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Measuring logical competences and soft skills when enrolling in a university degree course

  • Bruno Bertaccini
  • Riccardo Bruni
  • Federico Crescenzi
  • Beatrice Donati

Logical abilities are a ubiquitous ingredient in all those contexts that take into account soft skills, argumentative skills or critical thinking. However, the relationship between logical models and the enhancement of these abilities is rarely explicitly considered. Two aspects of the issue are particularly critical in our opinion, namely: (i) the lack of statistically relevant data concerning these competences; (ii) the absence of reliable indices that might be used to measure and detect the possession of abilities underlying the above-mentioned soft skills. This paper aims to address both aspects of this topic by presenting the results of a research we conducted in the period October – December 2020 on students enrolled in various degree courses at the University of Florence. To the best of our knowledge, to date this is the largest available database on the subject in the Italian University System. It has been obtained by a three-stage initiative. We started from an “entrance” examination for assessing the students' initial abilities. This test comprised ten questions, each of which was centered on a specific reasoning construct. The results we have collected show that there is a widespread lack of understanding of basic patterns that are common in the everyday way of arguing. Students then underwent a short training course, using formal logic techniques in order to strengthen their abilities, and afterwards took an “exit” examination, replicating the structure and the questions difficulty of the entrance one in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the course. Results show that the training was beneficial.

  • Keywords:
  • studentes' logical abilities,
  • IRT,
  • test equating,
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Bruno Bertaccini

University of Florence, Italy - ORCID: 0000-0002-5816-2964

Riccardo Bruni

University of Florence, Italy - ORCID: 0000-0003-2695-0058

Federico Crescenzi

University of Florence, Italy - ORCID: 0000-0002-0701-4398

Beatrice Donati

University of Florence, Italy - ORCID: 0000-0002-4707-8476

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  • Publication Year: 2021
  • Pages: 41-46
  • Content License: CC BY 4.0
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  • Publication Year: 2021
  • Content License: CC BY 4.0
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Chapter Information

Chapter Title

Measuring logical competences and soft skills when enrolling in a university degree course

Authors

Bruno Bertaccini, Riccardo Bruni, Federico Crescenzi, Beatrice Donati

Language

English

DOI

10.36253/978-88-5518-304-8.09

Peer Reviewed

Publication Year

2021

Copyright Information

© 2021 Author(s)

Content License

CC BY 4.0

Metadata License

CC0 1.0

Table of Contents

Book Title

ASA 2021 Statistics and Information Systems for Policy Evaluation

Book Subtitle

Book of short papers of the opening conference

Editors

Bruno Bertaccini, Luigi Fabbris, Alessandra Petrucci

Peer Reviewed

Publication Year

2021

Copyright Information

© 2021 Author(s)

Content License

CC BY 4.0

Metadata License

CC0 1.0

Publisher Name

Firenze University Press

DOI

10.36253/978-88-5518-304-8

eISBN (pdf)

978-88-5518-304-8

eISBN (xml)

978-88-5518-305-5

Series Title

Proceedings e report

Series ISSN

2704-601X

Series E-ISSN

2704-5846

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