Assessment of higher order thinking skills: A case of Uganda Primary Leaving Examinations

John Mary Vianney Mitana, Anthony Mugagga Muwagga and Cornelius Ssempala

African Educational Research Journal
Published: October 30 2018
Volume 6, Issue 4
Pages 240-249


The study set out to give a conceptual definition and assessment of Higher Order Thinking skills (HOTs), and establish the proportion of HOTs and Lower Order Thinking skills (LOTs) questions within the 2010-2016 Uganda Primary Leaving Examination (PLE) questions. The study used secondary literature to define HOTs and provide an assessment framework for HOTs. The assessment framework was then used to categorise all PLE questions for the years 2010 to 2016. All the examinable subjects within the PLE, English Language, Social Studies (SST), Science and Mathematics were categorised according to the HOT and LOT categories. The study reveals an overall mean value of 86.8% of LOT questions and a mean value of 13.2% of HOT questions. The study recommends the use of the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy framework in the categorisation of assessment items and that more HOT questions are included in the PLE.

Keywords: Higher order thinking, creativity, educational assessment, human development, development, Uganda Primary Leaving Examinations.

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