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Assessing Business Student Thinking Skills
Journal of Management Education (2014)
  • Gerald F. Smith, University of Northern Iowa
he development of student thinking skills is a major goal of business education. As with other such goals, student outcomes assessment must be undertaken to measure goal achievement. Thinking is difficult to teach; it is also difficult to assess. The purpose of this article is to improve management educators’ understanding of student thinking skills, how they can be developed, and how they can be assessed, thereby enabling business schools to graduate students who can think effectively. The article begins by reviewing major conceptual perspectives on higher order thinking and how related skills have been assessed in higher education. It then provides an account of business student thinking skills that highlights the role of thinking-relevant knowledge and the need to have students integrate and apply their thinking skills in practical situations. After explaining how the business school context and thinking skills content shape assessment efforts, the article identifies shortcomings in how business students are being taught to think, shortcomings that persist in part because of deficiencies in assessment practices. It proposes ways of improving the teaching and assessment of thinking in business schools.
  • assessment,
  • critical thinking,
  • outcomes assessment,
  • problem solving,
  • rubrics,
  • thinking skills
Publication Date
January 6, 2014
Citation Information
Gerald F. Smith. "Assessing Business Student Thinking Skills" Journal of Management Education Vol. 38 Iss. 3 (2014) p. 384 - 411
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