Critical Thinking Project Upcoming Events CT Rubric Contact Info

Project History

Report Findings
Fall 2000 Chart
ENT104 Comp. Chart

CT Rubric

Faculty Adaptations

Instructors Responses

CT Materials

Q and A

Upcoming CT Events

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Contact Info

  Report Findings
  • In the spring of 2000, student essays from several WSU courses were assessed by faculty members trained as critical thinking readers. In the four courses where the rubric was used variously for instruction and evaluation, the papers received significantly higher ratings than in the four courses in which the rubric was not used.
  • In the fall of 2000, ten courses integrated the rubric variously. The papers continued to have a statistically significant difference from the control group which did not integrate the rubric.
  • In this semester, we also compared student growth from the beginning of the semester to the end of the semester in these courses, and looked at lower- and upper-division courses. Growth was demonstrated in upper-division courses between the first paper (written without much or any exposure to the rubric) and the second paper (written with continued exposure to the rubric). Although the overall growth was not statistically significant, individual courses did have statistically significant critical thinking gains (seen in this chart).
  • In the spring of 2001, seven courses integrated the rubric. The papers continued to receive statistically higher scores than the papers that did not use the rubric.
  • In addition to these comparisons, we also examined papers from two separate courses (one in entomology and one in world civilizations) whose instructors did not use the rubric one semester and did use it the following semester. In both courses, the critical thinking gains from the first semester to the second semester were dramatic and statistically significant (seen in this chart of results in an entomology course).
  • Finally, faculty who used the rubric were surveyed on their experiences. Unanimously, all the surveyed participants felt that the rubric helped clarify their expectations of students, and that by using the rubric in their instructional and evaluative methods, their students' critical thinking abilities improved. Sixty-seven percent also believed that their teaching abilities improved using the rubric, and eighty-eight percent will use the rubric again. Ninety percent of the faculty members who were surveyed said that their students met their expectations for critical thinking.

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