T2I Critical Thinking Rubric


Critical Thinking is disciplined thinking that is clear, rational, open-minded, systematic, and informed by evidence (EO 1.2).

Framing Language

The culture of higher education includes the pursuit of truth, for the sake of conveying truth to the world. In the pursuit of truth students encounter various understandings and points of view. Therefore, CT is required for students’ development through understanding, evaluating, deciding, and graciously communicating ideas and conclusions.

The goal of Montreat College’s T2I is to develop the critical thinking skills of our students so that they can graciously impact the world around them. To assess the effectiveness of T2I the following rubric is utilized. The T2I rubric addresses the skills of problem solving and learning, creative thinking, and communication of multifaceted ideas, as each are skill based components of critical thinking.

Problem solving and learning include the ability to separate relevant and irrelevant information, to integrate multiple sources of information to solve problems and to learn and apply new information to solve real-world problems. Creative thinking involves identifying or deriving alternative interpretations for data or observations, recognizing new information that might support or contradict a hypothesis, and explaining how new information can change one’s understanding and ability to address a problem. Communication of multifaceted ideas includes the ability to communicate ideas graciously so engagement with the world can be done effectively and precisely.

Work samples to be assessed include, but are not limited to, student reflections, discussion board posts, and course presentations.


  • Disciplined thinking: Controlled thought that demonstrates elements defined below:
    • Clear: Expressing ideas in a straight-forward and simple manner.
    • Rational: Thought that clearly demonstrates cognitive reasoning to come to a logical conclusion.
    • Open-minded: A genuine critical openness to the ideas and beliefs of others (EO 2.4).
    • Systematic: Organized thought that follows a logical plan to investigate or explain an idea.
    • Evidence: Quantitative and qualitative information that is supported by direct observation and empirical sources.

Evaluators are encouraged to assign a zero to any work sample or collection that does not meet benchmark (cell one) level performance.









Explanation of issues

(Critical Thinking Rubric)

Issue/problem to be considered critically is stated clearly and described comprehensively, delivering all relevant information necessary for full understanding. Issue/problem to be considered critically is stated, described, and clarified so that understanding is not seriously impeded by omissions. Issue/problem to be considered critically is stated but description leaves some terms undefined, ambiguities unexplored, boundaries undetermined, and/or backgrounds unknown. Issue/problem to be considered critically is stated without clarification or description.
Influence of context and assumptions

(Critical Thinking Rubric)

Thoroughly (systematically and methodologically) analyzes own and others’ assumptions and carefully evaluates the relevance of contexts when presenting a position. Identifies own and others’ assumptions and several relevant contexts when presenting a position. Questions some assumptions. Identifies several relevant contexts when presenting a position. May be more aware of others’ assumptions than one’s own (or vice versa). Shows an emerging awareness of present assumptions (sometimes labels assertations as assumptions).

Begins to identify some contexts when presenting a position.

Solving Problems

(Creative Thinking Rubric)

Not only develops a logical, consistent plan to solve problem, but recognizes consequences of solution and can articulate reason for choosing solution. Having selected from among alternatives, develops a logical, consistent plan to solve the problem. Considers and rejects less acceptable approaches to solving problem. One single approach is considered and is used to solve the problem.
Innovative Thinking

Novelty or uniqueness (of ideas, question, form, etc.)

(Creative Thinking Rubric)

Extends a novel or unique idea, question, format, or product to create new knowledge or knowledge that crosses boundaries. Creates a novel or unique idea, question, format, or product. Experiments with creating a novel or unique idea, question, format, or product. Reformulates a collection of available ideas.

This rubric was created using the Association of American Colleges and Universities Critical Thinking VALUE Rubric. Retrieved from https://www.aacu.org/value-rubrics