Measuring university students’ critical thinking aptitude: are we using the right measurement tool?
A lot has been said recently regarding the products of Malaysian universities. One of the most highlighted issues was the perception from many parties that our graduates were not able to think critically. But that statement was merely a statement that has been blown out of proportion. As to date, there was a great shortage in researches that thoroughly looks into university students’ critical thinking ability, and produces a result that can authenticate the statement that Malaysian graduates are not critical thinkers.
The aim of this paper is therefore to look at how the Rasch Model will be able to facilitate the validity process in an effort to measure critical thinking aptitude in a multiracial, multi religion and multilingual society in a developing country in South East Asia like Malaysia.
The instrument used for this research was adapted and translated from William Critical Thinking Assessment (Williams CTA, 2002). The CTA was designed to measure 4 sub-constructs: analysis, evaluation, inferences and interpretation. This instrument was claimed to be unidimensional and comprise a single factor, and the most recent Cronbach Alpha Coefficient was contended to be between .80 to .83 (William, 2002).
The definition guiding the development of the instrument is based on the Delphi Model(Facione, 1992). Data collected was analyzed based on the Rasch Model for dichotomous data using the computer application, WINSTEPS version3.57.3.(Linacre). In addition, the data were also analyzed using SPSS version 11.5. The sample consisted of 567(2nd and 3rd Year) students representing students from 12 different courses from two public universities.
The results show that the instrument has very high item reliability (0.99). However, person reliability is too low (.14). On the whole, the students’ critical thinking aptitude seems to be at a low level too. Are these supposedly selected students unable to think critically then? Are we using the correct measurement tool?
This paper will answer this question.
The final report is being readied for November 2010
The development of a Malaysian H.E. Critical thinking instrument (macti) prototype: Conceptualisation and psychometric properties
The aim of this research is to investigate the viability of the definition of critical thinking as being conceptualized by the researcher. It aspire to meticulously and thoroughly develop a single, multipart instrument that is able to measure the individual constructs of critical thinking as defined by the researcher, among university’s students in a multiracial, multi religion and multilingual society in a developing country in South East Asia.
Finally, The proposed model will be validated. The Rasch model will be applied in the development process since it has been proven to be able to help in the construction of valid, reliable and unbiased items pertaining to attributes to be measured. The qualitative approached was used during the first stage since this is the most suitable approach in conceptualizing of what it meant by Critical Thinking by experts in Malaysia. Specifically the researcher adopted the case study method using the interview and document analysis technique.
During the second stage, important constructs that the researcher believes to be able to measure critical thinking were identified. Items were created based on the Instrument Blueprint. MaCTi consisted of four major constructs which are Cognitive Complexity, Disposition, Metacognition and Conscience. MaCTI was distributed and the data were analysed. Items were then improved and the test was run again. The final test has basically gone through four cycles of the validation process. The respondents consisted of 2063 3rd and final year university students from 7 public university in Malaysia.
The final report is being readied for November 2010
Pemikiran kritis dalam pembelajaran sepanjang hayat : suatu penerokaan definisi konseptual
Tujuan kajian ini adalah untuk memahami maksud sebenar pemikiran kritis dari perspektif masyarakat Malaysia serta mengkonseptualisasikan pemikiran kritis yang lebih sensitif terhadap keperluan masyarakat Malaysia. Secara asasnya, terdapat keperluan yang amat serius untuk membina satu konsep dan kayu ukur yang berdasarkan realiti budaya masyarakat setempat.
Oleh yang demikian, persoalan di sini ialah kesesuaian konseptualisasi pemikiran kritis yang berorientasikan psikologi barat yang sedia ada digunapakai untuk digunakan dalam konteks tempatan. Oleh itu, terdapat keperluan yang amat serius untuk mengkaji situasi ini seterusnya menyediakan satu asas yang mantap dan yang lebih menepati keperluan masyarakat Malaysia.
Pengkaji telah menggunakan kajian kes yang memberi fokus kepada pandangan pakar tentang apa yang dimaksudkan dengan pemikiran kritis. Gabungan dari teori-teori yang diutarakan oleh pakar-pakar pemikiran serta hasil dari kajian kualitatif, pengkaji telah mengenalpasti empat konstruk utama dalam mentafsirkan pemikiran kritis iaitu: kebolehan kognitif, kecenderungan, metakognisi dan nurani/cahaya-hati.
Secara asasnya, pengkaji mencadangkan bahawa terdapat hubungan yang kuat diantara keempat-empat elemen yang dinyatakan dalam mentafsir pemikiran kritis dalam konteks tempatan. Adalah amat diharapkan dapatan kajian ini dapat menyumbang kepada pemahaman yang lebih mendalam mengenai pemikiran kritis yang berorientasikan Malaysia serta mengambil kira persepsi yang lebih menyeluruh seterusnya dapat membantu dalam proses pembelajaran sepanjang hayat.
Secara asasnya, kebolehan untuk berfikir kritis secara automatis akan menjuruskan individu kepada pencarian dan menerokaan ilmu sepanjang hayat.
The Construction Of An E-Learning Bilingual Model For An Engineering Mathematics Subject At Universiti Teknologi Malaysia City Campus
Zur’aini Dahlan, Akbariah Mohd. Mahdzir, and Sya Azmeela Syariff
This study explores learning of an engineering mathematics subject through the absorption of materials presented in digital media form with e-learning as the environment; where the text-based model being constructed has a medium primarily in the English language with an exact form available in Bahasa Malaysia.
Content is identified to provide descriptions of core concepts dynamically using video, audio and graphics, and also constructed to present consistent elements of the problem set to the students, to engage students in the solutions which is gradually increasing in the complexity of the applied rules and principles.
What Do They Actually Gained From Group Work? An Analysis Through Rasch Model
In order to incorporate the culture of excellence among students at the University of Technology in Malaysia, several graduate attributes such as communication skills, team working, problem solving, adaptability, lifelong learning, self-esteem, ethics and integrity, have been identified as some of the most important generic skills to be instilled in students for fulfilling the requirement of employers in corporate sectors and other working environment.
The idea in instilling the above-mentioned skills for any class do seem implausible, nevertheless by customizing teamwork activities among students for class presentation of selected topics in the subject create an interesting learning process in the acquisition of both the academic content and generic skills.
The subjects consists of 77 students majoring in computer science, are divided 18 groups where each of them has 5 members. The students were required to select strategies and to design contents for group presentation on a topic in the mathematics subject. Group discussions and actual presentations were recorded.
Later in the semester each group assumes expertise in the topic they have presented and peers may seek them for reference in their studies of that particular topic. With regard to the scaling of generic skill enhanced through the presentation approach in Mathematics 3 class, ‘team working’ seems to be the skill that students felt they most gained. It was quite unexpected to discover that the students felt that the two least gained skills from the whole exercise were communication skill and work ethics.
The application of rasch model in the development of voting pattern indicator (vpi) instrument amongst the young
The aim of this research was to investigate the viability of the definition of voting pattern as being conceptualized by the researcher. Its main intention was to meticulously and thoroughly validate a single, multipart instrument that is able to measure the individual constructs of voting behaviour as defined by the researcher supported by previous research conducted in Malaysia.
More specifically, the study aimed to establish the indicators of voting patterns for the upcoming 2012 general election, among higher education students in a multiracial, multi religion and multilingual society in a developing country in South East Asia. The Rasch Model was applied in the validation process since it has been proven to be able to help in the construction of valid, reliable and unbiased items pertaining to attributes to be measured.
The qualitative approached was used during the first stage since this is the most suitable approach in conceptualizing of what it meant by experts in Malaysia. During the second stage, important constructs that the researcher believes to be able to measure voting behaviour were identified. 59 items were created based on the Instrument Blueprint.
VPI consisted of four major constructs which are (i) Voters awareness on their rights to vote (ii) Effective Governance with three sub-constructs: social issues, social welfare and economic issues, (iii) Leadership with two sub-constructs: the representatives and the prime minister, and (iv) Representatives’ Attributes with six sub construct: physical appearance, gender, race, religion, financial status and level of education. VPI was distributed and the data were analysed.
The findings were based on these aspects: (a) Construct definition-the spread of the items ; (b)Summary of item difficulty and person ability-item-person map; (c) Item polarity- point-measure correlation index; (d) Fit statistics-infit and outfit; (e) Unidimensionality-RPCA; (f) Result that are consistent with the aims of measurement-Reliability and Separation; (g) Instrument usefulness- SEM as the guidance; (h) Test targeting- item and person mean within ± 2.0 SE; (i) Person fit; and (j) Usability of the measurement scale- category and step calibrations. Items were then improved and the test was run again. The respondents consisted of higher education institution students from both the private and public institutions in Malaysia.
Is there any significant racial differences in the voting pattern amongst the young in Malaysia?
Voting is an essential component of democratic elections. Election in Malaysia in particular is very unique because of its multiracial, multi religion and multilingual democratic society. Political scientists and scholars are interested to look into the factors that influence people votes in this kind of environment.
This field needs a tool that can identify and assess voting pattern among youths quickly with validity and reliability. The goal of this article is to evaluate the racial/ethnic differential item functioning (DIF) of the Voting Pattern Indicator (VPI) Instrument using the Rasch Model.
VPI consisted of 59 items with four major constructs which are (i) Voters awareness on their rights to vote (ii) Effective Governance with three sub-constructs: social issues, social welfare and economic issues, (iii) Leadership with two sub-constructs: the representatives and the prime minister, and (iv) Representatives’ Attributes with six sub construct: physical appearance, gender, race, religion, financial status and level of education.
The instrument was given in different languages namely Malay, English, Mandarin, and Tamil based on the respondents preference. Data were collected from 200 youths between 18 and 21 years of age. DIF was identified in some items, raising concerns about some subscale that may require some further examination and revision.
The Application of Rasch Model in the development of voting pattern indicator (VP) instrument amongst the young
Validation of perceived value index for blended learning course: An application of Rasch Model