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General Education Goal Area:   Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Existing Goal:Students will demonstrate an understanding of solving problems by recognizing the problem; reviewing information about the problem; developing plausible solutions; and evaluating results.

After reviewing past assessments for the Critical Thinking Goal, the General Education Committee devoted the 2003-04 year to rethink approaches toward this assessment.  The goal was revised and approved.

Revised goal:  Students will demonstrate the ability to identify, analyze, question, and evaluate content as a guide to understanding and action.

Efforts this year toward assessments:

1.

Critical thinking assessment study was done in PSY 150 to determine the feasibility of using this area for assessment.   Those results are reported in this section.

2.

Courses identified and preparing for pilot studies in Fall  2005 are ENG 112 and COM 231.

During the 2004-05 year a pilot assessment process was developed and implemented in Psychology 150 courses.  The results of that pilot are as follows:

CRITICAL THINKING PROJECT IN GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY

Introduction  This project is a pilot study to measure the efficacy of teaching and assessing critical thinking in general psychology.  Findings may be used by the General Education Committee to help develop college wide critical thinking assessment methods.

Rationale:  One of the goals of general psychology is to teach students to think like a psychologist thinks when he/she is curious about behavior and mental processes.  That means that students acquire the use of critical strategies, creative thinking, skeptical inquiry and the scientific approach to think smarter.  According to D. G. Myers, the author of the textbook, Psychology, smart thinking, called critical thinking, examines assumptions, discerns hidden values, evaluates evidence, and assesses conclusions

The scientific method offers an objective way to accomplish these goals.

Goal:  Students will demonstrate a basic knowledge of critical thinking in psychology.

Objective   The average score on the post test will be significantly higher than the average score on the pretest.  A scale of 10 points will be used.  The statistical null hypothesis is that there will be no difference between the means of the pre and post test.  Xpost – Xpre = 0.

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