NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ894557
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jul
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1541-4329
Measuring Gains in Critical Thinking in Food Science and Human Nutrition Courses: The Cornell Critical Thinking Test, Problem-Based Learning Activities, and Student Journal Entries
Iwaoka, Wayne T.; Li, Yong; Rhee, Walter Y.
Journal of Food Science Education, v9 n3 p68-75 Jul 2010
The Cornell Critical Thinking Test (CCTT) is one of the many multiple-choice tests with validated questions that have been reported to measure general critical thinking (CT) ability. One of the IFT Education Standards for undergraduate degrees in Food Science is the emphasis on the development of critical thinking. While this skill is easy to list as a student-learning objective, measuring gains in CT is relatively difficult. If the majority of the class time is spent discussing and solving ill-defined problems, then will students become actively and meaningfully involved in their own learning and will there be any gains in CT skills? To measure gains using this format, the CCTT was administered as a pre- and posttest to Food Science and Human Nutrition students in an Experimental Foods class taught every fall over an 8 y period (2001-2008). Statistical analysis indicated that in 2 of the years (2002 and 2004), there were significant gains (P values 0.036 and 0.045, respectively) in CT scores. Furthermore, in both years, there were significant gains in the same 2 aspects of CT (deduction and assumption) and not in the other aspects. However, we suggest that completing several take-home exams with many open-ended questions, writing detailed laboratory reports, and documenting unsolicited student reflections in journal entries that comment on apparent gains in CT skills may be a better indication of actual gains in CT skills compared to the actual CCTT test scores. (Contains 8 tables and 2 figures.)
Wiley-Blackwell. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8598; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Cornell Critical Thinking Test