Core Outcomes: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Think Critically and Imaginatively

  • Engage the imagination to explore new possibilities.
  • Formulate and articulate ideas.
  • Recognize explicit and tacit assumptions and their consequences.
  • Weigh connections and relationships.
  • Distinguish relevant from non-relevant data, fact from opinion.
  • Identify, evaluate and synthesize information (obtained through library, world-wide web, and other sources as appropriate) in a collaborative environment.
  • Engage the imagination to explore new possibilities.
  • Reason toward a conclusion or application.
  • Understand the contributions and applications of associative, intuitive and metaphoric modes of reasoning to argument and analysis.
  • Analyze and draw inferences from numerical models.
  • Determine the extent of information needed.
  • Access the needed information effectively and efficiently.
  • Evaluate information and its sources critically.
  • Incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base.
  • Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally.

Problem-Solve

  • Identify and define central and secondary problems.
  • Research and analyze data relevant to issues from a variety of media.
  • Select and use appropriate concepts and methods from a variety of disciplines to solve problems effectively and creatively.
  • Form associations between disparate facts and methods, which may be cross-disciplinary.
  • Identify and use appropriate technology to research, solve, and present solutions to problems.
  • Understand the roles of collaboration, risk-taking, multi-disciplinary awareness, and the imagination in achieving creative responses to problems.
  • Make a decision and take actions based on analysis.
  • Interpret and express quantitative ideas effectively in written, visual, aural, and oral form.
  • Interpret and use written, quantitative, and visual text effectively in presentation of solutions to problems.

Sample Indicators

Level 1

Limited demonstration or application of knowledge and skills.

Identifies the main problem, question at issue or the source’s position.

Identifies implicit aspects of the problem and addresses their relationship to each other.

Level 2

Basic demonstration and application of knowledge and skills.

Identifies one’s own position on the issue, drawing support from experience, and information not available from assigned sources.

Addresses more than one perspective including perspectives drawn from outside information.

Clearly distinguishes between fact, opinion and acknowledges value judgments.

Level 3

Demonstrates comprehension and is able to apply essential knowledge and skill.

Identifies and addresses the validity of key assumptions that underlie the issue.

Examines the evidence and source of evidence.

Relates cause and effect.

Illustrates existing or potential consequences.

Analyzes the scope and context of the issue including an assessment of the audience of the analysis.

Level 4

Demonstrates thorough, effective and/or sophisticated application of knowledge and skills.

Identifies and discusses conclusions, implication and consequences of issues considering context, assumptions, data and evidence.

Objectively reflects upon own assertions.