The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

1997 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

A COMPARISON OF FACULTY RATINGS OF CRITICAL THINKING AND PROBLEM SOLVING.ABILITY TO THE WATSON-GLASER CRITICAL THINKING APPRAISAL AND CLINICAL SIMULATION EXAMINATION SCORES.

David C. Shelledy, PhD, RRT, Shelley C. Mishoe, PhD, RRT, Robert W. Lawson, MS, RRT and Douglas L. Murphy, PhD. The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas and Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, Georgia.

BACKGROUND: Respiratory care educational programs seek to develop student's critical thinking and problem solving abilities. Difficulty in evaluating these skills makes this goal problematic. The Critical Thinking and Problem Solving evaluation instrument (CTPS) is a 21 item assessment tool that allows faculty to systematically evaluate students. Scores generated are totaled and range from 21 (low) to 147 (high) points. The CTPS has evidence of content validity based on review by a panel of experts. The interater reliability of the CTPS has been reported to be r = .66 with Cronbach's alpha of .95-.99. The Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (WG) is designed to measure subjects ability to reason analytically and logically. The WG uses five subtests to assess the ability to make inferences, recognize assumptions, perform deduction, and interpret and evaluate arguments. The scores on these subtests are combined to generate an overall critical thinking score. Form II of the NBRC clinical simulation self-assessment examination (CSE) consists of 7 patient management problems. Performance on these problems is combined to generate an overall information gathering (IG) and decision making (DM) score. We compared faculty ratings of students' critical thinking and problem solving ability using the CTPS to WG, IG and DM scores for graduates at two baccalaureate degree respiratory care programs. METHOD: Twenty-four respiratory care program graduates were retrospectively evaluated by two faculty from each program using the CTPS. Faculty worked independently and were blinded to students performance on the WG and the NBRC CSE. Interater reliability coefficients and Chronbach's alpha were calculated as measures of CTPS reliability. Students' CTPS, WG, IG and DM scores at the two schools were compared using the t-test for independent samples. Pearson-product moment correlation coefficients were calculated to compare CTPS scores to WG, IG, and DM. Results: Interater reliability for the CTPS was r = .85 and r = .86 for the two schools, respectively. Cronbach's alpha ranged from .97 to .99. There were no significant differences between students' scores when compared by school for the CTPS (p = .74) or WG (p = .60). There were significant differences in student performance when compared by school for IG (p < .001) and DM (p < .001). There was a significant correlation between CTPS scores and WG (r = .50, p = .01). There was no relationship between CTPS scores and IG (r = .24, p = .27) or DM (r = .17, p = .42). There also was no relationship between WG and IG (r = .09, p = .67) or DM (r = .12, p = .59). Conclusions: There was a significant correlation between faculty ratings of students' critical thinking ability using the CTPS and general critical thinking ability as assessed using the WG. The CTPS and WG were of no value in predicting students performance on the NBRC CSE. More research on assessment of problem solving and critical thinking abilities among respiratory care program students is needed.

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