Assessing student CT skills in the disciplines: Partnering students in designing online quizzes for applied learning
Critical thinking (CT) has been identified as a key transferable skill in higher education. Yet, in cultivating student thinking, tutors find it challenging to intentionally integrate CT in their instruction. Moreover, the effective assessment and measurement of students’ CT skills remain challenging. While some institutions have relied on commercial standardised tests, many tutors are grappling with issues on designing their own CT assessments. In fact, scholars have questioned their reliability. While quizzes as a means of e-assessment are commonly used, they tend to be used for students to assess their understanding of content rather than to test knowledge. As part of a larger research study, this presentation focuses on our on-going investigation into using tutor-student jointly designed online quizzes as a self-assessment component and how they enhance CT learning outcomes of a module. These quizzes accompany an online learning package of tutor developed videos introducing students to the Paul-Elder (2020) CT framework. Students reading a university-wide compulsory module on critical thinking and communicating, contextualized in five different degree programmes, are tasked to view the videos at the start of the module, jointly design quiz items with their tutors and attempt them at the end of the module. Quiz items demonstrate the application of CT in the specific discipline that the students are in. Gathering student feedback through scheduled post-module FGDs, we will analyse the qualitative feedback using a conceptual framework informed by Condon and Kelly-Riley’s (2004) 7-stage guide as a means for measuring students’ CT skills. This enquiry contributes to the gap in literature on assessing CT skills in the disciplines and partnership with students in instructional design. We expect the findings to reveal that the jointly designed quizzes will allow tutors to not only build their own assessments to meaningfully fit within the tutors’ aims for CT development in students, but also students’ learning needs and discipline-specific goals of the degree programmes. Our presentation will offer key recommendations in instructional design particularly in assessing students’ CT skills for an explicit and visible critical thinking integration in the disciplines.