As I have been working on the ThinkAchieve Quality Assessment Plan, I have pondered long on if I even think that I know how to think critically. If so, how is that exhibited? Can my students “see” it? Can I explain how I “do” it? How do faculty express their critical thinking skills? See http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2011/12/22/essay-whether-writing-instructors-need-assess-themselves for a perspective on this… What would happen if we took our own tests?
An interesting article on Inside Higher Education yesterday with some poignant quotes…
From Fradella, H. F. (August 24, 2010). Fixing higher ed. Inside Higher Ed, Retrieved August 24, 2010 from http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2010/08/24/fradella.
“First, no one should be able to earn a Ph.D. and secure a faculty position in an institution of higher education who has not taken graduate-level courses that prepare them to teach effectively at the college level. Graduate education must provide the next generation of college instructors the pedagogical toolkit to be more effective teachers, as well as more effective assessors of student learning” (¶ 14).
In reference to using test banks that come with instructor copies of texts: “These questions focus exclusively on content and are targeted at low levels of cognitive achievement in Bloom’s taxonomy of learning domains: mere recall of data or information. These assessments do not provide any basis for professors to test students’ ability to analyze, synthesize, or evaluate information in a manner that demonstrates critical thinking, writing, or problem-solving abilities” (¶ 16).
“Such assessments must focus not just on the content of professors’ courses, but also on how they develop critical thinking, writing, reasoning, and problem-solving skills” (¶ 18).
What do you think?
…and we are crazy in the Walker Teaching Resource Center. I probably should be doing other things, but wanted to post an initial post about our new blog.
I hope to use this space to share thoughts and reflections on teaching and learning. I read so many articles and books that force me to think, perhaps writing can help me make sense of them all.
My latest thoughts have been around how I can make assignments more about teaching and student learning rather than student assessment. How can assignments be used as teaching tools to help student learn instead of some “final” assessment of how they are doing? So often, students complete an assignment and then we all move on…perhaps to never return to the material and learning again. We expect students to learn from their mistakes but may never hold them accountable for that part of their learning. Musing on how that can happen and how I might be able to explain that to students in a non-threatening way.