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effective training

To engage students and trainees in successful critical thinking skills development, and to reinforce a positive critical thinking mindset, there are a few basics to keep in mind:

  • Use silence to allow everyone time to think through the question before the conversation begins.
  • Pose thoughtful or insightful questions and intentionally allow 10–15 seconds of silence to elapse before calling on students to respond. Cognitive science research has shown that a pause of this length is necessary for the human brain to sufficiently process a question and formulate a reasonable response. Even 15 seconds of silence can seem a long time in a class session, but setting this expectation assures that one eager student will not end the thinking process for the entire group before all have had some time to practice their critical thinking skills.
  • Work from example to theory. Discuss the examples in the text first, and then draw out the concepts they teach. This technique practices students’ inductive reasoning skills and promotes active engagement and inquisitiveness.
  • Make the language of thinking a familiar vocabulary. Use critical thinking vocabulary when posing questions to students to reinforce conceptual understanding and promote recognition of reasoning. Use the names of the skills and the habits of mind that are found in the textbook. For example, use phrases such as: “What is your reason for that claim?” “Let’s interpret this statement,” “What inferences can we reasonably draw from these facts?” and “Let’s be systematic in our analysis.”
  • Engage students in dynamic learning activities that promote independent thinking or exposure to the thinking of others. Suggested activities include maintaining a reflective journal; conversing with a partner, small groups, or the whole class; investigations, inquiries, and informed conversations; debates; simulations; role playing; fishbowl activities; panel discussions; brainstorming exercises; case studies; course blogs or wikis; individual or group argument mapping; social networking features such as asynchronous bulletin boards that are often found in course management systems; maintaining a paper or electronic Portfolio, and so on.
  • Require students to provide reasons or explanations for all of their claims, interpretations, analyses, evaluations, and decisions. Ask why and expect a good, well-reasoned answer. Don’t let students get by with shut-down clichés such as, “That’s just how I feel,” “I was brought up to think that…,” “My parents always said that…,” and “It’s common sense.”
  • Model strong critical thinking for your students. Your students watch you to see if you believe in the value of critical thinking, so what you say and what you do might be more powerful in motivating them to build their critical thinking skills than anything they read or hear in a lecture. If you show that you practice the positive critical thinking habits of mind and that you engage in problems and decisions by applying critical thinking skills, that message comes through to them. If you do not, you reflect a negative message.

Many thanks to Dr. Carol Gittens for this list of suggestions that are useful techniques an instructor can use to promote strong critical thinking. These appear in the teaching manual accompanying her book THINK Critically by Pearson Education. This is an excerpt from those materials.

If you are interested in additional strategies for teaching and training reasoning skills, check out the Resources on  the Insight Assessment website.

Explore our website for practical training resources and our blog, Thinking INSIGHT , for further discussion of the measurement of thinking skills and mindset.

Insight Assessment offers a comprehensive array of objective, validated education and business thinking assessment tools that report individual and group diagnostics of overall strengths and weakness .  Comprehensive personal reports provide are powerful tools that insights to individual trainees or students, highlighting reasoning strengths and identifying areas for improvement.  Flexible administration options make assessment available 24/7 throughout the world. 

Contact us today to discuss your reasoning skills and thinking mindset training and assessment goals.

Insight Assessment, critical thinking,

“Students must navigate a wide range of issues to achieve success.”

Research about college students of all different ages and backgrounds often focuses on how the experience of attending college impacts and shapes their lives. Our development as human beings continues throughout our lives. But the decade or so from late adolescence through young adulthood is particularly important because during these years students are

  • developing the competencies they will need to make a living in a complex society,
  • learning to manage their emotions,
  • moving through autonomy toward interdependence,
  • developing mature interpersonal relationships,
  • establishing our personal identity,
  • developing and refining our sense of purpose,
  • developing a greater integration of who we are with what we say and do in all circumstances.

Strong reasoning skills and a thinking mindset are needed to successfully navigate these many worthy endeavors.***

Regardless of degree program, strong critical thinking predicts college success, professional licensure, job hire, and government service rank. Colleges and universities recognize that building these skills and habits early is key to students’ success, so assessing critical thinking student learning outcomes is being prioritized. 

Data about the strength and weaknesses of students thinking provides valuable metrics for admissions, assisting placement , increasing retention and strengthening student support programs. Using Insight Assessment's cost effective valid and reliable assessment tools to identify students with critical thinking weaknesses permits clients to focus student success initiatives where they can do the most good. 

Contact us to learn how our individual and group reports provide the data you need for your improvement programs.

 ***   Adapted with permission from “Solve Problems and Succeed in College” (THINK Critically, Pearson Education), 2015 ,  a Freshman Seminar text, authors Facione and Gittens

sample app image
Are you a good thinker?

Thinking skills are essential life skills. Now you can measure your thinking skills and mindset using the Critical Thinking Insight app , downloadable from your app store. These authentic reasoning skills tests and mindset evaluation tools are based on the employment and educational tests Insight Assessment provides to businesses, health care agencies, colleges and high schools around the world. This is the first time these kinds of quality instruments are available for your personal use.

Are you looking for a good self-test of your thinking skills? Find out if you the skills and mindset to make good decisions.

Get started today with the free sample reasoning skills questions and free sample reasoning mindset items. Then measure your thinking with the in-app purchasable personal assessment options including more detailed and challenging thinking skills tests and mindset measures including My Thinking Skills – Adult Level , My Thinking Mindset – Adult Level , My Leadership Potential – Adult Level , My Learning Mind – Ages 11-17 and My Learning Mind – Ages 5-10 .  Purchases of personal assessments include a numerical score, a qualitative rating and an analysis of your scores on key elements of good thinking. Specific suggestions for improvement help you interpret your scores and grow even stronger in each area covered by the personal assessment.

Three employees think about information on a computer monitor

What are employers looking for when hiring?  They want candidates who have the ability to apply gained knowledge in a wide variety of real world settings.  Critical thinking skills like the ability to analyze and solve complex problems, to evaluate information from multiple sources, to work with numbers and to work effective with people of different views are cited as essential for career success.  In the recent Hart Research Associates survey, Falling Short? College Learning and Career Success, 400 employers wanted candidates to have more than field specific knowledge; they seek new hires who can demonstrate proficiency in skills like critical thinking and the ability to apply a broad range of knowledge.

This won’t surprise many businesses. Hiring managers see the impact of new employees with strong thinking skills and motivated mindset. Candidates who can demonstrate strength in analytical thinking and problem solving skills are consistently more productive. It’s equally important that new hires have the consistent internal motivation to engage problems and find solutions.

That’s why our clients rely on Insight Assessment metrics and data to take the guesswork out of personnel assessment and to identify candidates or trainees with the thinking skills and mindset to reach company goals.  INSIGHT Business Professional delivers objective metrics for the reasoning skills and mindset attributes required for high stakes decision making.  The core thinking competencies measured by these instruments have been validated as vital to business and civic life by key leaders in the USA:

  • INSIGHT measures the essential analytic reasoning skills businesses need: problem identification and analysis, evaluating alternatives, anticipating consequences, interpreting information in quantitative contexts and identifying optimal solutions.
  • INSIGHT also reports on 10 mindset measures of willingness and motivation to apply knowledge, experience and skills to increase results as well as focus, adaptability, honesty and tolerance for different viewpoints.   

Comprehensive individual reports provide reliable data about the specific strengths and weaknesses of 15 essential reasoning skills of test takers.  Easy to use online assessments are available 24/7.

If this is the type of data you need to prescreen candidates for hiring and promotion, contact us.

Strong critical thinking is the key to success

You work hard in today’s market to fill your hiring needs.  Screen better and faster with thinking skills and mindset attribute testing. Get the validated data you need to identify employees with the essential job-related skills to succeed in your company.

There’s no substitute for high quality objective and validated data.

Whether you need data about thinking strength for candidate evaluation, employee development, continuous improvement projects or for program evaluation, Insight Assessment is here to make sure you get the metrics you need about thinking skills and mindset.

Each INSIGHT assessment has been calibrated to objectively measure the way staff members apply reasoning skills to job-related situations.  Our reports deliver data and comprehensive analysis in an easy to use format:

  • Numerical and Qualitative Results Reported on Each Metric.  Numerical scores and recommended performance assessments reported reflect the extent to which the person being assessed manifested a given skill or attribute. The recommended performance assessments (qualitative scores) reported are always relative to the level of the INSIGHT assessment instrument: INSIGHT Executive , INSIGHT Professional , INSIGHT Staff , or INSIGHT Support .
  • Printable individual reports document specific strengths and areas for growth for each of 15 key skills and mindset metrics.  In addition to qualitative and numeric results, individual reports provide reliable analysis of each component of decision making and how it impacts job success.
  • Optional group reports display aggregated statistics and bar-charts on each metric using high quality graphics, suitable for inclusion in management reports. The spreadsheets included with group reports provide the specific scores and responses by all individuals assessed. Group level reports effectively communicate assessment results for particular aggregations of individuals, e.g. all applicants for a particular position.
  • Our expert staff will provide assistance for set up of your projects and can deliver reports for all subgroups in your organization.  When groups of candidates or employees are examined, it is possible to make judgments about the strength of the group as a whole as well as to compare individuals in the group. 
  • INSIGHT assessments are available whenever needed 24/7. Insight Assessment test instruments are delivered worldwide using our secure, encrypted, online multilingual interface. Our app based test online system provides the option of taking our thinking and reasoning assessments on most mobile devices as well as desktop systems. Individual results reports are sent directly to your specified email address each time an assessment is completed.
INSIGHT - Overall Scores for candidates

Building a team of strong thinkers depends on having relevant data on individual and group strength in thinking and problem solving.  INSIGHT individual and group reports have many uses, including guiding employee hiring and development initiatives over time, comparing different groups engaged in similar tasks at a given organizational level, documenting the success of quality improvement initiatives or aiding in the establishment of threshold skill levels to qualify candidates for interviews.

If your company wants to proactively implement a thinking skills improvement initiative,   INSIGHT Development Program provides online self-paced training modules focusing on 15 core thinking skills and attributes. The program features reflective mental exercises, access to an assessment metric and performance reporting tools.

Better employee thinking means better decisions. Contact us to get the data you need to meet your goals.

Data for Continuous Improvement

Actionable data for continuous improvement initiatives

What would you do if you had the data to prove your organization has the thinking skills needed to improve productivity and efficiency?

Would you increase production, risk expansion, grow your team, take on that extra project?

Then you need to assess the skills and personal characteristics of your team

  • Are there skills or personal characteristics you value and need to assess?
  • Are your employees motivated, professional, focused, honest and committed? 
  • Does your staff have the problem solving skills to follow through on policy changes?  
  • Do your managers have the problem analysis and quantitative reasoning skills required to evaluate alternatives?
  • Do your executives have the strong decision skills necessary to lead the company forward?

If you don’t have actionable metrics to answer these questions, Insight Business Professional provides objective measurements of 15 essential business skills and mindset characteristics

If the data shows values and cognitive skills your company needs, INSIGHT Development Program provides an online self-training a cost effective online training that can be integrated into your professional development and quality improvement programs.

When your employees are good thinkers, they make better decisions, fewer errors and they are more productive. That’s why businesses need to capture objective data on the thinking skills of job candidates and current employees.  They know that companies run more efficiently when they are staffed and lead by strong critical thinkers.

Insight Assessment provides validated test instruments to assess the thinking skills and motivation of employees at every stage of their career. Our easy to use objective thinking skills and mindset assessments are essential HR tools worldwide. We are committed to delivering comprehensive and meaningful data that can be easily disseminated and applied to assist our clients’ efforts to carry out specific continuous improvement plans. Spreadsheets of individual scores as well as analyzed group reports can be generated immediately upon data collection and later as needed. Our excellent support staff can assist you to design a data collection plan to accomplish your assessment goals. 

Thinking skills data strengthens continuous improvement initiatives

Identifying and building strong reasoning skills and a motivated thinking mindset must be an ongoing commitment. Impactful programs identify areas to improve employee effectiveness, focus on relevant skills, and provide demonstrable results.

Each INSIGHT tool can be used to gather comprehensive objective data for multiple initiatives. Our comprehensive results package delivers the informative metrics you need for:

An investment in the assessment and development of thinking skills is a cost effective way to promote quality improvements throughout your operations. 

It is essential that you have the best information available to guide the future of your institution. There is no substitute for an accurate assessment of the quality of new programs, the effectiveness of retention initiatives, and the demonstration of the attainment of performance-based outcomes.

INSIGHT Development Program delivers the most comprehensive, effective, and well-established training approach to strengthening employee decision-making and problem-solving available. INSIGHT Development Program integrates proven instructional modules that guide individuals toward the continued improvement of their reasoning using workplace examples, together with a valid assessment of thinking mindset attributes and reasoning skills.

Every day, in every industry, the quality and the sheer number of judgments that need to be made determines the effectiveness of individuals and teams. Now is the right time to initiate a testing program to identify strong thinkers. Contact us to get the data that works for you.

Learn more about how INSIGHT clients use our individual and group metrics to improve productivity  

INSIGHT: Improve Performance and Efficiency

Good thinking is in demand. Download Critical Thinking Insight from your app store today:

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