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Insight Assessment HSRT Difference Scores in pretest posttest critical thinking skills assessments

Critical thinking can be analyzed, measured and improved. The more we are supported and challenged to exercise our core critical thinking skills, the stronger these skills become. 

In order to obtain high quality data about the effectiveness of a critical thinking program, you will need obtain baseline data by assessing thinking skills both before and after the training. Scores on Insight Assessment test instruments will improve with the effective training of reasoning skills.

There are a number of ways to document quality improvement in critical thinking skills for your institution or organization:

  • Group Difference Scores: One method is compare the difference in the mean scores reported for your group before and after a training program or course.  This method compares the scores as a whole rather than looks at changes within the individual. The expected positive group difference change from pretest to posttest will not tell you how many of the individuals have improved, nor will it describe the range of improvement made by each individual.
  • Individual Difference Scores: To learn more about the proportion of individuals who have improved and the degree to which they have improved, the best method is to calculate the difference between the pretest and posttest scores for each person you have assessed. Individuals will have made different progress as the result of an educational offering aimed at building critical thinking skills. Some individuals may not have improved their critical thinking skills during the interim time period. If the difference score is at or near zero, they have shown no effect as a result of the educational training program.  The OVERALL Score for Insight Assessment test instruments is the score that is best used to calculate difference scores.
  • Comparison Percentile Difference Scores: A third option is to calculate difference scores for the comparison percentiles reported for each individual at pretest and posttest. Example: Improving your group’s overall percentile score from 52nd to 58th percentile demonstrates a significant overall gain in critical thinking scores. Insight Assessment offers a wide range of options of external criterion groups for. percentile score comparisons .

Individual difference scores provide the most information on the effectiveness of training techniques. In any given sample when individuals test twice, individual difference scores will demonstrate individual gains in critical thinking scores. For example, the demonstration of a two-point gain in CCTST OVERALL Score from pretest to posttest is associated with becoming more metacognitive about the reasoning process and with observable evidence of efforts to actively build reasoning skills. Large individual difference scores are observed in most pretest posttest studies for at least some individuals.

Longitudinal studies of individual critical thinking gains over time are rare. In one longitudinal study of practicing U.S. military nurses, demonstrated gains at posttest were retained in three consecutive cohorts at one-year post completion of the specified training program. Additional gains were also seen in many of these practicing professionals, suggesting that individuals who have become more reflective about, and evaluative of, their reasoning process continue to make gains.  

Scores or percentiles that drop significantly at posttest are very rare, as critical thinking skills are not lost over a short period of time in the absence of cognitive injury, chemical impairment, or a failure to give or to be able to give best effort. 

The fact that Insight Assessment test instruments measure only critical thinking and not content knowledge makes it possible to use these instruments as a pretest and posttest to measure improvement in critical thinking that occurs during any educational program or staff development exercise.

Contact Us to discuss how the data reported on Insight Assessment test instruments will help you meet your assessment program goals.

  • It’s difficult to develop an internal program for improving thinking skills. INSIGHT Development Program includes assessment and critical thinking training modules that can be integrated into your training programs or can be implemented as new initiative. Contact us to learn more.

Important Critical Thinking Skills in the Workplace

Are you prepared for the upcoming wave of resumes from college seniors? So much enthusiasm, so little experience. Completing a four year degree program doesn’t mean that they are prepared to succeed in the realities of your workplace.

Yellow sign reading SUCCESS against a bright blue sky

Employer expectations are increasing

Now, even entry level professionals must be able to identify and resolve anomalies. They'll have to think their way through technological barricades and job challenges of all kinds. What you need is reliable data on the thinking skills of your new recruits.

Wanted: critical thinking and data analysis skills

You need to find talented professionals with the reasoning skills and mindset to drive current systems to the next level, the eagerness for relentless problem solving, and an eye to seize opportunities while managing risks.  

Imagine the positive impact on your bottom line if you could be certain that:

  • problems were correctly diagnosed and risks were effectively managed
  • employees were committed to excellence and to the success of the organization
  • opportunities were anticipated and captured at all levels
  • decisions were driven by data relevant to company goals
  • employees regularly contributed practical and affordable suggestions
INSIGHT Business Professional

There is a better way to screen the best job candidates

Save time and money by prescreening for the most important predictors of on the job success: the capacity and desire to engage complex problems using sound critical thinking and quantitative reasoning. INSIGHT Business Professional delivers objective analysis of the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses in 15 core business skills and mindset attributes.

Contact us to preview INSIGHT Business Professional or to learn more about additional INSIGHT tools.

Study Group working around a table

Many two year academic institutions choose to measure what really matters: good thinking. 

Community and technical colleges, certificate programs and other associate degree programs realize that student success is based on the strength of individual critical thinking skills and personal mindset attributes.  They depend on Insight Assessment tools to provide the highest quality, cost effective critical thinking metrics needed to support admissions, student retention and student success.

The measurement of the critical thinking skills and mindset of incoming students, individually and as a group, will provide vital data for tailoring student success services to the needs of specific students. Exit data on student critical thinking is valuable for other educational purposes such as program evaluation, accreditation or learning outcomes assessment.

In today’s world, nothing is more important than strength in problem analysis and strong decision-making skills. Critical thinking assessment is invaluable whether your project involves selective admissions to STEM and Heath Sciences programs, quality in admissions to business education, student retention initiatives, or the documenting of learning outcomes. Here are some two-year college success stories:

  • With an abundance of applicants for the Engineering Technology degree program, the program faculty found that the Test of Everyday Reasoning (TER)   and the Adult Level California Measure of Mental Motivation (CM3 III) identified their most qualified applicants. They used national percentile benchmarks to document the strength of their program graduates.
  • An urban college linked their SACS QEP initiative to a Statewide concern for improving the percentage of students who successfully complete their associate degree level career training.  The college’s QEP project using the TER and College Student Success (CSS) assessments to identify students at risk in their first semester, assisting their teaching and learning professionals to tailor the college’s support services.
  • Directors of the Nursing and the Physical Therapy Assistant programs selected the Health Sciences Reasoning Test – Associate Degree (HSRT-AD)  and the California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory (CCTDI) to augment their admissions screening process. Strong scores on skills and mindset attributes long acknowledged as desired qualities and abilities in these clinical disciplines improved degree completion and licensure rates.
  •  A college transition director at another community college uses the College Student Success (CSS) instrument to guide students through a smooth transfer to their Bachelors completion program. The individual reports generated by the CSS give the advisor and the student a clear picture of the transfer student’s critical thinking skill set, motivation to learn, drive to succeed and much.

As the leader in reasoning assessment worldwide, our full service solution includes presentation-ready group statistics and graphics , scores spreadsheets, optional individual student reports, multiple language testing options, client customizable demographic question options, and same-day score reporting with 24/7 online, mobile or desktop testing , plus educational discounts and much more.  Visit our website for details about these services and to access our Resources bank of critical thinking teaching support materials.

Call us at 650-697-5628 or use our website’s “Contact us” link for a free quote for your project. Talk with an Insight Assessment representative about how other 2 year programs have added critical thinking assessment to their admissions and early cohort assessment procedures and how they document students’ strength in critical thinking as a criterion for receiving performance-based funding.

Follow our blog, Thinking INSIGHT , or RSS feed for more stories of assessment projects that help educators at all levels achieve their goals.              

INSIGHT: Building Future

Investing in employee development takes planning but it doesn’t have to be hard.

Start by focusing on a worthy goal:

What employee strengths and weaknesses most impact your company potential? Are poor decisions and missed opportunities too frequent? Targeting the development of the high quality decision-making skills and motivation needed for business operations will deliver ongoing benefits. 

It’s difficult to develop an internal program for improving thinking skills. INSIGHT Development Program includes assessment and critical thinking training modules that can be integrated into your training programs or can be implemented as new initiative.

  • INSIGHT Development Program focuses on the core critical thinking skills and professional attributes that predict workplace success.  An extensive array of self-paced learning modules guide individuals toward the continued improvement of their reasoning using workplace examples together with a valid assessment of thinking mindset attributes and reasoning skills.

Then gather high quality, relevant OBJECTIVE data.

Make sure you will obtain high integrity data that can be the foundation of employee development plans.  You will need objective, affordable metrics on how prospective employees will perform when faced with new problems in high stakes and time-limited situations. (for more info on how to choose a thinking assessment).

INSIGHT Development Program includes the use of industry leading Insight Assessment testing instruments to measure employee thinking.  Individual and group report options provide comprehensive analysis of the strengths and weaknesses on 5 critical thinking skills and 10 essential mindset attributes that are characteristic of contributing members of a team.

  • INSIGHT assessments of individual employee thinking have a proven record of reliability and meet statistical requirements of validity. Assessments are administered via our secure, encrypted online interface available 24-7, easily administered at single or multiple sites, at test centers, to groups & to individuals.  Results will be delivered to you quickly and confidentially.
    • Bonus Hint: Learn from your best : Start by measuring the skills and mindsets of your high performers; find out what makes them excel. Once you identify the core reasoning characteristics that you need throughout your organization, you can establish benchmarks for hiring and talent development.

Evaluate effectiveness

And of course, be sure to build in a plan to assess the effectiveness of your plans and initiatives. Comparing pre and post training data confirms training and program effectiveness. Insight Assessment testing specialists can help you optimize your assessment program to support your development plan goals.

Use it or lose it (time, money & motivation)! 

You must use the data to get value. Your employee development program should help your business create an integrated approach to improving thinking. Reports on strengths and weaknesses in critical business reasoning skills and mindset attributes are valuable when applied to:  

Be proactive.

Ultimately, employee development plans should help you maximize your most valuable resource--your employees, managers and leadership. Be proactive but make sure your actions are governed by  data and metrics.

  • Insight Assessment delivers the entire package: engaging self-paced thinking skills and mindset employee training modules and a secure online prescreening tool that delivers consistent objective metrics on the specific skills and the mindsets that will increase the quality of decision making throughout your organization. 

Start your plan now.

Contact us if you want to invest in training and development programs to improve the critical thinking skills that determine the quality of your products and services.

Boy Thinking in Class

K-12 schools use EDUCATE INSIGHT assessments to assess critical thinking because they need objective information to assist them in identifying applicants who are ready, willing, and able to think and to learn.

Assessing Critical thinking for Selective Admissions

Today the pressure on selective schools is immense, as parents, eager to provide the best possible start in life for their children, strive to have them admitted to the best schools possible.  But a tsunami of applications can actually present problems for selective K-12 schools.   Schools know that it is a disservice to admit a child who is not prepared to succeed academically. And schools know that their admissions processes need to be as fair, objective, and thorough as possible. 

To address these twin problems, selective schools are adding critical thinking mindset and critical thinking skills measures to their applications package.

EDUCATE INSIGHT provides a comprehensive thinking assessment program with instruments calibrated for students from kindergarten to high school.

EDUCATE INSIGHT K-12 Thinking Mindset 

  • As a first screen on admissions, schools use EDUCATE INSIGHT thinking mindset tools to assess a child’s expectations and attitudes toward using thinking to learn things and to solve problems. Parents and teachers know that a positive desire to engage in thinking and learning is very important to a child’s educational success.  By contrast, students who are unwilling to apply themselves are not only difficult to teach, they take valuable places away from more deserving applicants. Used as part of an admissions package, EDUCATE INSIGHT thinking mindset assessments provide objective information about the applicant’s mental focus, learning orientation, and approach to problem solving. 

EDUCATE INSIGHT K-12 Reasoning Skills 

  • Children with stronger critical thinking skills have a huge advantage at every educational level. That is why schools use the EDUCATE INSIGHT reasoning skills series as part of the second, more refined, admissions screening to identify strengths and weaknesses in core thinking skills.

Critical thinking skills empower learning.  By engaging their skills children learn important content and, at the same time, they exercise and strengthen those skills.

  • Just like learning a sport or a musical instrument, critical thinking skills grow stronger when guided by the teacher’s watchful coaching. Learning is so much more than memorizing facts.  Ultimately education means learning to think well. Through education, as contrasted with rote memorization, a child learns to be analytical, to draw reasonable inferences, and to explain why and how things work. Through learning to think, the child becomes able to correctly evaluate the credibility and the quality of reasons and information.  Whether educators are using a Montessori approach or some other method to ask “Why?” and “How?” questions, engagement in thinking is the key to learning.

EDUCATE INSIGHT assessments are calibrated for use with children at different grade levels, are standardized, objective measures of critical thinking skills. Using scenarios that are familiar and age-appropriate, these tests invite children to apply their reasoning skills in order to analyze information, to draw inferences, to evaluate options and explanations. 

It is important to note that no specific test prep is needed before taking a critical thinking skills test beyond general education focused on the development of critical thinking skills.  A good critical thinking test is not going to be a test of factual knowledge about critical thinking. Memorizing information and definitions is not the key. A good reasoning test will engage you in using your thinking skills and mindset because critical thinking is a process. 

Bottom Line: selective K-12 schools incorporate EDUCATE INSIGHT into their application process because they know strong critical thinking predicts academic and professional success. Making the measurement of critical thinking at program entry strengthens comprehensive selective admission and placement programs.

Contact us today to learn more about how you can use the EDUCATE INSIGHT K-12 series to measure what matters most – critical thinking.

Follow our blog, Thinking INSIGHT , for resources and further discussion of the measurement of thinking skills and mindset.

Critical thinking is essential for workplace decision making.

Is there immediate value from an initiative to strengthen critical thinking in new hires and/or current employees?

Just consider these examples of how critical thinking is applied on the job:

Woman executive thinking as she looks at the words: 18 examples of using critical thinking

Business Critical Thinking in Action:

  • analyzing and explaining risks
  • designing & implementing initiatives
  • allocating resources
  • anticipating & preventing errors
  • analyzing markets
  • using & managing information systems
  • assessing opportunities & competition
  • evaluating the effects of initiatives
  • identifying & analyzing emergent concerns
  • developing data security protocols
  • evolving long term goals and plans
  • communicating effectively with team members
  • evaluating customer service
  • anticipating the implications of actions taken
  • hiring and promoting leaders
  • analyzing and resolving personnel issues
  • explaining policy and procedures
  • designing & evaluating departmental reports

The list of business applications for critical thinking goes on and on, almost indefinitely. It is particularly relevant in high-stakes workplace settings. 

Employees in healthcare services, engineering and law firms and other operationally complex organizations are required to engage unexpected problems and make time sensitive judgments.

Business owners cannot afford to be mistaken about the critical thinking capabilities of employees.  In cases where error rates are already in question, difficult problems must be addressed.  Poor judgments could lead to irreparable damage and even death. The cost is too high.

It’s easy to see why critical thinking is important. Building critical thinking strength throughout a business is an investment that pays off every day.

3 team members thinking together as they look at a computer monitor

Using INSIGHT business assessments and INSIGHT Development Program 

Insight Assessment strives to improve the quality of decision-making in business.

Our critical thinking assessments measure the thinking skills and mindset required for success in the workplace. The INSIGHT suite  includes assessments  tailored for Business, Health, Defense, First Responder, Educator, Government/Law, and Science/Engineering uses.  INSIGHT objective, online assessments provide  individual and group metrics on the strengths and weaknesses of key aspects of decision-making.

INSIGHT Development Program is an integrated solution that incorporates online training modules and industry leading assessment tools.  It can be implemented to supplement existing employee improvement plans or as a stand-alone development program.

Contact us to begin your strategic investment to improve the quality of decision-making in your organization. Follow our blog, Thinking INSIGHT , for resources and further discussion of the measurement of thinking skills and mindset.

Critical Thinking for Business

We are often asked about the correlation between critical thinking skills and strong business reasoning skills. 

Many clients are preparing to make a commitment to growing their businesses by building strength in decision-making skills. Often they want to know if the thinking skills their employees need can be assessed.

The landmark 1990  APA Delphi Report identified the core cognitive skills and characteristics of critical thinkers.  

The relationship between critical thinking and business reasoning skills is clear: critical thinking is the term originating with this research for many of the skills and mindsets that businesses identify as problem solving or decision-making skills.  In consultation with experts and working professionals and from decades of research on thinking and reasoning in human decision making, Insight Assessment has identified core skills and mindsets that are necessary for high stakes decision making in the business world. 

Five Thinking Skills for High Stakes Decision-making

The relationship of these core business problem solving or decision making skills to key critical thinking skills is shown on the table below ( available in PDF form) .

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~—

Thinking in Leading, Deciding, and Motivating

  • Identify  Critical Elements
    • Analyze the strategic environment, identify its elements and their relationships
    • Interpret events and other elements in the strategic environment for signs of risk, opportunity, weakness, advantage
  • Project Logical Consequences
    • Infer, given what is known with precision and accuracy within the strategic environment, the logical and most predictable consequences of various courses of action
  • Navigate Risk and Uncertainty
    • Infer, given the range of uncertainty and risk in the strategic environment, the full range of the possible and probable consequences of each possible course of action
  • Assess Decision Options
    • Evaluate anticipated results for positive and negative impacts
    • Evaluate risks, opportunities, options, consequences
    • Explain the rationale (evidence, methodology, criteria, theoretical assumptions, and context) for deciding on the integrated strategic objectives and for the planning and action parameters that compose the strategy
  • Double Check Everything:  At every step review one’s own thinking and make necessary corrections.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~—

INSIGHT assessments are proven tools for measuring strengths and weakness in the essential business thinking skills described above.

INSIGHT offers more options and better fit with your needs because it provides multiple levels calibrated for business , healthcare , science and engineering , first response , defense and  legal organizations. Assessments provide objective data for prescreening candidates, placement and talent development.

INSIGHT Development Program  is a proven self-paced online employee training program designed to build critical thinking in teams as well as in individuals.

INSIGHT Development Program can be integrated into your training programs or can be implemented as new initiative.  Modules focus on specific essential thinking skills and mindset attributes. Each purchase includes:

  1. series of modules targeted to strengthen an individual’s thinking characteristics
  2. the use of the corresponding Insight Assessment testing instrument and individual reports that can be used for individual professional development, continuous improvement initiatives, talent identification and other quality improvement programs.

Assessing thinking is the first step to improving the quality of decision-making in your organization. Be sure you are assessing the skills you need.

Contact us. We will show you how easy it is to incorporate thinking skills assessment into your hiring, training and employee development programs.

Grow with strong thinkers

Insight Assessment doesn’t just offer an algorithm processing an amalgam of data. We offer proven, validated research-based assessments that measure and report on the most essential competencies: the strong analytical skills and reasoning abilities that are the basis of all work skills and capabilities. Insight Assessment customers see huge benefits from the analysis of business thinking skills and mindset metrics delivered on our online assessment reports.

Building a team of strong thinkers depends on having relevant, ready to use information at your fingertips. INSIGHT business assessments deliver comprehensive and meaningful metrics that can be easily disseminated and applied to assist clients’ efforts to carry out their specific continuous improvement plans. Individual score reports provide high quality objective data that is valuable to Human Resource departments for meeting hiring, professional development and performance improvement objectives. Aggregated group data is also available.  

We offer far more than an algorithm—we provide tools to make better decisions.

  • Our proven assessments stand on 35 years of delivering validated data to drive performance.
  • Our assessments are not one size fits all—each is calibrated to measure targeted industries and performance levels.
  • Our assessments use real world business scenarios and issues that require test takers to apply their reasoning skills to analyze and identify the best solutions.
  • Our individual reports provide a comprehensive analysis of the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses in 10 key mindset attributes and 5 essential thinking skills. ( See a sample INSIGHT Business Professional report .)
  • Our reports deliver the information clients need in a readily usable format—we’re not going to try to upsell you on additional services—but we will also offer free resources about human reasoning, assessment and developing skills.
  • Our assessments will save you money in reduced turnover and improved quality.
  • Testing is available 24/7 worldwide via our flexible online assessment administration: all you have to do is tell us how many people you want to assess and we'll set it up.
  • Reports are delivered within minutes of completion of the assessment/data collection.

Insight Assessment is committed to making sure our clients receive the data they need for their high stakes objectives. We deliver better measurements, better insights and highly relevant employee analytics. Contact us to set up your assessment account so you can make sure you have strong decision makers on the job.

graphic. critical thinking skills & disposition

Many projects using Insight Assessment instruments to evaluate critical thinking skills and mindset attributes have been awarded funding by major governmental agencies which evaluate highly competitive research grants. In the United States these include the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense.  

Critical thinking, at its most basic level, is the process of reflective and fair-minded decision making concerning what to believe or what to do.  This is why researchers are focusing more and more attention on effective methods for developing a sustained willingness and ability to engage problems and concerns using critical thinking. 

Insight Assessment tools to measure critical thinking provide many advantages to researchers.  These objective measures have been developed to be culturally relevant in all language translations. Free of gender bias and tailored to educational level, they provide the researcher a  valid and reliable method for measuring individual differences and group characteristics for human reasoning skills and mindset attributes.  Insight Assessment tools are well-respected and well-known.  With the assurance of the highest standards of instrument development, all research can be addressed using optimal and superior design. Doctoral dissertations and externally funded research proposals in many nations have relied on them to determine the effectiveness of training programs for business, education and government agencies.

To learn more about Insight Assessment support of research

To learn more about the value of adding a measure of reasoning skills and mindset to a scientific investigation of human cognition

For issues researchers are studying:

For a sampling of critical thinking research findings, see our Resources collection

Insight Assessment has provided discount pricing for the past 30 years for research across the disciplines conducted by non-profit organizations when the aims of the research involves the science of human reasoning, the training of thinking skills and mindset, problem recognition and resolution, risk reduction, or the study of key decision makers.  Selecting a valid and reliable measure calibrated to your study population also offers you the opportunity to benchmark your study sample to the population in the area of reasoning skills, increasing the external validity of your findings. Call or email us today to discuss your own critical thinking research project. 

Logo for INSIGHT Executive assessment  used to measure decision making and critical thinking skills

It’s a tough job but someone has to do it. Someone has to ask the hard questions, create clarity out of complex information and ambiguous situations—and then make the high stakes decisions required. Someone has to be the leader, driving the company forward.

Vision and decision strength start at the top. Leaders need to be strategists who can evaluate options, anticipate consequences, set priorities and determine the critical factors affecting the outcome of decisions. Effective leaders have strong analytical skills and the ability to energize an entire organization. 

Whether you’re an executive search firm looking for the best candidates to present to your clients or a search team looking for the right person to lead your company’s growth, you need the best tool to identify leaders with the strategic skills to lead in a complex world.  The metrics reported on  INSIGHT Executive , part of our complete line of professional tests , have been rigorously calibrated to identify how high stakes decisions are made and to measure the mindsets that make a leader effective.

INSIGHT Executive is not an easy test; it is designed to challenge the decision skills of members of the corporate leadership team.  To score well, the test taker must excel in the sustained, focused and integrated application of core reasoning skills. Comprehensive individual reports document strengths and weaknesses in 15 core components of leadership decision making.

  • INSIGHT Executive Part I assesses 10 mental mindsets such as maturity in judgment, tolerance, integrity and ability to motivate.
  • INSIGHT Executive Part II assesses 5 cognitive decision skills , using complex business scenarios that require individuals to make judgments based on conflicting or incomplete data involving internal or external challenges.

Our reports identify decision-makers who have the strategic skills to foster innovation and drive growth.

Contact us today to arrange a preview.  You don’t have to wait to add the power of an online assessment to your executive recruitment and development programs. INSIGHT assessments are available anywhere in the world with results in minutes.

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

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