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The page provides resources for educators or trainers who would like to help others develop critical thinking, professional problem solving, or other higher-order thinking skills.

Click on a hyperlink for a document you would like to access.

College Faculty Handbook:  Steps for Better Thinking
Chapters in this handbook include:  (1) critical thinking learning outcomes, (2) critical thinking performance patterns, (3)designing coursework to foster critical thinking development, and (4) assessing students' critical thinking skills.  The handbook appendix includes several detailed assessment examples.  Although the handbook uses the term "critical thinking," the materials apply equally to other learning goals that rely on higher-order thinking skills.
 
For a working draft, send email to: Susan K. Wolcott (version Jan. 2006, 2 files, pdf format, approx. 1.3 mb total size)
 
Steps for Better Thinking Materials
Steps for Better Thinking
(1-page graphic model, version Feb. 9, 2006)
              Word 2003 format
        pdf format
Steps for Better Thinking Performance Patterns
(1-page overview of 5 patterns of performance for open-ended tasks, version Jan. 26, 2006)
              Word 2003 format
        pdf format
Steps for Better Thinking Competency Rubric
(1-page assessment rubric that focuses on skill building, version Feb. 9, 2006)
              Word 2003 format
        pdf format
Steps for Better Thinking Rubric
(1-page comprehensive assessment rubric, version Feb. 9, 2006)
              Word 2003 format
        pdf format
Templates for Designing Assignments (formerly Task Prompts)
(1-page lists of prompts for questions aimed at Steps 1, 2, 3, and 4 in Steps for Better Thinking, version Feb. 9, 2006)
             Word 2003 format
        pdf format
 
Developmental Guide
This paper: (a) describes a professional problem solving model and its theoretical basis, and (b) provides evaluation rubrics with college classroom examples.  (1998 version.  For newer materials, see the "College Faculty Handbook" listed above.)
        pdf format
 
Assessment Illustrations
See the "College Faculty Handbook" listed above
 
The Reflective Judgment Model: Implications for Service-Learning and Reflection
This very short paper contains a table that describes different levels of reflective judgment (King & Kitchener), the likely responses of students to service-learning activities such as reflection, and developmentally appropriate reflection questions that educators can use with students operating at each reflective judgment level.
        pdf format
 
Illustration of Student Assignment, Handout, Self-Assessment Form, and Classroom Activities
Example of a handout given to students as part of a course module on critical thinking.  Students were given an open-ended assignment to be turned in on the day the module began.  The handout walks students through the Steps for Better Thinking model and helps them explore what it means in the context of the assignment.
        pdf format
 
Expanding/Contracting the Quantity and Quality of Information Analysis
Handout given to students for discussion of factors that can limit information analysis.  Could also be applied to ethical/moral reasoning (see Wolcott, 2000,  A Brief Discussion of Moral Reasoning as Open-Ended Problem Solving under Publications and Working Papers). 
        pdf format
 
Materials for Student Self-Evaluation
Worksheets that can be used to guide student self-evaluations.  Use in conjunction with an open-ended assignment and classroom discussion. 
Problem Solving Skills Worksheet
This worksheet is described in Wolcott, S. K. (1999). Developing and Assessing Critical Thinking and Life-Long Learning Skills Through Student Self-Evaluations. Assessment Update 11(4, July-August), pp. 4-5, 16.
        pdf format
Describing Your Approach to an Open-Ended Problem
Worksheet asking students to describe how they addressed an open-ended problem.  The first page of the file briefly describes how to use the worksheet with students.
        pdf format
Steps for Better Thinking:  Self-Evaluation Form
Another format for the student self-evaluation worksheet.
        pdf format
Describing Your Approach to a Real-World Problem
Worksheet asking students to describe and reflect upon their experiences with an open-ended problem outside of the classroom context, including students' clinical experiences.  The first page of the file briefly describes how to use the worksheet with students.
        pdf format

 

Send email to Susan K. Wolcott with questions or comments about this web site.
Last modified: 02/11/06