Does Higher Education Teach Students to Think Critically?

There is a discernible and growing gap between the qualifications that a university degree certifies and the actual generic, 21st-century skills with which students graduate from higher education. By generic skills, it is meant literacy and critical thinking skills encompassing problem solving, analytic reasoning and communications competency. As automation takes over non- and lower-cognitive tasks in today’s workplace, these generic skills are especially valued but a tertiary degree is a poor indicator of skills level. In the United States, the Council for Aid for Education developed an assessment of generic skills called the CLA+ and carried out testing in six countries between 2016 and 2021. This book provides the data and analysis of this “CLA+ International Initiative”.

Published on August 30, 2022


Executive summary
Assessing students’ generic learning outcomes4 chapters available
Do higher education students acquire the skills that matter?
The Collegiate Learning Assessment – a performance-based assessment of generic skills
CLA+ International
Ensuring cross-cultural reliability and validity
CLA+ International Database5 chapters available
General CLA+ International results
CLA+ International demographic variables
Predictive validity of CLA+
Fields of study
Benchmarking countries
The CLA+ assessment in participating countries8 chapters available
CLA+ in the United States
Assessing university students’ learning outcomes: The Italian experience with TECO
Assessing the generic skills of undergraduate students in Finland
Using CLA+ in a pilot in England for measuring learning gain
Mexico: an innovative focus on evaluation of learning outcomes
CLA + in Latin America: application and results
Assessing students' generic learning outcomes in Australia and New Zealand
Conclusions and prospects
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