The General Education Learning Outcome for Critical Thinking is students will be able to apply critical thinking skills through a process of inquiry that explores evidence for developing innovative and creative solutions to make informed decisions and evaluations. Thirteen course-level outcomes are mapped to critical thinking and assessed in 20 courses over a two-year cycle. Courses associated with Themes of Liberal Education for Private and Public Life collect student work in the fall of even numbered years. Courses associated with either Development of Fundamental Skills of Inquiry or Inquiry in the Sciences collect student data in the fall of odd numbered years. Figure 1 represents the aggregated percentage of course-level targets that were met and not met for the two-year cycles ending in 2015-2016 and 2017-2018.
Interventions made in response to the 2017-2018 critical thinking results
During the 2017-2018 two-year cycle, reports by Themes of Liberal Education for Private and Public Life (LBST) noted that the assessment process was highly problematic even in years where outcomes were met due to the methodology in place. Thus, a new methodology was developed that utilizes the University’s learning management system to collect authentic course artifacts. In addition, faculty attend professional development on the use of a common rubric aligned with the student learning outcomes for the courses was developed for faculty to score the artifacts collected. The new methodology was implemented in the fall 2018 collection cycle.