Critical Thinking Self-Checklist

Assessing Writing

1. students in groups of four, choose the best paper, then join with a second group and choose the best of the two. This last paper is read to the class as a whole and a class-wide discussion is held about the strengths and weaknesses of the papers chosen, leading to the class voting on the best paper of the day.

2. students in groups of three or four write out their recommendations for improvement on three or four papers (from students not in the group). The written recommendations go back to the original writer who does a revised draft for next time.

3. students in groups of three or four take turns reading their papers and discuss the extent to which they have or have not fulfilled the performance criteria relevant to the paper.

4. one student's paper is read aloud slowly to the class while the instructor leads a class-wide discussion on how the paper might be improved. Then the students work in groups of two or three to try to come up with recommendations for improvement for the students in their group (based on the model established by the instructor).

Assessing Listening

Since students spend a good deal of their time listening, it is imperative that they learn critical listening.

1. We need to call on them regularly and unpredictably, holding them responsible either to ask questions of clarification or to be prepared to give a summary, elaboration, and examples of what others have said.

2. We ask every student to write down the most basic question they need to have answered in order to understand what is being discussed. You then collect the questions (to see where they are at) or you call on some of them to read their questions aloud or you put them in groups of two with each person trying to answer the question of the other.

Through activities such as these students should learn to monitor their listening, determining when they are and when they are not following what is being said. This should lead to their asking pointed questions.

Assessing Speaking

In a well-designed class, students engage in oral performances often. They articulate what they are learning: explaining, giving examples, posing problems, interpreting information, tracing assumptions, etc... They need to learn to assess what they are saying, becoming aware of when they are being vague, when they need an example, when their explanations are inadequate, etc. Here are three general strategies that have a number of tactical forms.

1. Students teaching students. One of the best ways to learn is to try to teach someone else. If one has trouble explaining something, it is often because one is not as clear as one needs to be about what one is explaining.

2. Group Problem Solving. By putting students in a group and giving them a problem or issue to work on together, their mutual articulation and exchanges will often help them to think better. They will often help correct each other, and so learn to ³correct² themselves.

3. Oral test on basic vocabulary. One complex tactic that aids student learning is the oral test. Students are given a vocabulary list. They are put into groups of twos or threes and are asked to take turns explaining what the words mean. They are encouraged to assess each other's explanations. When some seem prepared, they are assessed by the teacher. The students who pass then become "certifiers" or "tutors" and are assigned to assess other students (or tutor them). Everyone gets multiple experiences explaining, and hearing explanations of, the basic vocabulary.

Assessing Reading

In a well-designed class, students typically engage in a great deal of reading. Hence, it is important that they learn to "figure out" the logic of the what they are reading (the logically interconnected meanings). Good reading is a dialogue between the reader and the writer. The writer has chosen words in which to convey the meaning of his/her thoughts and experiences.

The reader must translate from those words back into his/her own thoughts and experiences, and capture the meaning of the author thereby. This is a complex process requiring good reasoning. We can teach the students the process best by modeling it in the following way:

Structure for teaching critical reading.
You put the students into groups of threes, each with a letter assigned (A, B, or C). You then read a paragraph or two out of the text aloud slowly, commenting on what you are reading as you are reading, explaining what is making immediate sense to you and what you need to figure out by further reading.

After modeling in this manner for a couple of paragraphs, you ask A to take over and read aloud to B and C, explaining to them, sentence by sentence, what he/she is able to figure out and what he/she is not. After A is finished with two paragraphs, then B and C comment on what they do and do not understand (in the paragraphs that A read).

Then you read aloud to the whole class the two paragraphs that A read, commenting as you go. Then B takes over and reads the next two paragraphs to A and C. Then A and C add their thoughts. Then you read aloud what B read. Then you go on to C who reads the next two paragraphs to A and B. And so on. And so forth. As the students are reading in their groups of three, you are circulating around the room listening in and getting an idea of the level of proficiency of their critical reading. The more you use this process, the better students get.

Doing A Global Self-Assessment

One of the most powerful complex structures is that of requiring students to do a global analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of their performance in a class overall. In order for this tactic to work, the following have to be true:

  • students must be given, early on, performance profiles (correlated with grades)
  • students must be given multiple opportunities to assess their own work and that of their peers using the performance profiles
  • students must be given a thorough orientation on what is and is not expected in the global self-assessment
  • students should be required to support all claims that they make with relevant and representative evidence and reasoning
  • students should understand that if they argue for a higher grade than they deserve, their grade will be lowered.

{This article is adapted from the resource: Critical Thinking Basic Theory and Instructional Structures.}

Back to top

{"id":"151","title":"","author":"","content":"<h3><span style=\"color: #000099;\">Assessing Writing</span></h3>\r\n<p><span style=\"font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;\"><strong>1. </strong>students in groups of four, choose the best paper, then join with a second group and choose the best of the two. This last paper is read to the class as a whole and a class-wide discussion is held about the strengths and weaknesses of the papers chosen, leading to the class voting on the best paper of the day. </span></p>\r\n<p><span style=\"font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;\"><strong>2.</strong> students in groups of three or four write out their recommendations for improvement on three or four papers (from students not in the group). The written recommendations go back to the original writer who does a revised draft for next time. <br /> <br /> <strong>3. </strong>students in groups of three or four take turns reading their papers and discuss the extent to which they have or have not fulfilled the performance criteria relevant to the paper. <br /> <br /> <strong>4. </strong>one student's paper is read aloud slowly to the class while the instructor leads a class-wide discussion on how the paper might be improved. Then the students work in groups of two or three to try to come up with recommendations for improvement for the students in their group (based on the model established by the instructor).</span></p>\r\n<h3><span style=\"color: #000099; font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;\">Assessing Listening</span></h3>\r\n<p><span style=\"font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;\">Since students spend a good deal of their time listening, it is imperative that they learn critical listening. </span></p>\r\n<p><span style=\"font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;\"><strong>1. </strong>We need to call on them regularly and unpredictably, holding them responsible either to ask questions of clarification or to be prepared to give a summary, elaboration, and examples of what others have said. </span></p>\r\n<p><span style=\"font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;\"><strong>2.</strong> We ask every student to write down the most basic question they need to have answered in order to understand what is being discussed. You then collect the questions (to see where they are at) or you call on some of them to read their questions aloud or you put them in groups of two with each person trying to answer the question of the other. <br /> <br /> Through activities such as these students should learn to monitor their listening, determining when they are and when they are not following what is being said. This should lead to their asking pointed questions. </span></p>\r\n<h3><span style=\"color: #000099; font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;\">Assessing Speaking</span></h3>\r\n<p><span style=\"font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;\">In a well-designed class, students engage in oral performances often. They articulate what they are learning: explaining, giving examples, posing problems, interpreting information, tracing assumptions, etc... They need to learn to assess what they are saying, becoming aware of when they are being vague, when they need an example, when their explanations are inadequate, etc. Here are three general strategies that have a number of tactical forms. </span></p>\r\n<p><span style=\"font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;\"><strong>1.</strong> Students teaching students. One of the best ways to learn is to try to teach someone else. If one has trouble explaining something, it is often because one is not as clear as one needs to be about what one is explaining. <br /> <br /> <strong>2. </strong>Group Problem Solving. By putting students in a group and giving them a problem or issue to work on together, their mutual articulation and exchanges will often help them to think better. They will often help correct each other, and so learn to &sup3;correct&sup2; themselves. <br /> <br /> <strong>3. </strong>Oral test on basic vocabulary. One complex tactic that aids student learning is the oral test. Students are given a vocabulary list. They are put into groups of twos or threes and are asked to take turns explaining what the words mean. They are encouraged to assess each other's explanations. When some seem prepared, they are assessed by the teacher. The students who pass then become \"certifiers\" or \"tutors\" and are assigned to assess other students (or tutor them). Everyone gets multiple experiences explaining, and hearing explanations of, the basic vocabulary. </span></p>\r\n<h3><span style=\"color: #000099; font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;\">Assessing Reading</span></h3>\r\n<p><span style=\"font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;\">In a well-designed class, students typically engage in a great deal of reading. Hence, it is important that they learn to \"figure out\" the logic of the what they are reading (the logically interconnected meanings). Good reading is a dialogue between the reader and the writer. The writer has chosen words in which to convey the meaning of his/her thoughts and experiences. </span></p>\r\n<p><span style=\"font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;\">The reader must translate from those words back into his/her own thoughts and experiences, and capture the meaning of the author thereby. This is a complex process requiring good reasoning. We can teach the students the process best by modeling it in the following way: </span></p>\r\n<p><span style=\"font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;\">Structure for teaching critical reading. <br /> You put the students into groups of threes, each with a letter assigned (A, B, or C). You then read a paragraph or two out of the text aloud slowly, commenting on what you are reading as you are reading, explaining what is making immediate sense to you and what you need to figure out by further reading. </span></p>\r\n<p><span style=\"font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;\">After modeling in this manner for a couple of paragraphs, you ask A to take over and read aloud to B and C, explaining to them, sentence by sentence, what he/she is able to figure out and what he/she is not. After A is finished with two paragraphs, then B and C comment on what they do and do not understand (in the paragraphs that A read). </span></p>\r\n<p><span style=\"font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;\">Then you read aloud to the whole class the two paragraphs that A read, commenting as you go. Then B takes over and reads the next two paragraphs to A and C. Then A and C add their thoughts. Then you read aloud what B read. Then you go on to C who reads the next two paragraphs to A and B. And so on. And so forth. As the students are reading in their groups of three, you are circulating around the room listening in and getting an idea of the level of proficiency of their critical reading. The more you use this process, the better students get. </span></p>\r\n<h3><span style=\"color: #0044aa; font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;\"><span style=\"color: #000099;\">Doing A Global Self-Assessment</span></span></h3>\r\n<p><span style=\"font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;\">One of the most powerful complex structures is that of requiring students to do a global analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of their performance in a class overall. In order for this tactic to work, the following have to be true:</span></p>\r\n<ul>\r\n<li><span style=\"font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;\">students must be given, early on, performance profiles (correlated with grades)</span> </li>\r\n<li><span style=\"font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;\">students must be given multiple opportunities to assess their own work and that of their peers using the performance profiles</span> </li>\r\n<li><span style=\"font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;\">students must be given a thorough orientation on what is and is not expected in the global self-assessment </span></li>\r\n<li><span style=\"font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;\">students should be required to support all claims that they make with relevant and representative evidence and reasoning </span></li>\r\n<li><span style=\"font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;\">students should understand that if they argue for a higher grade than they deserve, their grade will be lowered. </span></li>\r\n</ul>\r\n<p>{This article is adapted from the resource: <a href=\"http://www.criticalthinking.org/store/products/critical-thinking-basic-theory-and-instructional-structures-handbook/148\"><em>Critical Thinking Basic Theory and Instructional Structures</em>.</a>}</p>\r\n<p><a href=\"#top\"><strong>Back to top</strong></a></p>\r\n<p><br style=\"clear: both;\" /></p>","public_access":"1","public_downloads":"1","sku":"","files":[],"images":[]}


At the end of this post, you can download a Self Assessment Checklist and a Self Assessment Question Sheet to share with your students.

Not only is it important for students to reflect on and evaluate the work of others, they also need to build self evaluation skills. But self assessment can be tricky. It takes a lot of practice to evaluate one’s own performance. You have to divide personal feelings from critical thinking. That’s hard for even adults to do!

How do we move a student beyond saying I was good or I sucked when evaluating their work? How do we encourage students to apply critical thinking skills to their own acting?

Ask questions

Self assessment should remain in the realm of analysis rather than emotions. Instead of generalizing with a How did you feel? type question, ask specific questions:

  • Did you effectively use class time to rehearse? Give some examples.
  • Did you rehearse out of class time? Why or why not?
  • Was the rehearsal time sufficient to prepare your scene? Why or why not?
  • Describe what it was like to work with your group. Did you get along with them? Why or why not?
  • How prepared were you for each rehearsal? Give examples. (Eg: I learned my lines before rehearsal; I always had a pencil to record blocking; I arrived at class on time.)
  • In what ways did you participate during rehearsals? Give examples. (Eg: I had ideas for blocking; I was enthusiastic during rehearsals; I stayed on task.)

A rubric is easy to follow with this type of self assessment. The more specific and detailed the answer, the higher the mark.

Divide the rehearsal and performance experience

In the classroom, a performance is only one piece of the puzzle. Instead of a general How did you feel, you may wish to divide up student response between rehearsal and performance. Ask students to describe their rehearsal experience:

  • Describe how you participated during the rehearsal process.
  • Describe how you listened to others in your group during rehearsals.
  • Describe your attitude toward the assignment during rehearsals.
  • Describe how you took any criticism during rehearsals.
  • Describe how you gave criticism during rehearsals.

You’ll be able to get a good sense of how much a student was an active member of their group through this type of self assessment.

And then ask students to describe their performance experience:

  • Describe what it was like to perform your scene. Did you feel prepared? Did you feel nervous?
  • Describe the audience response to your acting. Were you surprised? Did the responses happen as expected?
  • Describe what worked well for you during the performance.
  • Describe what you wish went differently during the performance.

Reflection

If you ask students to reflect on the experience as a whole, have them identify what worked during the process and what they would change for future assignments. Get them to focus on technique: how have they improved their acting skills or where do they need to improve? Stay away from what they liked or didn’t like. Emotional thinking can lead to students feeling badly about themselves instead of thinking critically their acting. Stay in the realm of what worked and what didn’t work. If students can identify something that they can improve upon or that they’d like to change, you can use this as an assessment tool later on. Did they actually attempt to change or improve that aspect in a different scene?

How detailed should this assessment be?

It depends on the age of the student. You can do a checklist where students grade themselves based off of statements. You can do informal journal entries or something more formal. The point of the self assessment is that students learn to look back at what they’ve done and apply this knowledge to future work.

Click here to download a Self Assessment Checklist and a Self Assessment Question Sheet to share with your students

0 comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *