The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care
Purpose: To compare academic and clinical faculty ratings of students' critical thinking and problem solving ability (CTPS) to scores on the Watson-Glaser (WG) and in-program GPA. The CTPS is a 21-item instrument that allows faculty to systematically evaluate students. Scores range from 21 (low) to 147 (high) points. The CTPS has evidence of content validity and has been significantly correlated with WG. Inter-rater reliability has been reported at r = 0.66-0.86 with Chronbach's alpha of 0.95-0.99. The WG is designed to measure ability to reason analytically and logically. Method: Currently enrolled respiratory care students (n = 31) were rated using the CTPS by academic (AF) and clinical faculty (CF). A dependent t-test was used to compare mean AF CTPS and CF CTPS ratings. Pearson product-moment correlations compared CTPS, WG and GPA.
Results: Mean (SD) scores were WG: 56.9 (8.6); AF CTPS: 113 (18.8); CF CTPS: 133 (17.8) and GPA: 3.19 (0.81). There was a significant difference between AF CTPS and CF CTPS (t = -4.2; p = 0.0002). Table 1 lists the correlations for CTPS, WG and GPA. There was general agreement in CTPS scores among AF and significant correlations for AF CTPS scores and GPA (r = 0.63; p = 0.001). WG also correlated with GPA (r = 0.37, p = 0.04). There was no relationship between CF CTPS scores and most individual AF CTPS scores, GPA or WG.
Conclusions: Academic faculty tended to agree on CTPS ratings and AF CTPS tended to correlate with students' academic performance. Clinical instructors CTPS ratings were significantly higher than AF, were not useful in predicting academic performance and did not correlate well with assessment by academic faculty or with general critical thinking ability.
Table 1. Correlation Matrix for Academic and Clincal Faculty Ratings of Students' Critical Thinking Ability Compared to the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal and In-Program Respiratory Care Grade Point Average (GPA).
|CTPS AF 1||CTPS AF 2||CTPS AF 3||CTPS AF 4||CTPS-CF||In-Program GPA||WG|
|CTPS AF 1||-||0.47**||0.22||0.44**||-0.02||0.24||0.12|
|CTPS AF 2||0.47**||-||0.51**||0.49**||0.14||0.66**||0.34|
|CTPS AF 3||0.22||0.51**||-||0.56**||0.24||0.48**||0.35*|
|CTPS AF 4||0.44**||0.49**||0.56**||-||0.36*||0.51**||0.12|
|CTPS AF Avg||0.73**||0.88**||0.69**||0.72**||0.21||0.63**||0.32|
|* p ||CTPS - Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Scores|
|** p ||WG - Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal|
|AF - Academic Faculty|
|CF - Clinical Faculty|