Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines

Volume 25, Issue 2, Summer 2010

Frank Fair, John Miller, Valerie Muehsam, Wendy (McCoy) Elliott
Pages 37-41

Developing a New Critical Thinking Assessment Instrument

When the accrediting association for collegiate schools of business, AACSB International, reformulated its accreditation standards to include a systematic assessment of undergraduates’ progress in analytic and reflective thinking, our interdisciplinary team looked at available instruments. Logistical problems, concerns about validity, and an interest in assessing quantitative skills not covered in the available instruments led us to devise the Texas Assessment of Critical Thinking Skills™ (TACTS™). As part of the process we followed a suggestion from Scriven and Fisher and incorporated novel multiple-rating items. We went through a lengthy process of test validation, employing both expert consultants and a large-scale comparison between performances on a standard critical thinking skills test and the TACTS™. Consequently, our university is in a position to regularly assess the progress made by undergraduates from our College of Business in acquiring the relevant analytic and reflective thinking skills.