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Higher-Order Thinking Skills-Based Assessment in English for Academic and Professional Purposes

Roselle G. Aniceto, Ph. D

University of Baguio, Baguio City, Philippines 

__________________________________________________________ ABSTRACT: Higher-order thinking skills (HOTS) are important to ensure the transfer of learning. There are several studies conducted that are related to HOTS; however, the integration of HOTS in the assessments is insufficiently explored. Thus, the researcher would like to study more on this area to achieve meaningful learning and improve learning outcomes. This study aimed to determine the reflection of thinking skills in the designed assessment activities of teachers and the outputs of the students and proposed a mechanism that will guide the teachers in incorporating HOTS in the design of assessment activities in the subject, English for Academic and Professional Purposes. This study employed the document analysis research method. The participants of the study were senior high school English language teachers and students. There were 11 designed assessment activities by teachers and 2,423 outputs by students that were carefully analyzed and evaluated by identifying the thinking skills and how they were reflected in the documents. Findings revealed that the reflected thinking skills in the designed assessment activities of teachers were mostly higher-order thinking skills; however, for students, lower-order thinking skills (LOTS) were mostly manifested in their output, which implies that the students lacked the demonstration of critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Therefore, to ensure the integration of HOTS, the teachers should consider the cognitive dimension and process that the assessment aims to develop to be able to create an activity measuring high-level thinking skills (analyzing, evaluating, and creating) based on contextual issues aligning with the learning outcome.


Keywords: Higher-Order Thinking Skills, English for Academic and Professional Purposes, assessment, cognitive dimensions, cognitive processes

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