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A standardized, nationally normed assessment program that helps postsecondary institutions assess, evaluate and improve student learning.
CAAP is Retiring in January 2018
Contact Us to Discuss Alternate CAAP Solutions at Your Institution
Don Pitchford, PhD
Program Director | Higher Education
- Will there be a replacement product from ACT CAAP? No, ACT does not have plans to replace ACT CAAP with another assessment. We offer other solutions that may meet your needs, depending on how your institution uses ACT CAAP. Contact Don Pitchford at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how your institution has used ACT CAAP in the past to best determine how to proceed.
- When is the last date I can order ACT CAAP materials? January 19, 2018, is the last day to order ACT CAAP. Orders for those that were previously placed but require additional materials will be fulfilled as able.
- When is the last date I can submit materials for scoring? February 1, 2018, is the last day to submit materials for scoring. Any items received after that date will not be scored.
- When is the last day to place orders for supplemental reporting? The last day to place orders for the supplemental reporting services (Content Analysis, Linkage, Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA) and Custom Norms) will be June 1, 2018.
- What do I do if we planned to test in spring 2018? Contact Don Pitchford at email@example.com to discuss how your institution has used ACT CAAP in the past to best determine how to proceed.
Improve Student Learning on Your Campus
ACT Collegiate Assessement of Academic Proficiency (ACT CAAP) offers six independent test modules, available in the subject areas most commonly covered in postsecondary general education programs. National norms allow you to compare student performance by institution type, student year in school, and institutional ownership. Each test takes about 50 minutes and is designed for convenient in-class administration.
Improving Student Outcomes
An assessment program to help measure student readiness
ACT CAAP helps postsecondary institutions improve learning outcomes for their students in a reliable, convenient, and customizable way.
Features and Benefits
CAAP can be used to:
- Satisfy accreditation and accountability reporting requirements
- Measure students' achievement levels on a group and individual basis
- Compare students' achievement levels with national user norms
- Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of general education programs
- Document the performance gain of students' achievement levels over time
- Analyze what interventions may be necessary to enhance results
- Determine student eligibility for upper-division studies
- Advise individual students how to achieve academic success
- Measure student learning outcomes for Voluntary System of Accountability
Resources and information on using ACT CAAP for colleges and universities.
Guide to Successful General Education Outcomes Assessment
ACT CAAP can help you to assess, evaluate, and enhance the outcomes of your general education programs.
ACT College Learning Outcomes Assessment Planning Guide
The ACT College Learning Outcomes Assessment Planning Guide is designed to encourage reflection about the context for learning outcomes assessment on your college/university campus.
ACT CAAP Technical Handbook
The unique modular format of ACT CAAP offers you the flexibility to select the assessment components that meet your institution's educational goals and objectives.
ACT WorkKeys is a comprehensive program that aligns, builds and certifies the skills needed for workplace success.
ACT Engage identifies critical, yet overlooked attitudes and behaviors, at grades 6-9, 10-12, and college levels, that contribute to future success.
Have questions? Call 319-337-1576, send us an email, or complete this form.
Clinical skills in nursing are obviously important, but critical thinking is at the core of being a good nurse.
Critical thinking skills are very important in the nursing field because they are what you use to prioritize and make key decisions that can save lives. Nurses give critical care 24/7, so the critical thinking skills of nurses can really mean the difference between someone living or dying. These types of skills are important not just for clinical care, but for making important policy decisions.
Critical Thinking for Nurses
For you to become a successful nurse, you will need to learn how a nurse thinks on the job. In nursing school, you will learn how to do an IV, dress a wound and to save lives, but there is more to being a nurse than just having good clinical skills. Standard protocols in nursing will work 99% of the time, but what about that 100th time when they don’t work? That’s when your critical thinking skills can either save or cost a life.
What is different about the thinking of a nurse from an engineer or dentist? Mainly it is how the nurse views the patient and the sorts of problems nurses have to deal with in their work. Thinking like a nurse requires you to think about the entire world and content of nursing, including ideas, theories, and concepts in nursing. It also is important that we better develop our intellects and our skills so that we become highly proficient critical thinkers in nursing.
In nursing, critical thinkers need to be:
All of these attributes must be true, whether the nurse is talking, speaking or acting. You also need to do these things when you are reading, writing and talking. Always keep these critical thinking attributes in mind in nursing!
Nurses have to get rid of inconsistent, irrelevant and illogical thinking as they think about patient care. Nurses need to use language that will clearly communicate a lot of information that is key to good nursing care. It is important to note that nurses are never focused in irrelevant or trivial information.
Key Critical Thinking Skills
Some skills are more important than others when it comes to critical thinking. Some of these skills are applied in patient care, via the framework known as the Nursing Process. The skills that are most important are:
Interpreting – Understanding and explaining the meaning of information, or a particular event.
Analyzing – Investigating a course of action, that is based upon data that is objective and subjective.
Evaluating – This is how you assess the value of the information that you got. Is the information relevant, reliable and credible? This skill is also needed to determine if outcomes have been fully reached.
Based upon those three skills, the nurse can then use clinical reasoning to determine what the problem is. These decisions have to be based upon sound reasoning:
Explaining – Clearly and concisely explaining your conclusions. The nurse needs to be able to give a sound rationale for her answers.
Self regulating – You have to monitor your own thinking processes. This means that you must reflect on the process that lead to the conclusion. You should self correct in this process as needed. Be on alert for bias and improper assumptions.
Critical Thinking Pitfalls
Errors that occur in critical thinking in nursing can cause incorrect conclusions. This is particularly dangerous in nursing, because an incorrect conclusion can lead to incorrect clinical actions.
Critical thinking can fail when logic is improperly used. One common fallacy is when one uses a circular argument. A nurse could write a nursing diagnosis that reads ‘Coping is ineffective, as can be seen by the inability to cope.’ This just makes the problem into a circle and does not solve it.
Another common illogical thought process is known as ‘appeal to tradition.’ This is what people are doing when they say ‘it’s always been done like this.’ Creative, new approaches are not tried because of tradition.
Logic errors also can happen when a thinking makes generalizations and does not think about the evidence.
All people have biases. Critical thinkers are able to look at their biases and do not let them compromise their thinking processes.
Biases can complicate patient care. If you think that someone who is alcoholic is a manipulator, you might ignore their complaint that they are anxious or in pain, and miss the signs of delirium tremens.
Being closed-minded in nursing is dangerous because it ignores other points of view. Also ignored is essential input from other experts, as well as patients and families. This means that fewer clinical options are explored and fewer innovative ideas are used.
So, no matter if you are a public health nurse or a nurse practitioner, you should always keep in mind the importance of critical thinking in the nursing field.