Relationship between standardized critical thinking test scores and earned grades in courses purported to teach critical thinking at Kellogg Community College
This quantitative, correlational study focused on the relationship between Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency (CAAP) critical thinking scores and grades of second-year college students in courses purportedly teaching learning of critical thinking. This study answered two questions—Is standardized testing a superfluous repeat of classroom assessment resulting in course grades, and does gender, age or ethnicity influence the outcomes of selected assessment methods?
The two dependent, critical variables were CARP critical thinking scores and student earned grades in courses designed to effect learning of critical thinking. The independent, moderating variables were age, gender, and ethnicity. The population was students at Kellogg Community College who completed the Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency (CAAP) critical thinking test between 1996 and 2002 and at least one general education course designed for critical thinking outcomes.
Descriptive data were Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency (CAAP) scores archived at Kellogg Community College in the Institutional Research Office and student earned course grades recorded on the Colleague Datatel system. Maximum likelihood estimation was used to calculate Pearson r correlations, and Fisher z transformations for analysis relationship magnitude.
Significant relationships were found between the dependent variables, Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency (CAAP) critical thinking scores and course grades, among the overall population as well as among the independent variable subsets, gender and age. The dependent variable relationship in the ethnicity subset was not discussed due to an insufficient sample size. It was concluded CAAP test scores varied systematically with course grades in the overall population and within gender and age groups. Insignificant differences were found between the independent variable subsets' CAAP score and course grade relationships.
Areas for further research included replicating this study with the addition of course design and student effort or comfort variables. In addition, the variable magnitude of student success was recommended for examining differences in relationship variations among groups.
0275: Community colleges