• Question: Any suggestions in assessing critical thinking skills and disposition in a mathematics context for mathematics students?

    Asked by Mother PI on 3 Feb 2020.
    • Photo: Daniel Bearup

      Daniel Bearup answered on 3 Feb 2020:

      It seems to me that mathematical modelling provides opportunities to do this.

      Provide a physical problem which students are familiar with. Ask them to develop a model of that system, explaining their modelling decisions. Do those modelling decisions make sense in the context of the physical problem, could they lead to misleading conclusions?

      Provide a model (or models) of the same physical problem. Ask the students to carry out a mathematical analysis using the techniques they’ve been taught. Ask them what their results tell them about the system. Can they interpret mathematical results in terms of the original problem?

      Basically, use translating between a physical problem and a mathematical description to assess thinking as opposed to ability to apply techniques.