Building Capacity to Measure Essential Employability Skills: A Focus on Critical Thinking Gary Kapelus, Nancy Miyagi, and Valerie Scovill, George Brown College
A recently completed study follows a three-year exploration of critical thinking skills seeking to address the question of how we measure student learning of critical thinking, an essential employability skill.
The authors learned that:
- critical thinking was not explicitly being addressed or assessed within existing college English courses and rubrics;
- assessing critical thinking was complicated or obscured by the quality of students’ English language skills and that faculty required additional training to separate assessment of critical thinking and language;
- faculty had many different interpretations of critical thinking and how it could be demonstrated in student assignments within their unique contexts
- considerable discussion was required to arrive at a consensus about the specific constructs to be included in a generic tool and how to best describe generic performance levels for each.
Resources developed during the three-year project include:
- A Critical Thinking (CT) Assessment Rubric (Appendix C) providing “an excellent starting point from which to assess students’ CT skills consistently across the curriculum. Improving the reliability of the rubric is a work in progress”.
- Critical Thinking: Learning, Teaching and Assessment, a teacher’s handbook (July 28, 2015) incorporates practical suggestions and real examples for incorporating the CT constructs and how to use the rubric
- Essential Employability Skills: from Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education.