Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS)

Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS)


What is ‘Higher Order Thinking Skills’ (HOTS)?

It combines the use of computers, drama, Socratic
dialogue, and a detailed curriculum to stimulate
thinking processes

Computers are not used to present content, but rather
to intrigue students and get them involved

Drama, in the form of teacher play-acting—
sometimes in costume—also stimulates students'
interest and curiosity. Some days the teacher may
present a lesson as a mysterious situation for which the
students' help is needed.

HOTS is a creative program designed to build the
thinking skills of educationally disadvantaged students

What is ‘Higher Order Thinking Skills’(HOTS)?

However, HOTS is foremost a program built on Socratic dialogue,
creative and logical conversation between teacher and students

While most teachers ask simple questions of educationally
disadvantaged students, and are content with one-word responses,
HOTS teachers are trained to ask questions that require studentsto
explain and elaborate their answers at length.

Thinking Skills ?

Thinking Skills can be broadly classified the into six areas:







The CBSE is using these components in the examinations.

It would be worth while to know more about the
typical question frame work for all the six areas
mentioned above.


This is about learning and recalling information from your
text book and surroundings

Define, Describe
List down, Name
When, Where
Tabulate, Identify etc.


This is about drawing inferences from
what you have read.

The question may ask you to grasp the meaning, infer the
causes and make predictions.

Typical question types are

Explain / Discuss

Compare / Contrast

What will happen if

Why does it happen so


This is about using the information that you have acquired in new situations to solve problems.

Typical question types are
Numerical problems
Apply / Illustrate
Classify, etc.


This section is about seeing patterns in
what you study and recognizing the implications.

The typical question types would be

Arrange / Separate

Classify / Compare

Explain why


This is your ability to draw conclusions
from given facts and generalizations.

The question types are

What if

How will you design / plan

What do you infer from


..EvaluationThis is about assessing the merit of
what you have learnt, knowing its uses, and
limitations; giving out reasoned arguments, etc.

The typical question types are

Recommend / Judge

What do you conclude

Rank in the order of


..Conceptwiseit seems to be good
..This will definitely bring out the difference between
..a student who has
..studied the subject with the view of actually “learning”
..and a student who has “By-heart”it with the sole aim
..of getting good marks.


..At first, most students are resistant to expressing their ideas.
..The computer helps overcome this resistance by building a bridgebetween the familiar passive visual learning offered by TV
..and the active verbal learning expected in HOTS and the regular
..It provides an interactive means for students to test their ideas before
verbalizing them.
..Over time, the teacher's expectations, combined with interestingprogram activities, result in a highly conversational environment in
which students begin to discover that they are good at thinking and
explaining ideas. With this confidence, they embrace intellectual
challenges rather than run from them

How Principals can help

To successfully implement a HOTS program in grades, the principal's most important
task is to:

select an outstanding teacher, one who is bright, open-minded, organized, and
likes to engage students in Socratic discussions

The principal can, for example, provide substitutes so that classroom teachers can
observe HOTS instruction and see students who do poorly in theirclassrooms
discussing, reflecting, and solving complex problems.

The experience may encourage classroom teachers to think differently about the
ability of such students, and to work more creatively with them.

Careful student selection and scheduling is also critical to thesuccess of the HOTS
program, which provides guidelines for this purpose

Not all Title I students or those with identified learning disabilities can benefit
from a HOTS program; some will need other forms of help

In addition, HOTS can be part of a schoolwideimprovement plan to provide
quality instruction for all students

Success of Hots

The success of HOTS in producing learning gains with traditionally
low achieving students demonstrates that these students have great
intellectual potential;
• that they want to be successful in school
• and that the right educational approach in the hands of a good
• and with the support of a good principal, can unleash this ability


In Brave The Windstudents must learn to fly a hot air balloon using
wind speed, direction and altitude. Developsmetacognitionskills


Hangman, a modernization of the classic where
students predict words based on clues. Developsinference skills.


In Whale Spotters, Students are taken on a whale
watching voyage. Develops synthesis skills

Hots in CBSE

For the first time, Central Board of Secondary
Education (CBSE) students of Class 10 and 12 take
their exams that includes Higher Order Thinking Skills
(HOTS) that will put to test, their application skills. The
question paper is designed in such a way that students
should be able to answer all the questions within the
stipulated time, besides revising them.

This year too, they will be given an additional 15
minutes so that they get sufficient time to read the
questions carefully.

Internal evaluation in Maths, Social Science and
Science subjects and oral testing in languages will be
introduced for Class I to X.

Hots in CBSE

“We need industry support not only for framing curriculum but also
for the transition of curriculum. This is going to be a paradigm shift for
Class 11 and 12.

One of the reasons for the change is the 11th Plan, which is about
universalisationof secondary education,”MrGangulysaid.

On new subjects for Class 12, he said it will be more skill-based. One
of them has already been implemented —creative writing and

“Some of the programmeswe are planning to introduce are films and
media, heritage crafts and others,”he said.

The chairman said the board is thinking of introducing nanotechnology
at school-level. “We are thinking whether to introduce in science or as
a separate subject,”he added.

“The new examination pattern with focus on judging the high order thinking skills (HOTS) of students might be the reason behind a dip in
the number of students (scoring)centper cent,”CBSE chairman Ashok

Only 753 score ‘perfect 100' in CBSE class 12 this year

New Delhi, May 23 (IANS) The number of students securing
a ‘perfect score’-or 100 out of 100 marks in subjects -has
come down by over 50 percent in this year’s Central Board
Of Secondary Education(CBSE) class 12 exams, and the
board says the reason is ‘HOTS’. High order thinking skills
—or HOTS —was the new basis of the question papers in
the class 12 examination question papers of the board this
year. HOTS is an analytical problem solving process, geared
to assess the students’absorption of knowledge and its

Only 753 class 12 students have scored 100 marks in any
subjects as compared to 1,506 last year, the educationboard
said, after declaring the results here Friday. A total of
549,344 students appeared in the examination.

How can technology develop higher order thinking and problem solving?

How can technology develop higher order thinking and problem

Technology can enable the development of higher order
thinking skills when students are taught to apply the process
of problem solving and are then allowed opportunities to
apply technology in development of solutions.


Computers, combined with drama and Socratic dialogue,
build thinking skills. The Higher Order Thinking Skills
(HOTS) pull-out program, developed in the early 1980s to
build the thinking skills of students through exposure to a
combination of computers, drama, and Socratic dialogue,
enabled disadvantaged fourth through seventh graders to

How can technology develop higher order thinking and problem solving?

the national average gains on reading and math test scores,
suggesting a transfer of the students' cognitive development tolearning specific content, and
..increased performance on measures of reading comprehension,
metacognition, writing, components of IQ, transfer to novel
tasks, and grade point average
..Higher-order thinking skills improve with home and school
access to computers. Students who were supplied home
computers and modem access to the school were compared with
students who didn't have this equipment. The students with home
computers and modem access to school realized:

..an increase in all writing skills,

..better understanding and broader view of math,

..greater problem-solving and critical thinking skills,

..ability to teach others,

..greater self-confidence and self-esteem, and

..more confidence with computer skills.

How can technology develop higher order thinking and problem solving?

• Software tools that promote student collaboration also promote "higher
level" science discussions. Fourth and fifth grade students were
divided into teams of four or five for a 10-week project designing a
lesson for teaching third graders about the brain. Science discussions
that led fourth and fifth grade students to reformulate the academic
content at higher levels also enabled them to:

..focus on the design of software screens,

..choose their research question within the confines of the science

..choose the software screens to design, and

..choose the methods for conducting their research for teaching third
graders about the brain.

How can technology develop higher order thinking and problem solving?

Students who were experienced with collaborative
software design tools provided better learning
opportunities for their peers who were newcomers to the
software. "Their extensive questioning functioned as a
way for their teams to bootstrap up to the next level of
engagement." The combination of whole-classroom
science activities with more individualized research
questions allowed both for content coverage as well as for
activities that were intellectually and socially meaningful
to individuals

On-line use can increase thinking skills.

online use can increase thinking skills.

'bringing together' different points of view

effective presentation, accuracy of information,
presentation of full picture, completeness of the

How can technology develop higher order thinking and problem solving?

when students used the Internet to research topics, share information and
complete a final project within the context of a semi-structured lesson they
became independent, critical thinkers
A RAND project based on a review of the effectiveness literatureand focus
groups with practitioners in educational technology reported that through the
use of technology, students gain a greater sense of responsibility for their
work. They produce higher-quality assignments that reflect the increased depth
and breadth of their knowledge and talent. (Glennan& Melmed, 1996).
Powerful technologies are now available to significantly augmentthe skills
that are necessary to convert data into information and transform information
into knowledge. In an historical review of computers in education, research
shows that educational technology, when properly applied, can provide an
effective means for learning. (Molnar, 1997).

How can technology develop higher order thinking and problem solving?

Interactive video programs have been demonstrated to increase
problem-solving skills. Students across nine states who used Jasper
video software as a centerpiece for mathematics instruction for 3 to 4
weeks were compared with students who did not. The comparative
research demonstrated that the students in classrooms that used the
Jasper video programs were better at complex problem solving
(Cognition and Technology Group, 1992).
Eighth grade students whose teachers effectively used technologyfor
'simulations and applications' to enhance higher-order thinking skills
performed better on the National Assessment of Education Progress
test than did students whose teachers did not use the technology.
Students whose teachers used the technology primarily for 'drilland
practice' (generally associated with lower order thinking skills)
performed worse on the NAEP (Wenglinsky, 1998).

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