There are a lot of components that are involved in considering what and how to redesign your course as a part of the TH!NK program. The steps below are meant to give you some strategies to help break apart the process as well as give some ways to consider the scale at which you might make changes to your curriculum and course.
Integrating Critical and Creative Thinking into the classroom
Assess Your Course.
What are the gaps in the course that you think could benefit from critical and creative thinking? You might lean more heavily on creative thinking or critical thinking. Or, you might identify needs in both areas. What do you want to improve?
Map assignments and course content.
Look at existing assignments and activities. How is what you are currently doing in the class effectively aligned with the critical and creative thinking processes? Where are there gaps? Is there an assignment or exercise that is misaligned or that you might add or re-tool? The matrix given during the workshop can assist in looking at how you might integrate the critical and creative process over the course of the semester or multiple semesters.
Identifying what scale of change you can handle in this course. Maybe you just want to re-tool one assignment, or introduce one activity (like a reflection throughout the semester.) Don’t feel as though you have to change the entire course. You might choose to integrate change over a number of years.
Editing Your Syllabus.
Add learning outcomes aligned with the critical and creative process. You don’t need to include all 7 or 8 stages of the process. The specific language of the outcomes should be appropriate to your course and discipline.
Depending on the scale of change you have chosen, you may edit 1 existing assignment, or introduce 1 or multiple new assignments that are aligned with the TH!NK outcomes. The two most important elements in editing or creating these assignments are:
- Evaluating and providing feedback on students’ metacognitive processes.
- The integration of the intellectual standards where appropriate.
Evidence of both of these could appear in the assignment itself or as a part of the reflection of work.
Using the Common Rubric
As a TH!NK faculty member, you will use the common rubric to assess at least one of the assignments in your TH!NK course. The common rubric is useful on multiple levels:
- To help guide instructors in evaluating the effectiveness of teaching strategies and students’ metacognitive development.
- To help departments and programs evaluate students’ critical/creative thinking at different stages of the curriculum. Programs can use this to see where there are gaps in student skills to enhance the curriculum.
- To assist in the assessment of students’ critical and creative thinking skills at the University overall, and provide a benchmark for the effectiveness of the TH!NK program.