Critical Thinking Assessment Test (CAT)

The CAT instrument is a unique tool designed to assess and promote the improvement of critical thinking and real-world problem solving skills. Most of the questions require short answer essay responses, and a detailed scoring guide helps ensure good scoring reliability. The CAT instrument is scored by the institution's own faculty using the detailed scoring guide. During the scoring process faculty are able to see their students' weaknesses and understand areas that need improvement. Faculty are encouraged to use the CAT instrument as a model for developing authentic assessments and learning activities in their own discipline that improve students' critical thinking and real-world problem solving skills. These features help close the loop in assessment and quality improvement.

Content

Domains
Ways of Thinking
Subdomain

Critical Thinking, Evaluation, Creative Thinking, Written Communication, Problem Solving, Learning Orientation

Grades
Post secondary
Languages
English,
Other
Other Language/s
Arabic
Respondent
Student

Administration Information

Length
30-45 minutes
Qualifications

Must be faculty at university or researcher to utilize. Grading training also required: Each institution must send 2-3 reps to a 2 day grading workshop: https://www.tntech.edu/cat/training.php

Administration
Computer,
Paper

Access and Use

Price

$9.95/test (50 test minimum) + $300 Annual Fee

Contact

Assistant Director of Testing
Elizabeth Lisic
elisic@tntech.edu
931-372-3611

Open Access
No
Use in Research

Carson, S. (2015). Targeting critical thinking skills in a first-year undergraduate research course. Journal of microbiology & biology education16(2), 148. https://dx.doi.org/10.1128%2Fjmbe.v16i2.935

Grant, M., & Smith, M. (2018). Quantifying assessment of undergraduate critical thinking. Journal of College Teaching & Learning (TLC)15(1), 27-38. https://doi.org/10.19030/tlc.v15i1.10199

Harris, K., Stein, B., Haynes, A., Lisic, E., & Leming, K. (2014). Identifying courses that improve students’ critical thinking skills using the CAT instrument: a case study. In Proceedings of the 10th Annual International Joint Conferences on Computer, Information, System Sciences, and Engineering (Vol. 10, pp. 1-4). https://www.tntech.edu/cat/pdf/reports/Harris_EIAE.pdf

Haynes, A., Lisic, E., Goltz, M., Stein, B., & Harris, K. (2016). Moving beyond assessment to improving students’ critical thinking skills: a model for implementing change. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 16(4), 44–61. https://doi.org/10.14434/josotl.v16i4.19407.

Styers, M. L., Van Zandt, P. A., & Hayden, K. L. (2018). Active learning in flipped life science courses promotes development of critical thinking skills. CBE—Life Sciences Education17(3), ar39. https://doi.org/10.1187/cbe.16-11-0332

 

Psychometrics

Scoring
Manual scoring
Referencing
Norm-referenced
Psychometric References

Technical Manual - Tennessee Technological University (2016) CAT© Instrument Technical Information: https://www.tntech.edu/cat/pdf/reports/CAT_Technical_Information_V8.pdf

National Science Foundation Final Report - https://www.tntech.edu/cat/pdf/reports/Project_CAT_Final_Report.pdf

Basha, S., Drane, D., & Light, G. (2016). Adapting the Critical Thinking Assessment Test for Palestinian Universities. Journal of Education and Learning5(2), 60-72. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1097388

Possin, K. (2020). CAT Scan: A Critical Review of the Critical-Thinking Assessment Test. Informal Logic40(3), 489-508. https://doi.org/10.22329/il.v40i30.6243

Stein, B., & Haynes, A. (2011). Engaging faculty in the assessment and improvement of students' critical thinking using the critical thinking assessment test. Change: the magazine of higher learning43(2), 44-49. https://doi.org/10.1080/00091383.2011.550254

Item Type
Open response