The biggest harm our education system has done to students is the traditional way of learning and evaluation. They lack the high order thinking model which enhances the overall growth of the students. Our schools always focused on rote learning rather than enhancing creativity and innovation in the student. At earlier times rote learning and memorization was required because the knowledge was available in books, i.e, hard copies. Learning through books was time consuming. Today in this digital age everything is available to us at the single click of a button.
These days we have abundant information available. The question is to make use of the right information at the right time and right place. For this it is essential that we teach our students to think creatively, critically and inventively. This is only possible when we develop higher order thinking skills like creative, critical and innovative thinking in our students. From the very basic stage this should be imbibed in them. The best way to enhance such skills is introduction of higher order thinking questions in our curriculum.
Here we have listed certain points that proves the significance of assessments with questions with Higher Order Thinking Skills:
- Higher Order Questions make students use their brain more effectively and examine the concepts. They use their ability to apply, analyze, evaluate and synthesize while answering. However, when answering lower level questions only require students to recall what they memorized and spat it on the answer-sheet. This process does not help anyone. Higher Level Thinking Questions are difficult to prepare but they help students to engage in higher level thinking while answering.
- There can be multiple answers to the questions with higher order thinking. When students think critically, they come up with huge information that is logically always correct. This leads to a better understanding of the concept from an entirely different perspective. So, while assessment the learning also takes place organically.
- When students answer the questions with higher order thinking skills, they become independent thinkers. They have their own viewpoint rather than a robot who works on the bookish knowledge that is fed inside.
- Higher level questions lead to deeper learning as students require to make connections between previous learning experience and new material. As retention and transfer are two major goals of education. Retention involves students remembering what they have learned. However, transfer requires students to make connections and use the information that they have learned.
- For an individual to be a proficient thinker one must be a proficient question developer. This also help people to solve problems as quality questions lead to quality decisions. So, higher level questions are essential to make the right decision about the academic performance of the student
- Students can relate these questions with their day to day life and answer accordingly. Answering this way gives them sense of belonging and they engage with the question in a more friendly way.
- Answers to such questions are not available on the internet. Therefore, students need to make use of their brain while answering. They come up with answers in a unique manner that is in itself a learning.
Here we can conclude that higher order thinking questions are actually beneficial for students. This way they evolve their critical thinking that is important to be successful in life. These questions enhance deeper understanding of the concept in students. While they are answering the question, the learning takes place and questions become the most powerful teaching tool. So, designing higher order questions is not an innate skill. Developing questions that evolve skills such as analysis, synthesis, and creation in students requires careful planning.