important part of a curriculum aimed at developing students' critical thinking skills. Such assessments often take the form of essay tests, term papers, research projects, or performance tests. Grading assignments such as these can present a challenge because there is not one correct answer that can be scored quantitatively. Scoring consistency for assignments that have a qualitative element to them can be aided with a rubric specifically designed for the assignment.
What is a Rubric? Rubrics are scoring guidelines, consisting of specific pre-established performance criteria, used in evaluating student work on performance assessments. They consist of a list of factors important to the goal or objective of an assignment and descriptors of each level of performance, to which a number of points is awarded.
The Assessment Rubric for Critical Thinking (ARC) is a global rubric template developed for the College to provide a snapshot view of how student learning is being affected by the critical thinking initiative. It is designed to assess a variety of student projects from a critical thinking perspective. For example, students in a composition class may be asked to complete a paper on a specific topic. This ARC rubric template will help 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. The ARC rubric template is designed to be flexible enough to address a number of student project modalities including written and oral communications, and it can be adapted to a broad range of problems within a wide variety of disciplines. View the presentation about the ARC.
Example ARC Scenarios
- Computer & Information Technology (CCIT)
- Health Information Management (HIM)
- Humanities & Fine Arts
- Public Safety Administration
- Dental Hygiene, Health Services, & Orthotics & Prosthetics
- Emergency Medical Services
- Funeral Services
- Hospitality & Tourism Management and Parks & Leisure Services
- Human Services
- Medical Laboratory Technology
- Physical Therapist Assistant
- Respiratory Care
- Veterinary Technology BAS
- Veterinary Technology AS
- Early Childhood Education
ARC Administration at SPC
|Date Administered||Disciplines/Courses||Scenario||Date of Scoring Workshop||Report|
|Fall 2012||PHI 1600 Ethics||If Looks Could Kill||November 9, 2012|
|Spring 2012||PHI 1600 Ethics||Puppy Livestock||May 18, 2012|
|Fall 2011||PHI 1600 Ethics||Success in a Bottle||November 18, 2011||Report|
|Fall 2010||PHI 1600 Ethics||Housing for Sex Offenders||November 19, 2010||Report|
|Fall 2009||Business Technologies||Network Infrastructure||November 20, 2010||Report|
|Summer 2008 (Pilot)||College of Education, Early Childhood, Ethics, Student Life Skills||July 2008|
The Critical Thinking Assessment Test (CAT) is an instrument used to assess components of critical thinking. Students respond to short answer essay questions derived from real world situations. Scoring is conducted by trained SPC faculty using a detailed scoring guide to assure reliability.
CAT Administration at SPC
|Date Administered||Disciplines/Courses||Date of Scoring Workshop||Report|
|February 2013||Mathematics: MAC 1105 and STA 2023||April 12, 2013||Scoring Workshop Report|
|February 2012||Mathematics: MAC 1105 and STA 2023||April 20, 2012||Scoring Workshop Report|
|February 2011||Mathematics: MAC 1105 and STA 2023||June 3, 2011||Scoring Workshop Report|
|February 2010||Mathematics: MAC 1105 and STA 2023||April 23, 2010|
|June 2009||Communications, College of Education, Ethics, Paralegal Studies||July 10, 2009|
|May & June 2008||Early Childhood Education, Ecology, Ethics, Student Life Skills||July 11, 2008||Report|
Developing Specialized Rubrics
The QEP Team can assist faculty in developing discipline-specific assessments at their request.
For more information about the ARC, CAT, or other assessment options, please contact us at CriticalThinking@SPCollege.edu