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The English Department can test their students using a literary prompt.The History Department can choose an excerpt from historical writing; Sociology from sociological writing; etc.Directions for Students: After you have carefully read the assigned reading, complete the following sentences with whatever elaboration you think necessary to make your meaning clear. Use separate sheets of paper so that you have room for elaboration.
4) The main conclusion(s) in this editorial, article, or essay is (are) ____________________.
5) The main idea(s) we need to understand in order to understand this editorial, article, or essay is (are) ___________________________.
The International Critical Thinking Test is the perfect test to teach to.
For one, the structure and standards for thought explicit in the test are relevant to thinking in all departments and divisions.
In the Analysis segment of the test, the student must accurately identify the elements of reasoning within a written piece (each response is worth 10 points).
In the Assessment segment of the test, the student must construct a critical analysis and evaluation of the reasoning (in the original piece). Each student exam must be graded individually by a person competent to assess the critical thinking of the test taker and trained in the grading called for in this examination.
In other words, the test is designed to have high consequential validity; that is, the consequence of using the test is significant: faculty tend to re-structure their courses to put more emphasis on critical thinking within the disciplines (to help students prepare for the test).
It also has the consequence that faculty think through important critical thinking principles and standards (which they otherwise take for granted).
See our white paper: Consequential Validity: Using Assessment to Drive Instruction .
The International Critical Thinking test differs from traditional critical thinking tests in that traditional tests tend to have low consequential validity; that is, the nature of the test items is such that faculty, not seeing the relevance of the test to the content they teach, ignore it.