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					Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences (IAS)
Critical Thinking Rubric

2005 Assessment Committee: Bruce Burgett, Diane Gillespie, Mike Gillespie, Michael
Goldberg, Martha Groom, Cinnamon Hillyard, Sarah Leadley, Kari Lerum, Becky Rosenberg,
Linda Watts

Critical Thinking (CT) Learning Objective:

The IAS program offers students multiple opportunities to acquire and hone the cognitive
processes and attitudinal qualities characteristic of advanced critical thinking. We help
students to develop the creative and self-reflexive habits of mind associated with inquiry- and
research-based critical thinking by focusing on diverse (written, performative, visual, and
material) practices of interpretation, analysis, argumentation, application, synthesis, and
evaluation. We foster attitudinal qualities that generate in students a willingness to consider
and assess multiple perspectives, draw informed conclusions, and value intellectual exploration
and risk taking.
                                                                                                       2


IAS Assessment Process and Rubric for CT:

Directions to Assessment Committee: You have packets containing two sources of information
on which to base your ratings: 1) the student’s two-page reflective essay in which s/he
describes and identifies the critical thinking attitudes and cognitive processes that s/he has
acquired and/or honed through the IAS program and 2) the two projects submitted by the
student as evidence of his/her learning with regard to critical thinking. You are being asked to
use the projects and reflection to evaluate the alignment between the student’s learning and the
specific critical thinking skills identified in the general statement above and the rubrics listed
below.

A) After reading the essay and papers, please rate the student’s overall cognitive processes
and attitudinal abilities with respect to critical thinking. (You may choose to do this overall
rating before or after you have completed the sub-ratings below.)

 Scant                                                                   Substantially Developed
  1                         2                   3                       4                     5

B) Please break down your overall rating with regard to the following characteristics of the
students’ critical thinking:

1) The student demonstrates the ability to formulate relevant and challenging questions.

 Scant                                                                   Substantially Developed
  1                         2                   3                       4                     5

   Does not pose and/or                                            Poses and justifies a challenging
   contextualize a question. Does                                  question with appropriate
   not identify or is confused by the                              development/contextualization.
   issues raised by the question.                                  Recognizes relationships of
   Represents the question and issues                              subparts/nuances of the question
   related to it inaccurately                                      and the issues it raises

2) The student demonstrates the ability to analyze and synthesize materials and data using
appropriate sources and methods.

 Scant                                                                   Substantially Developed
  1                         2                   3                       4                     5


   Merely repeats information or                                    Thoroughly examines information
   presents data as truth. Denies or                                and data. Considers source of
   ignores counter-evidence.                                        evidence for its accuracy,
   Confuses associations and                                        relevance, and completeness.
   correlations with cause and effect.                              Observes cause and effect, and
   Presents biased interpretations of                               addresses existing and/or potential
   evidence, misrepresents other                                    consequences.
   points of view, and/or conflates
   different types of sources and data.
                                                                                                             3


3) The student demonstrates the ability to interpret and/or argue, using and evaluating
relevant evidence and data.

Scant                                                                          Substantially Developed
  1                             2                    3                        4                     5

      Offers biased interpretations of                                    Accurately interprets evidence and
      evidence and data. Ignores or                                       data. Thoughtfully analyzes and
      superficially evaluates alternative                                 evaluates major alternative
      interpretations. Argues using                                       interpretations. Justifies key
      fallacious or irrelevant reasoning                                  results and procedures; explains
      and unwarranted claims and                                          and reasons creatively and
      assumptions.                                                        persuasively.

4) The student considers and assesses multiple perspectives and approaches to the material
at hand.

Scant                                                                          Substantially Developed
  1                             2                    3                        4                     5

      Deals only with a single                                             Addresses multiple perspectives
      perspective or approach. Fails to                                    and approaches and viewpoints,
      discuss other possibilities,                                         including diverse possibilities
      especially those salient to the issue                                drawn from the student’s own
      or question at hand. Falls into                                      research and/or experience.
      simplistic, opinion-based or
      relativistic thinking.



5) The student is able to draw informed conclusions, to evaluate those conclusions, and/or to
apply them in and across other contexts.1

    Scant                                                                      Substantially Developed
     1                          2                    3                        4                     5

      Fails to identify conclusions,                                      Identifies and discusses
      implications, and consequences of                                   conclusions, implications, and
      the problem, question, and/or                                       consequences, taking context,
      research. Fails to consider key                                     assumptions, data, and evidence
      relationships between other                                         into consideration. Reflects
      elements of the problem, such as                                    critically upon his/her own
      context, implications,                                              assertions.
      assumptions, data, and/or
      evidence.




1
  The 2004-2005 committee borrowed heavily from Washington State University’s “Critical Reasoning Rubric.”
We also borrowed from Facione’s and Facione’s “Holistic Critical Thinking Scoring Rubric” for the
“interpret/argue” criteria.

				
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