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Assessing Critical Thinking Skills

AAC&U Critical Thinking VALUE rubric

The Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) VALUE (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education) effort affords institutions a course-embedded assessment approach based on broadly shared standards of achievement. AAC&U in conjunction with faculty experts led the development of 16 VALUE rubrics including a Critical Thinking rubric.

Critical Thinking @ UM Assessment Checklist

The ThinkFORWARD Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) Development Team constructed the Critical Thinking @ UM Assessment Checklist as a tool for faculty to use in the direct assessment of critical thinking skills as defined by the UM QEP.



Many institutions and professional organizations have included helpful resources available online. Such resources include self-designed rubrics for assessing critical thinking through signature assignments or student artifacts and course exam items (e.g., multiple choice, multiple selection, short answer, essay, etc.) that can be embedded to test critical thinking.

Resources related to assessing critical thinking skills may be found through the following sites:

Assessment Commons

Foundation for Critical Thinking

National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA)

Critical Thinking Rubrics Online

Critical Thinking using Signature Assignments


UM 2020 FACT Institute Assessing Critical Thinking