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ERIC Number: EJ1218200
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-2469-9896
Quantifying Critical Thinking: Development and Validation of the Physics Lab Inventory of Critical Thinking
Walsh, Cole; Quinn, Katherine N.; Wieman, C.; Holmes, N. G.
Physical Review Physics Education Research, v15 n1 Article 010135 Jan-Jun 2019
Introductory physics lab instruction is undergoing a transformation, with increasing emphasis on developing experimentation and critical thinking skills. These changes present a need for standardized assessment instruments to determine the degree to which students develop these skills through instructional labs. In this article, we present the development and validation of the physics lab inventory of critical thinking (PLIC). We define critical thinking as the ability to use data and evidence to decide what to trust and what to do. The PLIC is a 10-question, closed-response assessment that probes student critical thinking skills in the context of physics experimentation. Using interviews and data from 5584 students at 29 institutions, we demonstrate, through qualitative and quantitative means, the validity and reliability of the instrument at measuring student critical thinking skills. This establishes a valuable new assessment instrument for instructional labs.
American Physical Society. One Physics Ellipse 4th Floor, College Park, MD 20740-3844. Tel: 301-209-3200; Fax: 301-209-0865; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 1611482