A New Method for Assessing Critical Thinking in the Classroom
A.N. Bissell, P.P. Lemons January 2006 Bioscience Vol. 56, no. 1, pp. 66-72.

Abstract: To promote higher-order thinking in college students, we undertook an effort to learn how to assess critical-thinking skills in an introductory biology course. Using Bloom's taxonomy of educational objectives to define critical thinking, we developed a process by which (a) questions are prepared with both content and critical-thinking skills in mind, and (b) grading rubrics are prepared in advance that specify how to evaluate both the content and critical-thinking aspects of an answer. Using this methodology has clarified the course goals (for us and the students), improved student metacognition, and exposed student misconceptions about course content. We describe the rationale for our process, give detailed examples of the assessment method, and elaborate on the advantages of assessing students in this manner.

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Subject: Biology, Education:Assessment:Rubric
Resource Type: Scientific Resources:Research Results, Journal Article
Research on Learning: Cognitive Domain:Metacognition, Cognitive Development:Bloom's Taxonomy, Cognitive Domain:Misconceptions/barriers to learningKeywords: Article Subject Terms: Taxonomy, Object Subject Terms: Cell division, Critical-thinking skill, DNA replication, Double-stranded DNA, Genetic drift in toads, Grading rubric, Hydrogen bonding, Lipid bilayers, MRNA diffusion, MRNA movement, Population size, Object Statistical Terms: Likelihood Ratio