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How Can I Assess Critical Thinking with Student-Created Work?

Presenters: Linda B. Nilson, Ph.D., Director of Teaching Effectiveness and Innovation, Clemson University

This course is worth 1 hour (0.1 CEU) of professional development. A certificate of completion can be printed once the program has been completed.


About this Course


It’s all about that moment when a student not only masters the textbook but also learns to think beyond it.

In today’s academic market, it is not enough to produce that “Aha!” moment—we are also required to define that moment as an outcome and assess our students’ facility for thinking.

For an essential guide to critical thinking outcomes assessment, choose the 20-Minute Mentor from Magna Publications, How Can I Assess My Students’ Critical Thinking Skills with Student-Created Work?


This program provides keys to defining learning goals, creating assignments, and drafting rubrics to measure students’ achievement of critical thinking outcomes.

You will gain an effective portfolio of guidelines for writing and designing assignments that assess how effectively students can solve real-world problems.

You will also learn how to define criteria and performance levels for assessing the student-constructed responses and ensuring that students monitor their reasoning while composing their responses.

Presenter’s direct, practical guide to the complexities of outcomes-based critical thinking assessment is applicable across diverse academic disciplines, from the sciences to the humanities.

This program is also available in the Critical Thinking Skills 4 Pack.


The presenter brings more than 25 years of experience as a faculty development director, the last 17 of which have been spent as director of the Office of Teaching Effectiveness and Innovation at Clemson University.

After watching this 20-Minute Mentor, you will:

  • Recognize opportunities for critical thinking assignments
  • Design prompts that elicit the student-constructed responses that require critical thinking and ensure a basis for assessing students’ cognitive skill sets
  • Develop rubrics for assessing those skill sets


For a definitive guide to drafting learning goals, assignments, and grading rubrics for improving and assessing student critical thinking skills, choose the 20-Minute Mentor How Can I Assess My Students’ Critical Thinking Skills with Student-Created Work?

Learn to:

  • Identify course material appropriate for assessing critical thinking
  • Delineate student learning outcomes related to analytical and evaluative reasoning
  • Develop prompts to elicit student-constructed responses, deliverables with non-standardized answers that call for interpretation, and analysis of real-world situations
  • Create reflective exercises that teach students how to monitor and evaluate their own reasoning and their awareness of a priori assumptions
  • Define criteria and performance levels for assessing critical thinking outcomes


After participating in this motivating program, viewers also get to take following essentials:

  • Lists of assessable critical thinking outcomes sorted by disciplinary type
  • Targeted materials to facilitate the development of assignments for constructed responses in different disciplines
  • Resources for further study, as well as for connecting to academic communities of scholars of critical thinking development


This 20-Minute Mentor was designed to benefit all educators charged with boosting and charting students’ achievement of outcomes related to critical thinking.