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Educational Outcomes and Reflective Thinking Report


The aptitude to reflect critically is an elementary trait exuded by man. It is notable that, each activity undertaken by man consciously entails thinking critically. Circumstances requiring people’s autonomous thinking include unraveling problems, evaluating options, making judgments, explaining progressions and results and interpreting matters. Reasoned thinking entails all facets of rational and reasoned judgments including choosing what to suppose or do. Reflective thinking also focuses on suppositions hence entails inquiring the assumptions, which are essential to people’s traditional and ordinary way of judgments and actions. This generates a divergent way of thinking and acting emanating from questioning people’s assumptions (McLean, 2005). Independent thinking emancipates persons and empowers them to refute and analyze opinions and decisions.

This piece will identify a management unit, whose objectives include critical thinking. Further, it will utilize the chosen course to avail answers regarding the opinion of the tutor for including or failing to provide a designed assessment procedure necessary for evaluating critical thinking. Furthermore, it will confer specific elements indicating an occurrence of critical thinking. Moreover, it will avail discussions on how critical thinking assessment may take place based on scholars’ work. Additionally, this paper will quantify critical thinking from knowledge products. Finally, it concludes by summarizing the pertinent discussions presented on diverse facets of critical thinking.

A management course on “Critical Thinking and Project Management, MIS 3210 available at http://memphisstate.org/3210MWfall10syl.pdf” gains usage in enhancing conclusive discussions on the identified areas (Stafford, ND). The tutor succinctly accentuates the coherence of coaching beginners on critical thinking, which is significant in running projects. The tutor appreciates and recognizes critical thinking as a core facet of the course.

The tutor illustrates the course through the amalgamation of critical thinking conception and project running progressions. The course also hopes to confer issues that enhance scholar’s critical thinking, avail insights on managing diverse components of projects through critical thoughts. Further, the objectives of critical thinking entail, students, learning what characterizes critical thinkers, primary activities of critical thinking and the need for students to apply critical thinking activities to the process of project management.

Designed Good Assessments for Critical Thinking

It is observable that, the instructor failed to incorporate assessment standards for reflective thinking in the course summary. Notably, the intricate nature of critical thinking requires assessment techniques to ascertain learner’s performance against intended learning outcomes. Perhaps, the tutor considered the description of the unit contents to be significant in comparison to the demarcating assessment formula.

Further, many tutors fail to include assessment style in a course outline because their institutions may not emphasize the design of assessment guiding principles (Peterson & Einarson, 2001). Conversely, I would decidedly consider designing good appraisal plans for critical thinking to improve studying the course. Designing assessment progression helps to realize constructive effects on course satisfaction. Moreover, it will enhance results obtained from scholars and institutional performance.

Appraisal plans works on a student’s intellectualism, faculty actions, and its relations with the external environment (Peterson & Einarson, 2001). Further, I would consider engaging the usage of entrance and exit checks to gauge the student’s cognitive aptitudes. Entrance tests augment getting insights on scholar’s critical reflection capability before coverage of the course content while exit tests helps in attaining similar ideas after content coverage. Moreover, I will consider creating rubrics, which is a grading tool with delineated progressions including judgment and performance expectations of learners.

Additionally, my interest would be to devise assessment procedures that ensure students attain the projected performance by estimating enhancement on knowledge outcomes at intervals during the semester (Bates, 2003). Further, I would desire to design an assessment plan with the capability to enable students to improve educational experiences. The assessment would entail answering “how” and “why” hence becomes a core facet of syllabus design. Using multiple-choice assessments would help to gauge the scholar’s critical thoughts of being able to choose between the options provided to make the right decision.

Essential Elements in Determining Critical Thinking Has Taken Place

The diverse indicators of an occurrence of critical thinking entail conducts scholars’ exhibit after a learning progression or in the middle of the process. The essential features showing the occurrence of critical thinking express understanding, proficiencies, and thoughts acquired by learners through the process. Regularly, the determination of outcomes generated by critical thinking happens according to predetermined anticipations.

To begin with, assumptions escalate that critical thinking has occurred, when there is a personal transformation on the learner. Scholar utilizes observations, judgment, sensitivities, discussions, and actions to exhibit critical thinking occurrences (Bates, 2003). The ability of learners to resolve challenging dilemmas efficiently may also indicate critical thinking. Multiple choices utilized to examine students may gain usage as a tool for determining the occurrence of reflective thinking where learner’s rejoinders depict their level of critical thoughts while handling the exams. Tutors will gauge the intensity of reflective thinking in students by observing their effectiveness (McDonald, 2002).

Assumptions together with presuppositions are also essential elements, which anticipate critical thinkers to distinguish that thoughts habitually stem from assumptions. To show that critical thinking has occurred, there must be an indication that assumptions made stemmed from a clear understanding of the circumstances surrounding the matter (Paul & Elder, 2006). Assumptions made are also free of prejudices, labels, partiality, and distortions. Finally, the assumptions made must be diverse from other peoples. A critical thought must indicate purposes together with objectives and functions. This becomes an essential element since scrutinizing all thinking helps to verify their purposes, usage, and objectives. Further, connotations of a problem solved or questions settled by a reasoned thought made indicate an occurrence of critical thinking (Paul & Elder, 2006).

Learners always ensure that a critical thought takes place responding to a circumstance-requiring problem solving of responding to questions. Also, information, facts, proof, and experience constitute elements for determining critical thinking occurrence. When they are identifiable in critical thinking made, they indicate that critical thinking has happened. Inferences and elucidations indicates the occurrence of critical thinking by learners. This is true when the learners can succinctly avail the conclusions made in critical thinking as well as interpretations emanating from the critical thoughts.

Conception and ideas also contribute to determining the occurrence of critical thinking (Paul & Elder, 2006). Critical thinking must be profound, apparent, appropriate and realistic similar to concepts influencing it. Furthermore, implications and repercussions identifiable in a thought indicate critical thinking. Critical thoughts must lead to someplace and cause implications together with causing repercussions when implemented. Additionally, most thinking must happen within certain points of scrutiny thus critical thoughts possess specific position of arguments pertinent to the subject (Paul & Elder, 2006)

Determine Critical Thinking in Terms of Evaluating Student Work

Evaluation of critical thinking based on student work takes place as a continuous educational process. Notably, tutors constantly expect students to rationalize their decisions on solving certain classwork assignments. The evaluation methods digress from the traditional way, which entailed usage of exams, trials together with term papers (Saroyan & Amundsen, 2004).

They appraise results of learning through pieces that reveal learners’ attainment of declarative comprehension which regularly emphasize cumulative facets of gained knowledge. Conversely, alternative methods for evaluating students’ critical thinking capabilities tend to move further than appraising studying products. They evaluate scholar’s ability to apply acquired knowledge in real circumstances demanding crucial reasoned thinking (Saroyan & Amundsen, 2004).

Learner’s acquirement of cognitive aptitudes evaluations happen through pieces providing proof of learners’ thinking including representative studies, portfolios together with periodicals. Inviting learners to demonstrate the progression they followed while computing a mathematical problem enables judgment of the progression as well as the result, which is the elucidation of studying. Further, while handling case study problems, a tutor may invite learners to explain the rationale of their decisions, particularly where alternative credible solutions also exist (Saroyan & Amundsen, 2004).

This helps to indicate the thinking process employed by learners to solve case problems. Students’ work enables evaluation of critical thinking through peer evaluation of scholars’ work. In this scenario, fellow student scrutinizes leaner’s work to avail feedback on critical thinking displayed by the learner. Notably, peer review gains usage by students in effecting appraisals with minimal impacts including availing opinions rather than in comprehensive evaluations entailing awarding marks (Saroyan & Amundsen, 2004). Peer evaluation necessitates preparing learners to equally avail and receive responses in a constructive manner capable of improving student’s knowledge.

Measuring Critical Thinking in Terms of Learning Outcomes

The estimation of student’s depth of reasoned thinking based on the learning outcomes still applies widely. However, the measurement becomes a hard task to perform, as critical thinking is a continuous process. Measurements often occur by the expectations of the tutor as described in a course blueprint (Stevens & Levi, 2005). Further, the contents of the unit description together with the studying objectives are also appropriate in determining the intensity of reasoned thinking. Application of outcomes in a learning scenario engages the defined facets of learner’s achievements measurable from the content domain.

Most tutors’ measure critical thinking of learners through administering entrance tests at the beginning of the course and exit tests as the course nears conclusion. The tests invite learners to avail feedback on demonstration of their cognitive aptitudes. Apparently, through this scholars reveal a high level of differential reflective thinking while commencing and ending a semester course. At the commencement of classes, learners will not attain a huge percentage in exhibiting critical thinking abilities, while at the end of a course same students will appreciate and explicitly show a high level of critical thinking upon completion of the course (Stevens & Levi, 2005).

The significance of this measurement emanates from the observation that students’ insights on their abilities assessed instead of the learning results of a course differ broadly before attending course classes and after the course content coverage. Furthermore, measurement of critical thinking of learners may also employ a complicated progression, which entails developing ranking rubrics for every class tasks. Rubrics entail unambiguous measurement sets and anticipations for grading learners (Stevens & Levi, 2005). Rubrics stipulates course study results expected from every task, avail specific performance list indicating how students should complete their tasks, and avail information essential for expediting assessment of unit outcomes.


Notably, critical thinking becomes manifest when one undertakes pertinent activities. It is observable that, tutors may fail to outline progressions for the assessment of critical thinking due to diverse reasons. However, using test questionnaires, numerous choices of examination and rubrics gain usage in such assessments. Further, essential elements for ascertaining the occurrence of reasoned thinking entails assumptions, purposes, deductions, consequences, and arguments. This piece also entailed appraisal of reflective thinking scholarly facts compounded with measurement of educational outcomes.


Bates, M. (2003). The Assessment of Work Integrated Learning: Symptoms of Personal Change. Journal of Criminal Justice Education, 14 (2), 303-325.

McDonald, M. (2002). Systematic Assessment of Learning Outcomes: Developing Multiple-Choice Exams. Massachusetts, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

McLean, C. (2005). Evaluating critical thinking skills: Two Conceptualizations. Journal of Distance Education, 20 (2), 1-20.

Paul, R. & Elder, L. (2006). A Guide for Educators to Critical Thinking Competency Standards: Standards, Principles, Performance Indicators, and Outcomes with a Critical Thinking Master Rubric. California, CA: Foundation Critical Thinking.

Peterson, M. & Einarson, M. (2001). What are Colleges Doing about Student Assessment? Does it make a Difference? Journal of Higher Education, 72 (6), 629-670.

Saroyan, A. & Amundsen, C. (2004). Rethinking Teaching in Higher Education: From a Course Design Workshop to a Faculty Development Framework. Virginia, VA: Stylus Publishing, LLC.

Stafford, T. (ND). Critical Thinking and Project Management. Web.

Stevens, D. & Levi, A. (2005). Introduction To Rubrics: An Assessment Tool To Save Grading Time, Conveys, Effective Feedback, And Promote Student Learning. Virginia, VA: Stylus Publishing, LLC.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Educational Outcomes and Reflective Thinking." July 22, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/educational-outcomes-and-reflective-thinking/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Educational Outcomes and Reflective Thinking'. 22 July.

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