• Essential Skills

• Essential Skills

You are planning a special dinner and want to add the perfect seasonings. But your spice drawer is a jumbled mess. You comb through the jars of spices, getting increasingly more annoyed. Where’s the salt? The cilantro? That container of garlic? Frustrating, right? But if you line up the spices neatly on the counter in front of you, you can suddenly see all your options…and calmly choose the best flavoring for your meal.

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That’s what critical thinking is—the ability to step back from a problem, assess what you have to work with, and rationally decide the best way forward toward a solution. It’s a key component of practicing your problem-solving skill in this course and beyond. By improving your critical thinking so you can solve problems in the present and future, you’ll take a positive step toward achieving both your personal and professional goals.

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Skill Application

In the following Capella Stories, you’ll learn how decorated Thunderbird pilot Nicole Malachowski used critical thinking to achieve her long-held dream: the conferment of the Congressional Medal of Honor on WWII’s Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP).

• Capella Stories: Bringing the WASP to New Heights.

Have you ever been confronted with two versions of the same story? It can be hard to know which to believe, right? Historians and students of history (like you!) often face the same challenge. In the following Capella Stories, biographer and historian Kate Clifford Larson walks us through important moments in Harriet Tubman’s life and reveals the critical thinking steps she took to determine their historical accuracy. How will these same steps strengthen your problem-solving skill and help you think critically in your own life? Learn how Harriet Tubman’s biographer used the six steps of critical thinking to discover the real story of this fascinating American hero.

o  • Note: The first three assessments in this course build on each other; therefore, it is essential that you complete them in the order presented.

Overview

Now that you’ve evaluated the credibility of your sources (Assessment 1), you are ready to use your agility and problem-solving skills to analyze the content of your sources. For this assessment, you will complete the Historical Analysis Worksheet [DOCX], using a critical thinking process to evaluate evidence as you explore the causes and long-term impacts related to your issue. Analyze how those in the past have successfully and unsuccessfully tackled the same issues while also considering how these same issues might now be addressed by your organization.

Preparation

Review the evidence you compiled and compared for Assessment 1, Evaluating Historical Sources. Then begin to formulate your explanation or main arguments about your chosen issue. Consider the historical context of the issue, its challenges, and the strategies and approaches people used to deal with those challenges.

Instructions

For this assignment, use the Historical Analysis Worksheet [DOCX] to complete the following steps. You will use this worksheet to further examine the sources you’ve collected for your topic (facing economic change or engaging civil rights).

Step 1: Identify questions that need to be answered to understand an historical event and its long-term impact.

Step 2: Describe information learned from historical sources that can be used to inform a current understanding of an historical issue.

Step 3: Explain similarities and differences in sources of historical information.

Step 4: Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of historical evidence, including the challenges of using such evidence to make an argument about an historical issue.

Step 5: Use critical thinking to relate past challenges and strategies to a current organizational issue.

Step 6: Write in a well-organized and concise manner that adheres to the rules of grammar, usage, and mechanics.

Additional Requirements

Your submission should meet the following requirements:

• Written communication: Written communication should be free of errors that detract from the overall message.• Citations: Include a complete citation for each source. When you refer to evidence (in Step 2 of the worksheet), be sure to include in-text references to your sources. Review current APA Style and Format guidelines for more information on how to cite your sources.• Number of references: Your assessment should include a reference page with at least four sources cited: two primary and two secondary sources, with up to two sources selected from the History Presentation Resource List [DOCX].• Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 point.

Competencies Measured

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:

• Competency 2: Determine the causes and long-term impacts of an historical event. o Identify questions that need to be answered to understand an historical event and its long-term impact.o Explain similarities and differences in sources of historical information.• Competency 3: Explain lessons learned from U.S. historical events and their potential influence on a current problem or situation. o Describe information learned from historical sources that can be used to inform a current understanding of an historical issue.o Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of historical evidence, including the challenges of using such evidence to make an argument about an historical issue.o Use critical thinking to relate past challenges and strategies to a current organizational issue.• Competency 4: Address assessment purpose in a well-organized manner, incorporating appropriate evidence and tone in grammatically sound sentences. o Write in a well-organized and concise manner that adheres to the rules of grammar, usage, and mechanics.

Historical Analysis Scoring Guide

Criteria

Non-performance

Basic

Proficient

Distinguished

Identify questions that need to be answered to understand an historical event and its long-term impact.

Does not identify questions that need to be answered to understand an historical event and its long-term impact.

Identifies one or more questions that need to be answered to understand an historical event and its long-term impact, but questions need further refinement.

Identifies questions that need to be answered to understand an historical event and its long-term impact.

Identifies clear, specific questions that need to be answered to understand an historical event and its long-term impact.

Describe information learned from historical sources that can be used to inform a current understanding of an historical issue.

Does not describe information learned from historical sources that can be used to inform a current understanding of an historical issue.

Describes information learned from historical sources that can be used to inform a current understanding of an historical issue, but this information is incomplete.

Describes information learned from historical sources that can be used to inform a current understanding of an historical issue.

Describes information learned from historical sources that can be used to inform a current understanding of an historical issue, with supporting examples.

Explain similarities and differences in sources of historical information.

Does not explain similarities and differences in sources of historical information.

Identifies similarities and differences in sources of historical information.

Explains similarities and differences in sources of historical information.

Explains similarities and differences in sources of historical information, with supporting examples.

Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of historical evidence, including the challenges of using such evidence to make an argument about an historical issue.

Does not analyze the strengths and weaknesses of historical evidence.

Attempts to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of historical evidence but does not include the challenges of using such evidence to make an argument about an historical issue.

Analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of historical evidence, including the challenges of using such evidence to make an argument about an historical issue.

Analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of historical evidence, including the challenges of using such evidence to make an argument about an historical issue, using supporting examples and specific details.

Use critical thinking to relate past challenges and strategies to a current organizational issue.

Does not use critical thinking to relate past challenges and strategies to a current organizational issue.

Uses critical thinking to relate past challenges and strategies to a current organizational issue, but the analysis is incomplete.

Uses critical thinking to relate past challenges and strategies to a current organizational issue.

Uses critical thinking to relate past challenges and strategies to a current organizational issue, using specific evidence.

Write in a well-organized and concise manner that adheres to the rules of grammar, usage, and mechanics.

Does not write in a well-organized and concise manner.

Writing is unclear, wordy, or disconnected, with errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics.

Writes in a well-organized and concise manner that adheres to the rules of grammar, usage, and mechanics.

Organizes content so clarity is enhanced and all ideas flow logically and smoothly. Writes concisely, precisely, and directly, with nearly flawless adherence to the rules of grammar, usage, and mechanics.