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Abstract Title: Large-scale Assessment Yields Evidence of Minimal Use of Reasoning Skills
Abstract: Large-scale assessment data from Texas Tech University yielded evidence that most students taught traditionally, in large lecture classes with online homework and predominantly multiple choice question exams, did not demonstrate the use of critical thinking skills in formulating their answers when asked questions in a free-response format. Incorrect answers indicated both a lack of conceptual understanding and a failure to apply even lower order thinking skills in problem solving. While correct answers did indicate evidence of at least lower level thinking skills (coded by a rubric based on Bloom's taxonomy), incorrect and partially correct answers showed very little evidence of the use of critical thinking skills. Interviews of a subset of these students were consistent with the results of the written responses. The results suggest that in classes that routinely employ assessment instruments that do not explicitly require evidence of thinking skills, students may not develop those skills.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Beth Thacker
Texas Tech University
Physics Department, MS 41051
Lubbock, TX 79409
Phone: 806-834-2996
Fax: 806-742-1182