A New Approach To Measuring Critical Thinking Skills – Through Videogames

Article written by Joe Hovsepian of Education News Articles.

While most colleges use tests to find out what their students know and have learnt during their time at their institution yet the pressing need is not knowledge in the job market but skills such creativity, critical thinking and persistence.

Is it possible to measure these components that play an important role in fitting into a job that requires these key skills day-in and day-out?

Valerie. J Shute, an associate professor of educational psychology and learning systems at Florida State University, thinks that she has found a way to do this by assessing students without them knowing (also called a ‘stealth assessment’) through the popular medium of videogames.

Perhaps one of the reasons in favor of her analysis is because everyone likes playing video games so much, and this doesn’t involve any teachers who are monitoring students when they take conventional tests.

Interestingly, there are other things that also work in the favor of using such an approach as there are certain intangibles that cannot be tested for such as problem solving and creativity that these games can measure. Perhaps, the biggest reason of all, is the fact that it eliminates test anxiety completely and that can affect a student’s performance to a large extent.

Ms. Shute wants to use people affinity for videogames in such a way that the goals that the unwitting students have to “pass” are tied to the skills as mentioned above. Yet since education is a work-in-progress, her approach will also entail verifying the effectiveness of using such a medium for testing as opposed to the usual conventional tests.

And with almost everyone playing some videogame or the other, you can imagine why Ms. Shute and the others who are propounding this technology seem to be so optimistic about it.