A 21st Century challenge for educators is to promote meaningful engagement in online courses, and student development of critical thinking skills is an essential aspect of higher order learning. Evaluation of critical thinking in online discussions is often facilitated by the use of rubrics; however, it is not unusual for rubrics to either omit critical thinking as a component of the rubric or to reference it in a vague way. For the purposes of this study, quantitative and qualitative data were collected from faculty to identify their attitudes about critical thinking attributes as performance measures for evaluation rubrics. Factor analysis revealed that the response patterns clustered for each factor represented the themes 1) demonstrates logic and reasoning” (described as offering accurate supporting evidence and strategies and solutions); and 2) “creative critical thought processes” (described as novel perceptions, bias refutation, and alternative-seeking). From this study, we would suggest that faculty should use an evaluation rubric that encompasses these two dimensions.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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