Date of Award

Spring 2-28-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Executive Ed.D. in Education Leadership Management and Policy


Education Leadership, Management and Policy


Christopher H. Tienken, Ed.D

Committee Member

Mark Jarmon, Ed.D

Committee Member

David B. Reid, Ph.D


Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy, Cognitive Complexity, Functional Fixedness, Global Competitiveness, Hess’ Cognitive Rigor Matrix, Higher-order thinking, Reflective Thinking, Selected-Response Questions, Standardized Assessment, Webb’s Depth of Knowledge


This convergent, parallel, mixed-methods study with qualitative and quantitative content analysis methods was conducted to identify what type of thinking is required by the College and Career Readiness Assessment (CCRA+) by (a) determining the frequency and percentage of questions categorized as higher-level thinking within each cell of Hess’ Cognitive Rigor Matrix and (b) determining in what ways are the skills identified as essential for success in the workplace by global organizations assessed on the CCRA+? The qualitative method consisted of a content analysis of the language of the analyzed assessment prompts, followed by deductive coding, and culminated with categorizing the depth and type of thinking required based on Hess’ Cognitive Rigor Matrix, a framework that superimposes Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy and Webb’s Depth of Knowledge. To ensure reliability in the coding of the assessment prompts, the double-rater read behind the consensus model was employed. The results of the study found 70 percent of the analyzed questions required level 2 thinking according to Webb’s Depth of Knowledge and understanding per Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy. The study found over 82% of the selected-response questions required lower-level thinking from both Webb’s Depth of Knowledge and Bloom’s Taxonomy. All (100%) of the performance task assessment prompts that were analyzed were found to require Level 4 thinking on Webb’s Depth of Knowledge and higher-level thinking according to Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy. The results suggest the format of instruction and, ultimately, the format of assessment prompts are essential to develop and assess the development of student’s critical thinking.

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