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The purposes of this study were (a) to determine whether or not undergraduate athletic training educators are writing learning objectives that foster critical thinking (CT) skills, and (b) to determine if their written assignments and written examinations are measuring the extent to which students have developed CT skills.
Thirty institutions seeking accreditation for their athletic training programs from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Educational Programs in the 1994-95 academic year were asked to provide their curriculum materials (course syllabus, two to three examinations, or both from each athletic training-specific course).
Thirteen curriculum directors (43%) provided materials.
Each learning objective, examination question, and written assignment was classified as either CT or non-critical thinking (NCT) using Bloom's taxonomy.
From 64 usable syllabi, a total of 678 learning objectives were classified as either CT (52%) or NCT (48%). From 81 written examinations, 3215 questions were classified as either CT (14%) or NCT (86%). In addition, a total of 143 written assignments were all classified as CT.
The results of this study indicate that educators fostered more CT in their learning objectives and written assignments than in their written exams. Valid educational instruments (eg, Bloom's taxonomy) may help educators design learning objectives, assignments, and examinations.