How Can I Design Critical Thinking into My Course?
This program identifies both general and discipline-specific critical thinking skills and how to turn these skills into good student learning outcomes. Learn to define critical thinking when designing or redesigning courses and identify the type of content conducive to practicing critical thinking.
Design courses and learning outcomes that incorporate critical thinking
How can you incorporate critical thinking into your course design?
Critical thinking is an often misunderstood cognitive skill. Faculty might think they are teaching it when, in fact, they are not. The prevailing literature, which is fragmented and abstract, exacerbates the issue and can fail to explain how to apply and integrate critical thinking into a course of study.
How Can I Design Critical Thinking into My Course? helps faculty define critical thinking when designing or redesigning courses, and identify the type of content conducive to practicing critical thinking. This 20-Minute Mentor presents both general critical thinking skills and discipline-specific student learning outcomes.
Linda B. Nilson, founding director of the Office of Teaching Effectiveness and Innovation at Clemson University and a faculty development director for more than 25 years, presents this material.
In addition to the video, the presenter gives questions for you to answer to help incorporate critical thinking into your course design.
Select this Magna 20-Minute Mentor to gain a clearer and deeper understanding of critical thinking and how to apply it to your courses.
This program is also available in the Critical Thinking Skills 4 Pack.
Product Code: PM15JA
How Can I Design Critical Thinking into My Course? examines how critical thinking can be incorporated into a wide variety of disciplines. Learn to assess what content lends itself to critical-thinking-based learning outcomes and how to use practical tools for building or rebuilding your courses to achieve those outcomes.
Nilson presents a brief overview of the differing critical thinking perspectives and the common threads among them. Through this 20-Minute Mentor, you will learn to:
- Resist getting confused or discouraged by the different critical thinking frameworks in the literature
- Trust in and proceed from the points of overlap/agreement among the different frameworks
- Identify course content that makes claims that may or may not be valid, complete, or the best possible; this content is most suitable for teaching critical thinking
- Follow the best practices for formulating good (assessable) student learning outcomes in writing critical thinking outcomes
- Adapt the discipline-relevant outcomes provided to your own courses
After watching the 20-Minute Mentor, you will be able to:
- Explain what critical thinking is (and is not)
- Identify the course content suitable for teaching critical thinking
- Write assessable critical thinking student learning outcomes that are compatible with and make sense in your discipline
- Integrate critical thinking into the design of your new or existing courses
Gain confidence when approaching course design with a critical thinking focus using provided materials.
Linda B. Nilson, PhD, recently retired as the founding director of the Office of Teaching Effectiveness and Innovation (OTEI) at Clemson University. She has written several books, including Specifications Grading: Restoring Rigor, Motivating Students, and Saving Faculty Time (Stylus, 2015), Creating Self-Regulated Learners: Strategies to Strengthen Students' Self-Awareness and Learning Skills (Stylus, 2013), Teaching at Its Best: A Research-Based Resource for College Instructors, now in its 4th edition (Jossey-Bass, 2016), and The Graphic Syllabus and the Outcomes Map: Communicating Your Course (Jossey-Bass, 2007). She also co-edited Enhancing Learning with Laptops in the Classroom (Jossey-Bass, 2005) and Vols. 25–28 of To Improve the Academy: Resources for Faculty, Instructional, and Organizational Development (Anker, 2007, 2008; Jossey-Bass, 2009, 2010), which is the major publication of the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education.
Dr. Nilson has also published many articles and book chapters and has presented keynote speeches and workshops at conferences, colleges, and universities nationally and internationally on dozens of topics related to teaching effectiveness, assessment, scholarly productivity, and academic career matters. Her most recent articles address the instability of faculty development careers, the validity problems with student ratings, and how to measure student learning for faculty evaluation.
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