Instructional Portfolios for Critical Thinking
To respect the faculty request to focus on discipline-specific professional development, and to gain synergy from similar disciplines working together, SPC initially will form Academic Roundtables (ARTs) from related disciplines. Participating faculty will engage in (1) professional development, (2) research on strategies for teaching for critical thinking, (3) review of their programs to select the best courses for infusing critical thinking, and (4) developing an instructional portfolio for those selected courses. Instructional portfolios, which could include enhanced syllabi, class activities, or RLOs, and conference presentations or publications on strategies within disciplines. These will be made available through this gateway website. Instructional portfolios containing suggested syllabi, class work, and assessments developed by ARTs can act as models of strategies for other faculty, especially adjunct professors (Hutchings, 1998). Reflection on the process of developing strategies, according to the American Association of Higher Education (AAHE) Course Portfolio Working Group, can be one of the most rewarding aspects of this form of professional development.
The Ethics department, Early Childhood Education department, College of Education (COE), and Student Life Skills (SLS) program will be the pilot programs for fostering critical thinking in the classroom. Faculty from these departments will attend the Critical Thinking Institute and participate in Academic Roundtables (ARTs) in the first year. Faculty in pilot programs and other interested faculty will create instructional portfolios to house course syllabi, classroom activities, RLOs, discipline-specific critical thinking assessments, and reflection on the strategies for teaching for critical thinking within their disciplines. Instructional portfolios will be stored on the gateway website and include materials that have been developed for the classroom and determined to be effective in developing students' critical thinking skills.
- Spring 2008 - Outside experts provided critical thinking workshops for faculty in pilot programs and other interested faculty and staff. Additional seminars, workshops, and on-line training will be offered to support faculty in developing classroom activities.
- Spring-Summer 2008 - Faculty in pilot programs evaluated critical thinking in their program sequence maps in conjunction with program directors and deans, discussed and developed appropriate critical thinking strategies for their discipline, and implemented those strategies through such methods as revised syllabi, new or adapted classroom or online activities, and RLOs.
- Fall 2008 - Academic Roundtable members will pilot their efforts and gather data on results. In December, SPC will have a retreat during which 1st year pilot faculty champions and Academic Roundtables will present lessons learned on the roundtable process to their incoming colleagues. 1st year roundtables will then meet individually to discuss their observations on critical thinking in their discipline and developing critical thinking in their students, based on their year of action research in this area. 2nd year roundtables will receive specific instruction based on the Faculty Learning Communities research from the Lilly conference on best practices in conducting Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL).
- Early Spring 2009. Instructional Portfolios from the four pilot programs were completed.
2008 Instructional Portfolios
2009 Instructional Portfolios
2010 Instructional Portfolios
- Dental Hygiene, Health Services, & Orthotics & Prosthetics
- Emergency Medical Services
- Funeral Services
- Health Information Management
- Human Services
- Medical Laboratory Technology
- Natural Science
- Hospitality & Tourism Management and Parks & Leisure Services
- Physical Therapist Assistant
- Respiratory Care
- Veterinary Technology BAS
- Veterinary Technology AS
2011 Instructional Portfolios
- College of Business
- Computer and Information Technology
- Engineering Technology
- Health Information Management
- Humanities & Fine Arts
- Public Safety Administration
- Sign Language Interpretation
- Social & Behavioral Sciences