campus partner(s)

The College of Wooster

Denison University

Kenyon College

Oberlin College

and Ohio Wesleyan University






Outcomes and Assessment

award date


project director

Nancy Grace

The College of Wooster

Grant Summary

$297,353 over 36 months. The Five Colleges of Ohio will undertake a three-year project to assess student growth in the areas of creativity and critical thinking. Using Primary Trait Analysis (PTA), a methodology that identifies behaviors and attitudes associated with specific learning outcomes, the group will develop validate and implement rubrics (scoring scales) for assessing creativity and critical thinking at all levels of the curriculum, longitudinally, and in various disciplines.

The first year of the project will be devoted to research and rubric design, beginning with a fall 2006 meeting of the faculty working group. In the second year, faculty members—both those in the working group and others who are teaching courses at various levels of the curriculum—will meet on their respective campuses to calibrate the rubrics for use during the 2007-08 academic year. Results from the use of the rubrics will be evaluated with the help of an assessment expert, and the rubrics will be revised and more widely implemented in the third year of the project. In addition, the faculty working group will work with an assessment expert to produce student surveys for use in classes and focus groups to evaluate student definitions of creativity and critical thinking. The outcome of this project will be rubrics that can be used with confidence to assess creativity and critical thinking, and to provide an initial understanding of how student definitions of these two attributes change as a result of their academic experiences.