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BLOG Archive - 7 / 2015

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In “Distressed Reasoning” Dr. Peter Facione writes, “Higher education anywhere in the world cannot be considered successful unless it guides students to reason well in all contexts, even those that may be distressing.  Critical thinking is essential not only for educational success, but for success in the workplace and in our personal lives.  Critical thinking is also essential if democracy is to flourish. We all must learn to reason together, even about issues people find to be emotionally volatile, e.g. immigration, climate change, religious freedom, same sex marriage, domestic terrorism, K-12 education.  The best college level educational experiences are those that challenge us to bring fair-mindedness, reason, mutual respect and solid evidence to emotionally difficult topics. The best standardized critical thinking tests do the same.”

Read more about this important topic

staff on phone

Are you looking for practical problem solvers?

24/7 in every economic sector, employees are trying to solve problems—with a customer, a part, a change, an application and more.  Competent staff members are expected to be able to do what it takes to accomplish their tasks.  If the right person was selected for the job, many things play into the solution—an awareness of company policies and procedures, the correct identification of the core issue, knowledge of available options and the commitment to finding the best resolution.  If the staff member doesn’t have good problem solving skills, then too often the business suffers.

5 Business staff problem solving skills needed to achieve company goals:

  • Situation Comprehension: the ability to analyze and understand business situations, to keep details in proportion, and to focus on the elements of the work that matter.  Staff members with strong analytical and interpretive skills contribute to team productivity and efficiency.
  • Evaluating Choices:the ability to differentiate the quality of different possible choices and to explain the reasons behind that evaluation. Successful problem solvers offer sound opinions and provide good reasons for their thought process.
  • Anticipating Outcomes: the ability to anticipate logical consequences and outcomes of actions and decisions. Strong skills enable staff to contribute to team problem solving, to anticipate the needs of clients and customers and to offer suggestions which can help an organization deliver its products and services more effectively and efficiently.
  • Numeric Literacy:the ability to perform well when vital information is presented in charts, graphs, text or tables. Numeric literacy is essential in today's workplace, but particularly for those whose work involves sales, budgets, invoicing, payables, receivables, or responding to customer questions about any of these concerns.
  • OVERALL Workplace Problem Solving Skills: the integration of thinking and reasoning skills needed to address workplace situations requiring practical problem solving at the organization's staff levels.

INSIGHT Business Staff is calibrated to objectively assess these job related judgment skills needed for customer satisfaction and project success.

INSIGHT Business Staff presents everyday scenarios which require staff to understand business situations, keep details in proportion and focus on elements of the work that matter. Problems require anticipating the needs of clients, understanding numerical information and contributing to team problem solving. Reports provide objective metrics rigorously calibrated to document the ways effective staff members apply reasoning skills to job-related situations. Comprehensive individual strengths and weaknesses are analyzed for these 5 business problem solving skills and 10 business work ethic attributes .

Contact us discuss the uses and benefits of assessing staff thinking.
Student success depends on critical thinking skills & mindset - Insight Assessment

Insight Assessment academic clients depend on validated critical thinking test instruments for their outcomes assessment, accreditation, and quality enhancement projects.

  • Returning from a conference focusing on how deans can improve student success, Dean Jackson now saw student success not as an end result, but as a process that began at admission and could be highly predicted by a student’s first months on campus. It was time to re-focus the Freshman Experience program. One colleague dean had described adding the HSRT to the admission process to screen for critical thinking skills indicative of a readiness to complete a degree program in Physical Therapy. “Failure means an empty seat, and an empty seat means I’m producing one less clinician.” Students with borderline scores were still admitted, but referred for preemptive academic assistance in the learning center.
  • Dean Jackson liked the idea of an assessment that looked at reasoning skills, because these were needed inside and outside the classroom.  Jackson learned that the CCTST is the best fit for baccalaureate students in the Arts and Science, used by many schools for entry cohort advising and as a solution to the student retention problem. Although it was already July, Dean Jackson offered to fund CCTST assessment for any college program that chose to participate in a Year One pilot. As it turned out there were seven program directors eager to address faculty concerns about student readiness for their programs. Many of their students completed the CCTST in the Learning Center that Fall. Each student received a copy of their individual report to carry to their next advisor meeting.
  • After that, things just kept happening. The accreditation committee saw this program as an example of college support for student success and discussed this in their self-study report. The engineering program added the CCTST as an official admission requirement to their impacted program. Assessing critical thinking at entry became a signal to students that developing stronger reasoning and problem solving skills was an expected outcome of their educational experience in the college. That Spring, the Director of Assessment examined Freshmen students’ CCTST scores in relationship to units completed and core course grades and found low scores on the CCTST could be used as early warning sign that students were at risk.

Our assessment specialists hope this scenario demonstrates the power of the metrics provided by our thinking skills and mindset test instruments. Insight Assessment services include exceptionally versatile delivery options, peer benchmark norms, individual and group reports, complimentary learning resources, and more. Contact us to discuss ways the assessment of thinking can increase your student success and institutional effectiveness.

ICOT presentation

The ICOT business sessions were energetic and exciting, clearly a highpoint for the conference.

The most interesting part of this year’s ICOT conference in Bilbao, Spain was the conversation in the business sessions about why some businesses have been slow to see the value of hiring individuals with strong reasoning and decision making skills and mindset. This seemed surprising to participants, because the value to their businesses was so obvious. Business leaders agreed that they need HR analytic tools that enable them to gather objective data about the attributes and skills that most matter today: reasoning and decision-making.   Pete Facione, a senior researcher at Insight Assessment, described these essential characteristics in a successful executive, and how they are rarely assessable using traditional interview tools (interviews, resumes, letters, past positions held). “These are unreliable indicators of reasoning skills and leadership attributes. Too many false positives and false negatives. But these essential skills and attributes can be measured before costly interviews or poor hires occur.”  Using data from INSIGHT Executive test results, he showed how candidates could fail to manifest many of the key attributes in spite of claims that they might make to the contrary.

ICOT roundtable

Smart hiring requires the analytics provided by the INSIGHT series of mindset and thinking skills measures .  Facione suggested that job candidates at all levels should be asked to test their reasoning and mindset prior to being offered interviews; those who walked away were likely to have little confidence in their own reasoning and not be candidates that the company would prize.  And, he added, during the interviews, the finalists should be challenged to demonstrate their skills and their interaction styles by applying them to genuine workplace problems that they analyze and discuss interactively. 

Can your business afford to stand still? Employees must be able to adapt to change

It’s as simple as this: employees who fear or resist change hold you back. Your business has to be able to adapt to changing conditions. So should your people. Engaged employees thrive on change; they are eager to learn and apply the new skills that will move your company forward. They can think on their feet, responding to dynamic situations. They thrive in a fast paced environment of rapidly evolving technology, capabilities and rising minimum expectations from customers.

Flexibility is essential to problem solving throughout business processes. The Insight Business suite provides assessments that are calibrated to objectively measure the nuances of how the flexibility attribute is manifested as workplace responsibilities increase: 

  • Effective leaders must be Innovative; they are resilient agents of change in fast paced or fluid environments; they have an appetite for innovation and identifying opportunities for growth. INSIGHT Executive objectively measures the innovative mindset and 14 other key leadership decision skills and mindsets.
  • Efficient operational team leaders must be adaptable; they are resilient, eager for innovation and system changes; they welcome workplace requirements for change and seek opportunities to apply new or different skills to grow the company.  INSIGHT Business Professional provides an objective assessment of the adaptable mindset and 14 other key professional reasoning skills and mindsets.
  • Dependable core staff members must exhibit workplace flexibility: they are able to welcome and adapt to changing workplace situations and processes; they can learn and implement new or different job-related skills needed for project success.  INSIGHT Business Staff objectively assesses the workplace flexibility mindset and 14 other key problem solving skills and work ethic mindsets calibrated for their responsibilities.
  • Support Staff demonstrate flexibility in assigned responsibilities; they are willing to learn new job skills to apply to their work and can adapt to changing processes to support company plans. INSIGHT Support objectively measures workplace flexibility and 14 other key job thinking skills and work ethic mindsets as applied to support jobs.

Growing companies are dynamic. It is not only possible but necessary to identify people who will respect procedures but also who can think creatively about improving processes. 

Contact us to learn how INSIGHT analytics can enhance your business performance.

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

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