Critical Thinking Through Writing (CTW) Proposal Template

53 majors represented

If the ambassador has indicatd the proposal is complete, the background color is light blue. If the proposal is not done, the background color is light gray.

majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
Accountancy (Jennifer Joe ) YesSOA Critical Thinking through Writing Definition
We define Critical Thinking through Writing in Accounting as the ability to identify and solve unstructured problems in unfamiliar accounting domains and effectively communicate the thinking, solution process and conclusions. Students demonstrating critical thinking skills must be able to locate, obtain, organize, and analyze information and to exercise judgment based on comprehension of a set of facts and available evidence. They must be able to present, discuss and defend their views through written and spoken language. Conclusions or recommendations must be complete, plausible, and compelling, and demonstrate an understanding the accounting problem.


SOA plans to meet the CTW requirement by designating Auditing and Assurance Services (AC 4610) a required course for all accounting majors as the CTW course. In this course students will complete CTW assignments both in teams and individually. A graduate assistant will assist the faculty member instructing the course.


The SOA will pilot test the CTW course (AC4610) during Fall 2008. All Fall 2008 courses will be taught by the CTW ambassador, Jennifer Joe. The CTW ambassador will chair a meeting of all instructors who will be teaching AC4610 some time between the end of the Spring and Summer semesters. During the initial meeting, faculty teaching AC 4610 will discuss the syllabus, objectives, CTW assignments, and rubrics that have were used in the Fall 2008 pilot course. The faculty will also review the performance and outcome of the pilot class. They will agree on any required revisions to the content and delivery of the CTW assignments, and rubrics.

After the initial implementation year of the CTW curriculum the CTW ambassador will chair annual meetings in the Summer to discuss the following topics:
  • Development of CTW new assignments
  • Revision of continuing CTW assignments
  • Critical evaluation of the CTW activity
  • Critical evaluation of the CTW learning outcomes
  • Discuss the rubric designed for assessing the writing
  • Review the instructions for reporting the assessment results to the Ambassador
  • Evaluate student samples of successful critical thinking through writing
  • Discuss feedback from previous semester assessment results
  • Students scores in each of the CTW assignmemts will be summarized and evaluated by the faculty once each year. Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    African-American Studies (Jonathan Gayles ) YesAAS intends to identify two CTW courses: (1) African American Political Thought (AAS 4120, 3 credit hours); and (2) Seminar and Practicum in African American Studies (AAS 4980, 3 credit hours). Both courses are required upper-level courses which reflects the department’s commitment to the CTW initiative. Both courses will be offered as "pilot" CTW courses in spring 2008. The AAS CTW ambassador is Jonathan Gayles.

    The CTW activities in AAS 4120 will require five 2-3 page comment papers that will provide students with an opportunity to critically engage, through writing, each assigned reading. In these papers, students will answer questions that will require a critique of the reading's relevance, strengths and weaknesses within the reading’s historical context. This will evoke the core components of CTW as defined by Bassham, Irwin, Nardone & Wallace (2005:1). Students will be afforded the opportunity to revise and resubmit the comment papers in order to encourage increased reflexivity in future submissions. CTW activities account for twenty percent of the student's grade.

    In AAS 4980, two CTW assignments have been identified that represents a total of twenty-five percent of the overall grade. Students will submit a Reflexive Researcher Paper(10%)that will require students to critically situate themselves as researchers in a reflexive manner. Students must examine the ways in which they, as researchers, are biased, bound and limited.

    Students will also submit minimum of four papers that will require critique of peer-reviewed journal articles (15% total). Each article will be identified by the instructor as important to the discipline and/or identified by the student as particularly pertinent to their research project. Students will assess the degree to which the article's literature review, methodology and results support the conclusions offered by each author. This critique is also evocative of the above-referenced definition of CTW. Students will again, be able to revise and resubmit the critiques.
    Jonathan Gayles, CTW ambassador for African-American Studies (AAS), will offer a presentation on the department's CTW plans during the department's pre-semester retreat (August 2008). This presentation will address all components of the department's CTW plans with particular attention given to the department's current assessment rubric. Ultimately, the AAS CTW plan and the assessment rubric will reflect the input of the faculty. In addition, Jonathan Gayles will meet individually with each instructor assigned a CTW course to review the syllabus and ensure that the structure of the course is consistent with the department's CTW profile. The aforementioned activities will occur annually to further ensure that the department's CTW efforts are current.A three-person departmental CTW assessment committee led by the departmental CTW ambassador (Jonathan Gayles) will meet at the close of the semester and, using a random sample of twenty-five percent of the papers from each class, independently assess the degree to which CTW is apparent. The scores will be collected and, using the average of all raters, the CTW ambassador will schedule and lead a discussion regarding potential revisions to the departmental CTW plan for the coming year. Our rubric represents a modification of the "Rubric for the Analytical Assessment of Critical Thinking across the Curriculum" used by Valenica Community College's "Learning Evidence Team." The The original rubric can be found at < http://valenciacc.edu/learningevidence/rubrics.asp > while our departmental modification was attached to each of the course submissions.Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Anthropology (Emanuela Guano ) YesThe Department of Anthropology’s CTW Ambassador will be Dr. Emanuela Guano. The Department will use the University-provided CTW training, and Dr. Guano will train the faculty by conducting a workshop. The Anthropology CTW courses will be Anth 3033, Anthropology of Violence, Anth 4980 (Selected Topics), and Anth 4970, Senior Seminar in Anthropology. Both courses will be organized around the production of a final paper through multiple drafts and revisions. The grades will be given on the A-F scales, with +/-. In anthropology, critical thinking entails examining and contextualizing the multiple perspectives that inform complex social, cultural, and biological realities pertaining to the human condition in its past and present dimensions.Anthropology CTW courses for the academic year 2009/2010 will be taught by the CTW ambassador and Dr. Cassandra White. A CTW meeting/training session will be held with Dr. White during Fall 2008 to begin discussing CTW plans for 2009/2010. This will be the first of a series of meetings during which Dr. White and I will develop and discuss appropriate strategies for assessing CTW progress among anthropology majors.Professors will report grades to the Department’s Assessment Coordinator (Dr. Frank Williams). This information, other assessment data currently being collected, the professors’ qualitative impressions of student work, and a draft assessment report written by the Assessment Coordinator will be discussed at a Department’s faculty meeting. The report will indicate recommended changes to the CTW, if any, or the assessment of CTW. The Assessment Coordinator will then revise the report as needed and submit it to the General Education Subcommittee and Weave Online.Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Applied Linguistics (Stephanie Lindemann ) YesThe Applied Linguistics Department has identified Stephanie Lindemann as its CTW Ambassador. The department will use the university-provided CTW training. The CTW courses will be AL 3031: Language in Society, AL 4161: Practicum in teaching ESL/EFL to adult learners, and a new course, AL 4241: Senior Seminar in Applied Linguistics. All majors are required to take 3031; they will have the choice of one of the two 4000-level courses depending on whether they prefer to focus on teaching (4161) or research (4241). Critical thinking in Applied Linguistics always involves evaluating arguments and presenting the rationale behind the conclusions drawn. The CTW-specific courses additionally address personal prejudices, for example as relating to language-trait-focused discrimination, and making reasonable, intelligent decisions about how to address real-world language-oriented controversies. The CTW Ambassador, Stephanie Lindemann, will share the departmental CTW plans with all faculty at the fall faculty retreat or an early fall (2008) faculty meeting. She will meet individually with faculty who are teaching CTW courses before they teach these courses for the first time in order to go over the syllabus, CTW assignments, and rubrics to ensure that they are consistent with the department's plan. (After that faculty member's first time teaching the course she will request that the instructor send her the syllabus, assignments, and related rubrics, and only meet if there is a problem or if that instructor wishes to do so.) She will meet with faculty as needed during the semester and at the end of every semester they teach a CTW course to discuss what was successful and what was not, and what changes may need to be made. Critical Thinking through Writing assignments will be assessed by the professor of each course using a rubric as part of the usual grading process. The professor of each course will provide the list of CTW assignments, rubric scores, and examples of effective, less effective, and ineffective student writing to the Assessment Coordinator (Sara Weigle). The Assessment Coordinator will annually compile this information into a report and meet with the department's undergraduate committee and the professors who taught CTW courses to discuss the outcomes and make any recommendations for refining the rubrics and the assignments. The report and recommendations for the following year will be submitted to the General Education Subcommittee and Weave Online.Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Art & Design -- Education (Melanie Davenport ) YesDetails
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Art and Design (Susan Richmond ) YesSusan Richmond is the Ambassador for CTW courses in the School of Art & Design; she will coordinate instructor training and complete assessment reports on the following classes: AH 3000 (Introduction to Art Historical Methodology), AH 4990 (Art History Capstone), AE 4200 (Art Education for Preschool through Fifth Grade) and AE 4900 (Art Theory and Criticism).

    Written assignments that require critical thinking in Art History and Art Education provide students with the skills to 1) formulate pertinent questions and compose valid interpretations of works of art or art historical problems; 2) assess and synthesize interpretations of art and art historical claims made by others; 3) understand and evaluate the creative and cultural significance of art on both micro and macro levels. In the Art Education major, students also complete written assignments (lesson plans) that require the use of meta-cognitive skills; art education students must be able to think about their thinking and teach those thinking skills to their students.

    All of the above match the University's stated policy that CTW develops a student's ability "to identify, analyze, and evaluate arguments and truth claims; to discover and overcome personal prejudices; to formulate and present convincing reasons in support of conclusions; and to make reasonable, intelligent decisions about what to believe and what to do.”

    Breakdown of specific courses:
    AH 3000 introduces students to the discipline of Art History. Students will do a number of short writing assignments that require them to comprehend and evaluate different methodological approaches. Through application and comparison, students will test the validity of these approaches, and in the process, develop their own critical positions vis-a-vis methods of art historical analysis. Students will also write a longer research paper, its components broken down into several stages so that opportunities for revisions are provided. The process will encourage students to move through several stages of critical thinking, from the basic application of knowledge to the construction of a persuasive evaluation.

    AH 4990 is the major's capstone course. Students will write a short narrative paper that asks them to reflect on their experiences as art history majors at GSU. This assignment will require students to develop self-reflexivity as they identify and assess past achievements and future goals. Students will also practice revising both their own written work and that of their peers by preparing formal oral presentations and brief abstracts of papers they have written for other art history courses. These assignments will enable students to develop thinking and writing skills that are applicable to a range of professional careers.

    AE 4200 introduces students to the field of art education. It prepares students to teach art to young students, and provides a solid foundation in critical thinking and writing for the Art Education courses that follow. Students will do several short written responses to course material that will develop their skills in comprehension and evaluation. They will also learn how to identify and assess their own values and critical perspectives by writing teaching philosophies.

    AE 4900 focuses on using an analytical model of art criticism both orally and in writing. The goal of the writing assignments is for students to construct a persuasive interpretation and evaluation based on a point of view, or criteria. In the interpretation of artwork students are not expected to necessarily present an argument that is right or wrong, but one that is well reasoned and persuasive. Students will also complete written assignments that require them to think and write metaphorically. Creative (synthesis) writing assignments ask students to make connections between concrete objects (or artwork) and the symbolic meaning that they represent. Students are likewise expected to utilize meta-cognitve skills in the creation of lesson plans.
    Both AH 3000 and AH 4990 will be taught on a rotating basis by full-time faculty. The initial training of faculty will occur as needed between individuals and the CTW ambassador, preferably no earlier than one semester before the course is taught. During the training meeting, the ambassador will review the proposed CTW assignments with individual faculty members. A follow-up meeting will also take place at the end of the semester. During the follow-up meeting, the individual(s) and the ambassador will assess the value of the CTW assignments and identify “best practices.” The ambassador will record and relay this information to the next group of faculty.

    The Art Education courses are taught by two faculty members. An initial training session with the ambassador will take place early in fall 2009. At the end of each semester the AE faculty will meet independently to determine "best practices" and relay this information to the ambassador.
    Each semester, the Ambassador will request a random sampling of approximately 25% of student work for each CTW course. The results will be evaluated in consultation with AE and AH faculty using departmental rubrics specific to each major. Since different assignments stress different critical thinking skills, a comparison of 2-3 within an individual course, as well as across courses, will enable us to pinpoint specific weaknesses and strength. Ideally, the sequence of CTW courses will demonstrate improvement in the rubric scores from the first to the last assignment within the same course, as well as an overall improvement from the first to the second course within each major. After the data from the initial semester is assessed, we will establish future benchmarks and propose any necessary changes to the course assignments and/or rubrics.

    Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Art and Design - Studio (Craig Drennen ) YesConstance Thalken will serve as the CTW Ambassador for the BFA in Studio Art major for The Ernest G. Welch School of Art and Design.

    The curriculum of the visual arts program is highly specialized with 7 possible studio concentrations in the BFA Studio Major. Each concentration requires a suite of foundation courses in Area F that must be successfully completed before application to and acceptance in a specific concentration.

    The School has designated the following two courses required of each BFA in Studio Arts major as CTW courses: ART 3910/Critical Issues and 4950/Portfolio II.

    The first CTW course in Area G for the BFA majors is ART 3910/ Critical Issues in Contemporary Art. This course provides an overview of social, cultural, technological, aesthetic and political issues that have impacted contemporary art since 1990. The CTW writing assignments are designed to operate in tandem with these academic investigations.

    The second CTW designated course for the BFA Studio Art major is the capstone course Portfolio II. All studio concentrations culminate in this final portfolio course. Please note that Portfolio II courses are specified in the course listings by the respective discipline with such prefaces as PHOT 4950 for Photography, CER 4950 for Ceramics, etc.

    The goal of this capstone course is for students to produce a fully resolved portfolio of work that is supported by professional documentation and written support materials. The portfolio experience culminates in the exhibition of the studio work at BFA Senior Exhibition in the Ernest G. Welch Art Gallery.

    The CTW component of 4950/Portfolio II will be a written statement in support of the final studio portfolio. This statement will require students to choose descriptive language that effectively communicates the themes of their work and how those themes are embodied in the work. They will articulate a personal individual perspective regarding their ties to the work, which should offer greater insight into and understanding of the work. In order to demonstrate critical thinking, the writing will be void of “artspeak” and easily understood by a wide audience.

    The School has designated the following two courses required of each BA in Studio Arts major as CTW courses: ART 3910/Critical Issues and ART 4500 Directed Study.

    The first CTW course in Area G for the BA majors is the same as the BFA majors: ART 3910/ Critical Issues in Contemporary Art. This course provides an overview of social, cultural, technological, aesthetic and political issues that have impacted contemporary art since 1990. The CTW writing assignments are designed to operate in tandem with these academic investigations.

    The BA in Studio Arts provides an emphasis in the same disciplines offered in the BFA Studio Arts major. However, the requirements for an emphasis are limited to only 4 studio courses in one discipline as opposed to 10 - 12 courses in one discipline for the BFA majors. This limitation in the BA allows students to explore a variety of studio disciplines and results in a general exposure to all mediums.

    The CTW writing for both the BFA and BA majors in Studio Art will develop cognitive skills and intellectual dispositions needed to effectively identify, analyze, and evaluate arguments and truth claims; to discover and overcome personal prejudices; to formulate and present convincing reasons in support of conclusions; and to make reasonable, intelligent decisions about what to believe and what to do.

    Prior to the beginning of each semester, required workshops will be conducted for new faculty teaching the two CTW courses for the BFA Studio Arts major: ART 1050 Introductory Studio and the 4950 Portfolio II. Once faculty complete the introductory workshop, they can teach the CTW course for which they have been trained in subsequent semester without having to attend the prerequisite workshop. When changes occur in the CTW courses, all previously approved faculty must complete the workshop for updating purposes.

    A workshop will be designed for each of the two CTW classes. The workshop will:
    1) define and discuss the concept of critical thinking through writing
    2) review the content of course component that applies to CTW
    3) offer ways to approach the CTW assignments
    4) discuss the rubric designed for assessing the writing
    5) review the instructions for reporting the assessment results to the Ambassador
    6) evaluate student samples of successful critical thinking through writing
    7) discuss feedback from previous semester assessment results



    Each CTW writing in ART 3910, ART 4500 and 4950 Portfolio II will be assessed by faculty using the CTW rubric designed for the CTW component of the course. The CTW Ambassador for the Studio Arts Program will aggreagate the scores of the rubrics and then meet to discuss the results with the Area Coordinators from the studio disciplines. Recommendations for refining the CTW components of ART 3910/Critical Issues in Contemporary Art and 4950/Portfolio II courses will be made at this time, as well as any recommendations for improving the CTW rubrics. Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Biology (Therese Poole ) YesCTW Plan for the Department of Biology

    The Biology department has identified Francisco Cruz and Therese M. Poole as its CTW coordinators. The CTW initiative will be integrated into two existing courses, BIOL3810 and BIOL4980.

    Critical thinking is the human mental process of developing conclusions that proceed logically from the study of evidence. Specifically in the biological sciences, critical thinkers analyze the quality and relevance of experimental results to determine whether they meet the goals of scientific studies on life processes. Critical thinkers in biology also use conclusions drawn from empirical evidence to formulate new scientific questions and ultimately, they design and implement new experiments to answer such questions. Thus, biologists with critical thinking skills not only evaluate published scientific reports competently, but also apply various forms of the scientific method appropriately.

    The BIOL3810 (Laboratory in Molecular Biology) course is a gateway course which is required for all Biology majors. It is already writing intensive with two lab reports and three short reports in addition to keeping a detailed lab notebook. Adding an extra credit hour will allow the instructor to spend more time on the critical thinking aspect of writing, which includes students rewriting edited reports several times. Reports will be assessed using rubrics which are based upon the paper submission guidelines for ACS journals. Formative assessment of student writing will be attained by comparing the numerical scores of initial and final drafts of reports. Summative assessments will be attained by comparing scores from reports submitted at the beginning and end of semesters. The change in credit hours has already been approved by the College.

    The BIOL4970 (Seminar in Biology) course is also a requirement for Biology majors and currently consists of guest lecturers discussing their research. We propose increasing the credit hours for BIOL4970 from 1 to 3 (not approved by College yet). There will be one speaker per week discussing research for an hour, leaving the remaining time in the course to critically evaluate and write about research manuscripts relating to speakers specific research and/or the research field of the speaker. Writing assignments will include critiques of manuscripts and having students write logical discussion/conclusions for a given data set. Student papers will be assessed using rubrics similar to the ACS submission guideline-based rubrics for BIOL3810. Also, formative and summative assessment of student progress in BIOL4970 will be similar to the methods stated for BIOL3810. Every year, the coordinator will run a report which will aggregate the rubrics scores for the department, list the assignments that professors asked students to write responses to, and present examples of effective, less effective, and ineffective student thinking. With this information, the coordinator will convene an annual meeting with the professors who taught the courses to discuss the assignments, the rubrics and the experience in general and then make recommendations for refining the rubrics and the assignments. The report and the recommendations for the following year will be forwarded to the GEAC committee and put on WeaveOnline.
    Currently, we are planning to have a two-pronged approach. First, we will have faculty members attend a two-hour workshop where they well get information about the philosophy and approaches of the CTW program. In addition, they will learn about the specific CTW courses in biology and their formats and example assignments. Finally, the assessment methods will be discussed.

    The second part of the plan is to develop a detailed website with links, sample assignments, samples of student work, rubrics, and assessments. We will also develop an FAQ page and probably add other resources once we identify what will help the faculty the best.
    Reports will be assessed using rubrics which are based upon the paper submission guidelines for ACS journals.

    Formative assessment of student writing will be attained by comparing the numerical scores of initial and final drafts of reports using a scoring rubric. We anticipate that the scores on a single assignment will go up following more drafts of the assignment.

    Summative assessments will be attained by comparing scores from reports submitted at the beginning and end of semesters using a scoring rubric. We anticipate that scores on the initial (first) draft of the assignments will increase during the semester.
    Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    BIS (Charles Jaret ) YesCommunity Studies

    The CTW ambassador for the Community Studies BIS degree will be Charles Jaret (Department of Sociology). The senior level CTW course for Community Studies students is “Metropolitan Atlanta” (cross-listed as Hist 4320, Geog 4768, and Soci 4279). Instructors in this class will receive the University-provided CTW training. The Metropolitan Atlanta class was selected as the CTW course for several reasons. First, it is the only course that all Community Studies students are required to take, and they typically do so in their senior year. Second, the subject matter – metropolitan Atlanta – is of high interest and great relevance to our students and is therefore quite conducive to stimulating thought and writing. Third, this course already had a significant student writing component in it and did not have to be drastically restructured to be a CTW course. More specifically, the Metropolitan Atlanta course is designed to enhance students’ abilities to identify and analyze arguments or theories, and it requires that they evaluate evidence or judge competing claims to draw sound conclusions. In addition, this CTW class will improve students’ skill in assessing written and visual media and in clearly communicating thoughts about the subject matter.

    Towards these goals, class writing assignments are geared to develop students’ analytical, interpretive, and communication skills. The instructor will fill out an assessment sheet on each student’s performance on CTW assignments, which evaluates students in terms of how well they are able, through their writing to: (1) demonstrate their understanding of sociological, geographic, and historical work on Atlanta (e.g., research articles, books, theories, museum displays); (2) analyze, interpret, and synthesize those materials; (3) articulate coherent and logical arguments; and (4) formulate new research questions and/or to extend analyses in new directions.

    We believe the course requirements in Metropolitan Atlanta, as described above and in the sample syllabus, fits with the University’s definition of a CTW course, namely one in which assists students “to develop the wide range of cognitive skills and intellectual dispositions needed to effectively identify, analyze, and evaluate arguments and truth claims; to discover and overcome personal prejudices; to formulate and present convincing reasons in support of conclusions; and to make reasonable, intelligent decisions about what to believe and what to do.”


    Professors teaching the CTW courses in the BIS concentrations will provide sample assignments and student responses to assignments. They will also provide rubric scores if applicable. Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Chemistry (Doyle Barrow ) YesDepartment of Chemistry Plan to Implement the Critical Thinking through
    Writing
    Graduation Requirements
    The Department of Chemistry wishes to nominate Fundamentals of Chemical Analysis (CHEM 4000) and Chemistry Laboratory IV A (CHEM 4160) as the creative thinking through writing courses. The proposed course descriptions can be found in below.

    CHEM 4000 Fundamentals of Chemical Analysis 3.0
    Prerequisites: Chem 3410 with a grade of C or higher and Math 2212 with a grade of D or higher
    Two lecture and four laboratory hours a week. Chemical equilibria of acid/base systems, metal ion complexes and solubility , and their relationship to chemical analysis; use of manual and semi-automated methods of data collection. Application of chemical theory to hands-on experimentation. This course is one of the critical thinking through writing courses for the department. THIS CLASS MAY NOT BE TRANSFERRED FROM ANOTHER INSTITUTION.

    CHEM 4160 Chemical Laboratory IV 3.0
    Prerequisites: Chem 4000 and Chem 4110 with grades of C or higher and prior selection of special problems. Concurrent enrollment in Chem 4160 and Chem 4170 is not allowed. Laboratory to be arranged. Advanced laboratory problems; independent research. This course is one of the critical thinking through writing courses for the department. THIS CLASS MAY NOT BE TRANSFERRED FROM ANOTHER INSTITUTION.

    Dr. Doyle Barrow will be the departmental CTW ambassador for chemistry and will attend the training sessions at the university level. The department will be using a set of rubrics based on the Journal of the American Chemical Society guidelines for authors. (The rubric is attached as an appendix).
    The Department has the following assessment procedure in place. At the end of every semester the Undergraduate Director receives all exit scores on the national exams and the results of student feedback (Question 17). This data is combined with the DWF rate and AB rate and the results are given to the department chair for comment/discussion on the needs of the department. We will incorporate the rubric results for Chem 4000 (the first course of the Junior year) and Chem 4160 (the capstone course for the department) into this report. At the chairs request this report in full or in part can be made available to the General Education Sub-committee.
    Other attachments to this document are a sample syllabus and sample assignment.
    Begining in the fall I will meet with all CTW faculty from the department to review the rubric that will be used in our CTW courses. The assignments used in both courses are laboratory based so I beleive the assessment of the program should focus on the how the critical thinking skills of the students have improved between Chem 4000 and Chem 4160. In between the 2 CTW courses are 2 other laboratory style courses for which we have papers from students in earlier semesters. We believe that initial assessment should be comparing the quality of students' work not only during the CTW class but in classes which have similar "critical thinking" assignments in between the CTW courses. The CTW instructors plan on initially using this data to determine if the first course is effective.This page contains excerpts from the ACS Authors guide which may be found at http://pubs.acs.org/4authors/submission.html

    Each of the following sections is assessed based on the following scores:
    excellent, adequate, not yet adequate, poor, or not applicable.

    Title.

    Excellent. The title should accurately, clearly, and concisely reflect the emphasis and content of the paper. The title must be brief and grammatically correct

    Adequate: Missing one key component.

    Not yet adequate: Title misses more than one of the key components.

    Poor: Not descriptive of the experiment.

    N/A is not an option all papers must have titles.

    Introduction:

    Excellent: Includes a full statement of the problem, any background theory that will be used to answer the problem and the basic experimental design that will be used to answer the problem.

    Adequate: Minor errors in either experimental design, theory or unclear statement of the problem.

    Not yet adequate: A major error in one of the above categories or several minor errors.

    Poor: Major errors the experimental design, or a lack of understanding of the theory or misstatement of the problem. N/A is not an option.

    Experimental:

    Excellent: Includes the details of the experimental procedure (section titled Materials and Methods). A competent chemist should be able to reproduce the experiment using this section of the paper.

    Adequate: Minor details omitted that would hamper reproduction of the experiment.

    Not yet adequate: A competent chemist would have difficulty reproducing the experiment. Major components of experiment not described or omitted.

    Poor: Lack of experimental detail

    Results:

    To think critically about data, it must be presented accurately, clearly and in a logical order.

    Excellent: Data presented fully including appropriate significant figures. Data are presented in logical order. Data format is readily available (in appropriate Tables, Figures and text) for facile assessment by the authors and readers.

    Adequate: One of significant figures, logical order, and efforts to make data readily accessible missing.

    Not yet adequate: Two of the above missing.

    Poor: Confusing organization of the data and/or major errors in presenting significant figures.


    Discussion/Conclusions.

    Excellent: In depth analysis of data including any error analysis which cumulates in the answer to the question or problem stated in the introduction.

    Adequate: Error analysis not complete, minor questions about interpretation of data, improper, but minor problems applying theory.

    Not yet adequate: No error analysis or many errors in interpretation of data or theory.

    Poor: No understanding of theory, major errors in data interpretation.

    Figures and Tables:

    Figures:
    Each figure must have a caption that includes the figure number and a brief description, preferably one or two sentences.
    The caption should immediately follow the figure with the format “Figure X. Figure caption.”
    All figures must be mentioned in the text consecutively and numbered with Arabic numerals.
    The caption should be understandable without reference to the text.
    Ensure that the symbols and abbreviations in the caption agree with those in the figure itself and in the text and that the figure (including labeling of the axes) is sized appropriately.

    Tables:
    Each table must have a brief (one phrase or sentence) title that describes its contents.
    The title should follow the format “Table X. Table Title”.
    Put details (including nonstandard abbreviations) in footnotes, not in the title.

    Excellent: Use tables and figures when the data cannot be presented clearly as narrative, when many precise numbers must be presented, or when more meaningful interrelationships can be conveyed by the tabular format. Tables should supplement, not duplicate, text and figures. Tables should be simple and concise. It is preferable to use the Table Tool in your word-processing package, placing one entry per cell, to generate tables.

    Adequate: Most tables or figures have descriptive narrative (captions or titles) with minor errors which either have a lack of clarity or are not needed.

    Not yet adequate: Tables and figures do not add to the clarity of the paper.

    Poor: Tables and figures take away from the readability or clarity of the paper.

    References: Place at the end of the article. In ACS publications, references are cited superscript numbers. Students using EndNote should use the J. Am Chem. Soc. style. Authors are responsible for the accuracy and completeness of all references. Authors should check all parts of each reference listing against the original document.

    The References section will be used for overall assessment but not critical thinking assessment.

    Excellent Adequate Not Yet Adequate Poor N/A
    Title and Author
    Introduction
    Experimental
    Results
    Discussion/Conclusion
    Tables
    Figures


    Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Communication - Film (Greg Smith ) YesIn film, “critical thinking” is defined as identifying, analyzing, and evaluating arguments and truth claims; and formulating and presenting convincing reasons in support of conclusions. In this document, “writing” refers to the skill or writing clear, well-organized, and grammatically correct English prose. The CTW classes for the Film major will be Film 4750 (Film Theory and Criticism) and Film 4910 (Senior Seminar in Film). Film Theory and Criticism is a writing intensive, outcome-based class that breaks the process of critical writing about film into a series of skills: finding a thesis/central idea; description of supporting examples; linking description to analysis; paper/paragraph organization; and written expression. Students in this class redo exercises until they demonstrate they have learned the writing skill associated with the exercise. Senior Seminar in Film emphasizes the creation of a capstone project: a research paper, a website, or a video. Students work on the project in stages, articulating the clear rhetorical aims of the project and receiving feedback on their argument/choices using a rubric. In small groups students will examine each other’s projects at an intermediate stage and will evaluate the persuasive claims of these projects, giving the individual student an opportunity to incorporate feedback/suggestions into the final project. The training of CTW faculty in the Film major is folded into the ongoing evaluation process. The faculty who are teaching CTW courses in a given semester will meet at the end of the semester to read sample papers, to evaluate how effective that semester’s CTW instruction has been in bettering our students’ writing and critical thinking, and to create a set of recommendations for improving the CTW instruction in the future. Faculty who will be teaching CTW courses in the following semester will also attend this meeting, read the papers, and listen to the discussion. In addition, the current semester’s CTW faculty will discuss their “best practices,” and the CTW ambassador will update a file detailing these practices, which will over time build a program-specific set of strategies for helping students with their writing and critical thinking about film.The major’s Critical Thinking through Writing Ambassador (Greg Smith) and its assessment coordinator (James Roberts) will co-chair an annual meeting of CTW instructors to discuss both the instructors’ evaluation of student projects and the overall effectiveness of the assignments on developing critical thinking and writing. The instructors will agree on a limited number of improvements to be made in teaching these courses next year, and this recommendation (along with a summary of the instructors' discussion) will be forwarded to the General Education Subcommittee and Weave Online.Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Communication - Journalism (Doug Barthlow ) YesThe Dept. of Communication’s Journalism major has identified Doug Barthlow as its CTW Ambassador. The three CTW courses are Jour 3030, JOUR 4040, and Jour 4800, but each course has a different plan to meet the CTW requirements of critical thinking, analysis and evaluation of source credibility, synthesizing information from several sources with diverse opinions and deciding what kinds of information to include in the assignments. The Journalism faculty members view the process of critical thinking as part of the routine of professional journalists/PR practitioners who use journalistic norms, standards and conventions of objectively assessing information and then decide what portions of synthesized information their audiences will receive. Both courses will have syllabi templates approved by the full-time Journalism faculty who will be required to teach at least one of the courses every year.
    The junior-level course will have numerous writing assignments for different media, e.g. newspaper, broadcast and web site. At least one of the initial drafts of a story for each medium will be returned to the student with the instructor’s suggested revisions in order that the student can revise and resubmit before the grade for that assignment is recorded. A rubric, similar to one used currently by instructors of Jour 1010, will be established by the Journalism faculty to standardize the grading of student submissions. The stories in Jour 3010 will be relatively brief compared to the writing assignments in Jour 4040 and4800, the capstone courses for the Journalism major. These courses will emphasize ethics, and the writing assignments will be a sequential completion of a 20-25 page research paper on an ethical dilemma faced by practicing public relations professional and/or journalist, e.g. naming a confidential source to avoid imprisonment. The first assignment will be a paper identifying the ethical dilemma and the review of the relevant sources about the event and the ethical choices the journalist/PR professional weighed in deciding on a course of action. The second assignment is the draft of the research paper, and the final assignment is the revision of the paper. The first two assignments are returned to the student with the instructor’s suggested revisions.
    The syllabi for the CTW courses will be distributed to the full-time faculty prior to the training session. Several of the faculty have taught one or more of the courses before they became designated as CTW, but all instructors must be aware of the CTW requirements and how those may change the way the courses were taught in the past. Sample exercises will be distributed at the every training session prior to the semester the courses will be taught to demonstrate how critical thinking can be integrated into each course. A rubric for grading the exercises will also be distributed, and suggestions for revisions will be discussed. The assessment of each of the courses will also be discussed.The assessment of the CTW courses will be based on a separate rubric than the one used to grade the Jour 3010 stories to evaluate a sample of the unedited first assignment from each course and the last assignment in each course. These assignments will have the authors’ name stripped from the papers, and the instructors of the courses will not participate in the assessment of their own students’ work. The benchmark would be an improvement in the rubric scores from the first to the last assignment within the same course and an improvement from the first assignment in Jour 3030 and the final assignment in Jour 4040 and JOUR 4800.Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Communication - Speech (Jeffrey Bennett ) YesThe Department of Communication’s Speech area CTW ambassador will be Dr. Jeff Bennett. The department will use the university provided CTW training. The Speech area CTW classes have been identified as Persuasion (SPCH 3250) and Communication and Diversity (SPCH 4800, the capstone course being developed for the major). Both of the courses will analyze critical thinking through the use of a final project. In Persuasion a final paper broken down into smaller components throughout the semester will act as the text to be assessed. These smaller components will be left to the discretion of the professor teaching the course. In Communication and Diversity, the final project will be a “portfolio” featuring a student’s work on a topic of their choice. In each class the student’s work will be given a regular “semester” grade and will also be scrutinized and assessed based on the critical thinking guidelines agreed upon by the department.

    In Speech “critical thinking” is the art of actively producing and analyzing arguments for particular audiences in specific cultural and historical contexts. Critical thinkers are able to construct and assess arguments in their cultural situatedness; evaluate stated or unstated claims and their supporting forms; recognize the creation of knowledge through symbol systems; and converse and pose question about the production of knowledge through the communicative process.
    Faculty development for the speech area is focused on three major initiatives: first, making sure faculty are trained for the critical writing courses; second, being in close contact with faculty teaching the pilot courses; and third, meeting with the faculty as an area to assess assessment, make changes to CTW assignments, and engage questions about the ongoing process of the CTW curriculum and its relationship to evolving departmental goals.

    First, the speech area faculty has agreed to utilize the university’s training sessions for the CTW courses. I will be posting a note over e-mail about the available times and dates for CTW training as the semester draws closer. I will follow-up with the faculty to ensure they have received the appropriate training and answer any questions they might have about the training they participated in.

    Second, I will be in close contact with the faculty who are piloting the CTW courses and the chair of the department. I am planning to meet with faculty who will be teaching the CTW courses to review the faculty approved assignments prior to the courses being taught. Of course, these meetings are in the spirit of collegial dialogue, not under the presumption that faculty need to be monitored. I would also like to be in contact with the faculty as the course is unfolding. I am eager to hear about the reactions that both the faculty and the student have to the assignments. Of course, it is also imperative to gauge how assessment is progressing in these initial stages and changes that may need to transpire. After the semester has ended, I will again meet with the faculty to discuss possible changes to recommend to the area faculty.

    Finally, the speech area will discuss the CTW classes and assessment at speech area faculty meetings. These meetings will be essential to determining if the assessment is transparent for all faculty teaching the classes, troubleshooting potential problems with the assignments and the assessment, and determining if the faculty believes the CTW goals are conforming to larger goals associated with departmental development. If necessary, the faculty may be asked to graded one or two assignments as a whole to ensure we are still on the same page.

    Of course, I am always available for consultation and will actively seek out the feedback of the faculty. It has already been determined that goals will sometimes change and this should be viewed as a fluid process that can be adapted to best suit the pedagogical goals at the heart of the project.
    Each semester the professors of SPCH 3250 and SPCH 4800 will assess and designate the final project as being not competent; having emerging competence; developing competence; competent; having sophisticated competence. Assessment will be based on the ability to analyze seven key elements: the ability to identify or produced major arguments; the capacity to clarify the context (audience, cultural, etc.) in which those arguments are being formed; the ability to identify and produce major claims used to support a thesis; the ability to identify and employ supporting materials to engender arguments; the capacity to comprehend how symbols (words, images) create knowledge and thus support arguments; the ability to compose arguments in a structured manner; and the ability to recognizing how form and process support the force of argument.

    After the professor of the course has collected the information, it will be passed along to the CTW ambassador. The ambassador will convene with the professors who taught the courses to collect feedback about the CTW assignment structure, assessment tools, and potential future avenues for improving the CTW classes. The CTW ambassador will then composed and revise a report based on faculty feedback and submit it to the GEAC and post it on WeaveOnline.
    Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Communication - Theater (Frank Miller ) YesAs a multidisciplinary art form, theatre engages students in a variety of critical thinking activities, including the synthesis of historical research, the analysis of scripts and the application of theoretical and historical concepts to scripts and productions. Critical thinking in theatre prepares students for theoretical work that contributes to scholarship in the field, historical research that augments and shapes our views of the art form's past, present and future, and praxis, whereby the results of critical thinking are written on stage in the work of directors, actors and designers. This requires students to engage in close readings of theatrical texts, theoretical work and historical materials in order to formulate research questions, collect and evaluate often conflicting historical and artistic evidence and construct compelling arguments for hypotheses.

    The B.I.S. program in theatre will transform the two courses required of all majors -- THEA 3100 Play Analysis and THEA 4070 Western Theatre History -- into CTW courses. Although the materials covered will not change, we will design short writing assignments to provide students with feedback on their CTW skills throughout the semester and THEA 4070 will provide a stronger focus on the use of writing as a part of the research process. In addition, a smaller number of longer papers will be submitted in draft format for instructor feedback and student revision prior to their final submission.

    The CTW plan for theatre involves two faculty members, CTW ambassador Frank Miller and Associate Professor Gayle Austin. The two have been in contact throughout the past year to discuss the proposed CTW assessment program and the necessary changes to syllabi. During the 2008-09 academic year, Dr. Miller will using the senior-level CTW course, THEA 4070 Western Theatre History, as a pilot course. During this time, he and Dr. Austin will meet monthly to refine the writing rubrics to be used in both CTW classes, evaluate the adaptations made in turning THEA 4070 into a CTW class and review student writing assignments and their assessment in order to a) refine the process and b) prepare Dr. Austin to bring her class, THEA 3100 Play Analysis, into the CTW program in the 2009-10 academic year. Training activities at this meeting will include reviewing student writing and Dr. Miller's use of the rubrics and having Dr. Austin apply the rubrics herself for comparison to Dr. Miller's assessments.

    At the end of fall semester, Dr. Miller will meet with all of the theatre faculty, including those who will not be teaching CTW courses, to review and evaluate the work in THEA 4070 and compare their responses to selected written assignments to the rubrics as applied by Drs. Miller and Austin.

    At present, we do not anticipate the need for writing assistants, as enrollment in both CTW classes usually does not exceed 15 students.

    Writing assignments in both CTW courses will be evaluated using the same rubric. Quantitative results will be compiled in a spreadsheet providing a quick comparison of the rubrics in the two classes. In addition, theatre faculty will meet to review a cross-section of student work qualitatively in terms of both the development of CTW skills and the effectiveness of the program as a whole in developing well-rounded theatre students. The annual CTW report will pair the spreadsheet with a narrative summarizing and evaluating results and suggesting any revisions deemed necessary to the CTW plan and the program in general.Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Computer Information Systems (Carl Stucke ) YesFor the CIS major, the CTW evaluation plan will be implemented in the capstone course, CIS 4980, System Development projects. In this course, students are required to analyze, propose, develop and implement a computer-based system that solves a "real" problem for a "real" Atlanta-based information systems manager.

    We have developed the following definition of CTW in CIS:

    Critical thinking through writing is defined in Computer Information Systems by behavioral (typically written), or other evidence, of certain skills and/or traits. These skills and/or traits include the abilities to:
    (1) identify problems (and in some cases, opportunities) before they become critically important or demanding of immediate attention to ameliorate and address; typically these problems relate to organizational work processes and workflows that could best be addressed through computer-based solutions;
    (2) identify multiple, innovative, and creative solutions to these problems; typically these solutions are formulated as multiple alternative designs for computer-based solutions to the problem(s);
    (3) evaluate the possible solutions to these problems in such a way to rank order them, from best to worst, in terms of their relative efficacies and inherent costs in brokering the “best” solution;
    (4) exhibit a concern for, and appreciation of, pursuing solutions that are characterized by ethical and social responsibility;
    (5) propose an effective approach to implement the “best” solution.

    This definition applies the University's CTW policy in the context of our discipline in the following ways:

    The CIS definition of CTW in consistent with the University’s definition for the following reasons: (1) a wide range of cognitive skills are required to perform the CIS behaviors. This includes identifying, analyzing, and evaluating arguments and truth claims (points 1-3); (2) the need to recognize ethical and social responsibilities is addressed in point 4; (3) identifying problems, solutions, and evaluating solutions requires the formulation and expression of convincing reasons in support of conclusions; and (4) the exhibition of reasonable, intelligent decisions is also embedded in points 1-2 and point 5 of the CIS definition.
    CIS 4980 is the capstone CIS course. Students in this course deploy into the spaces of businesses in the Atlanta area and conduct systems analysis projects. At the end of the semester they submit a written report to the CIS 4980 instructor, Dr. Carl Stucke.

    As part of this systems analysis project, the students must identify the following components of the business' information system requirements. These components map directly into our definition of critical thinking. Accordingly, each student will be assessed on his/her demonstrated critical thinking by applying the (previously-submitted) rubric scale to these components.

    (1) identify (information related) problems (and in some cases, opportunities) before they become critically important or demanding of immediate attention to ameliorate and address; typically these problems relate to organizational work processes and workflows that could best be addressed through computer-based solutions;
    (2) identify multiple, innovative, and creative (information system) solutions to these problems; typically these solutions are formulated as multiple alternative designs for computer-based solutions to the problem(s);
    (3) evaluate the possible (information system) solutions to these problems in such a way to rank order them, from best to worst, in terms of their relative efficacies and inherent costs in brokering the “best” solution;
    (4) exhibit a concern for, and appreciation of, pursuing (information system) solutions that are characterized by ethical and social responsibility;
    (5) propose an effective (information system)approach to implement the “best” solution.
    The CTW implementation plan for the BBA in CIS would be embedded in one course, CIS 4980, System Development Projects. This course is the capstone course. Students in CIS 4980 are assigned to analyze, identify, and evaluate appropriate computer-based solutions for ‘real’ clients in local Atlanta-based organizations. In this course, the students work closely with ‘real’ information systems managers to help them identify work processes and workflows that might benefit from a proposed computer-based solution. Specifically, the student prepare a comprehensive proposal to implement a computer-based system in response to an existing, discovered problem (or opportunity) in the organization’s workflow. This comprehensive proposal is written (and presented orally), and includes formal sections that address points 1-5 in the CIS definition of CTW that is presented above. The students are required to explicate, in great detail, how they would address points 1-5. These points are manifestations of the learning outcomes for graduates of the BBA in CIS.

    We have developed a rubric to assess their achievment with respect to these written assignments in CIS 4980.
    Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Computer Science (Jaman Bhola ) YesFor Computer Science, critical thinking is defined as documentation, clearly stating assumptions,
    explaining logic (through in-code comments),
    and testing solutions for correctness.


    The computer science CTW plans are to have students evaluate and choose between alternate solution strategies. In this major, there are multiple ways to solve a given assignment. Often, there are several equally correct methods, however, there will also be methods that are not as good due to inefficiency (in time, space, cost, or other resource), over-complexity, fragility (non-robustness), scalability, etc.

    Thus, for our majors, we interpret the statement "identify, analyze, and evaluate arguments and truth claims" to mean our students should clearly state their assumptions, explain (through in-code comments) their logic, and test their solutions for correctness. Testing (debugging) will allow them to "formulate and present convincing reasons in support of conclusions", i.e., they present a series of test cases and demonstrate that their solution (most likely computer code) functions as expected. Grading can include different test cases, defined by the instructor, that reveal faults in the students' assumptions. In other words, the test cases will allow the students to "discover and overcome personal prejudices" in the sense of their preconceived assumptions.
    The faculty development plan is to talk periodically through the semester, including meetings and by e-mail. These talks will establish assignment goals, including iteration and assessment. During the semester, the students will be given a pre- and post-evaluation survey. (These surveys will be similar to the ones in Jessica L. Ekhomu's May 6, 2008 document, "Proposal for Measuring Student Perceptions of Critical Thinking through Writing"). Also, faculty will keep representative copies of students' work.
    We have identified two courses that have an emphasis on writing software solutions (code), and documenting these solutions. The students' solutions can be turned in electronically, allow the instructor to verify correctness. Over the semester, the students are expected to develop critical thinking regarding the functionality of their code. Engagement will be apparent as the assignments become increasingly difficult or advanced.Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Criminal Justice (Dean Dabney ) YesThe Criminal Justice Department has identified Sue Carter Collins as the CTW Ambassor and Sandra Blount as the CTW Assessor. CrJu 3020 Research Methods in Criminal Justice and CrJu 4930 Seminar in Criminal Justice have been identified as the Department's two CTW courses. The teaching faculty for these courses have met and discussed the course requirements and have designed curriculums, syllabi, and assessment rubrics that are suitable for the major and that meet the University's CTW requirement. Each course contains diverse and challenging assignments intended to engage students intellectually and encourage them to think critically through writing on a variety of criminal justice problems and issues. The Department believes that this process will build critical thinking and writing skills and provide students with immediate and valuable feedback, while enhancing their undergraduate learning experience. Although it is expected that the initial aoption of this process may result in a slight increase in faculty workload, the Department plans to pilot the courses prior to Fall 2009 in order to identify and rectify potential problems and streamline the delivery process. The following Criminal Justice faculty members have received training on the University’s CTW requirements:

    a. Dean Dabney
    b. Mark Reed
    c. Volkan Topalli
    d. Sue-Ming Yang

    The CTW training took the following form:

    On October 19, 2007 the above faculty members convened to discuss the University’s CTW requirements and to dientify student learning outcomes and assessment measures for the Department’s two CTW designated courses. Faculty members were asked to bring copies of their syllabi and assignments for Research Methods and the Seminar in Criminal Justice.

    Attending faculty members were given a brief oral history of the CTW initiative and was provided copies of the following documents:
    a. Senate CTW motion containing the definition of critical thinking through writing
    b. Sample syllabi for CTW designated courses
    c. Sample CTW assignments

    Attending faculty members discussed the meaning of CTW as it applies to the criminal justice disciple; however, it was the group’s consensus that full faculty input was needed in order to develop a definition of critical thinking through writing that is specific to the major. In light of this the Senate definition of CTW was adopted by default until such time as a full faculty discussion can be held.

    Attending faculty members given sample copies of CTW courses and syllabi and spent considerable time discussing how the CTW requirement would apply to our designated CTW courses (Research Methods and the Criminal Justice Seminar), the types of assignments that were appropriate, and what would constitute proper assessment measures. To facilitate this process participants were then separated into two groups: Reed, Topalli, and Yang were tasked with developing an appropriate curriculum and syllabus for Research Methods containing CTW student learning outcomes, assignments, and rubrics. Dabney and Collins developed the Department’s CTW Plan and a syllabus for the Seminar in Criminal Justice containing CTW student learning outcomes, assignments, and rubrics. The groups engaged in further discussion related to their specific courses and reached consensus on appropriate learning outcomes, assignments, and measures.

    At the conclusion of the meeting each group followed up by submitting the necessary documents to the CTW Ambassador for use in completing the Department’s CTW plan and course proposals for submission to the GEAC committee.

    In Spring 2008 the Department initiated the piloting process for both CTW courses. At the conclusion of the term the CTW Ambassador met with teacing faculty to discuss their experiences, including what worked and what didn't, and to identify any modifications that were needed. As a result of these discussions CrJu 4930 was modified substantially and the new course is being piloted this summer.





    Prior to the end of the academic year the Department's CTW Assessor will collect the data from CTW teaching faculty and will run a report analyzing rubric scores on the assessed measures, identifying the assignments that faculty asked students to write responses to, and presenting examples of effective, less effective, and ineffective student thinking. With this information the CTW Ambassador will convene a meeting with CTW teaching faculty to discuss the assignments, the rubrics used, and the teaching experiences in general. Based on these discussions faculty will refine and/or modify the rubrics and assignments as needed. The resulting report, including any changes to the syllabi and curriculums, as well as any other recommendations, will be forwarded to the GEAC Committee.Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Early Childhood Education (Lydia Mays ) YesThe department of Early Childhood Education considers critical thinking to be an important aspect of teacher education. We consider critical thinking to be a disposition toward thoughtful consideration of detail, evaluation of evidence, analysis of broad perspectives, and synthesis determined by a careful mix of cited and subjective conclusions. Subjectivities should be self-aware and biases should be explored and evaluated. In teaching (Prekindergarten through grade 5), critical thinking is essential for evaluating teaching methods, advocating for "best practices," considering student assessment data, and expanding theory and practice to account for a variety of socio-cultural influences on children's development and learning.

    The department has identified one mandatory six-hour course to fulfill the CTW initiative: ECE 3601 Reading and Language Arts in Early Childhood Education I. This course occurs in the mid-point of the major program. Any professor who teaches these classes will consult with the department ambassadors: Caitlin Dooley and Teri Holbrook (who are often professors for this course as well).

    The course will include the following assignments to nurture critical thinking:
    (1) Short assignments (about 1 page) that require students to connect theory, research, and practice, evaluate cases/scenarios, and respond to policy issues.
    (2) Collaborative reflection with peers that require the students to write and evaluate lessons, revise after application, and "publish" lessons to share with peers.
    (3) Online discussions that require students to analyze and synthesize readings as well as classroom experiences.
    (4) Projects that require students to turn in parts in phases, providing for interim feedback and encouraging revision. These projects require students to investigate learning, connect real-world experiences in and out of schools to research and theory about instructional practices.

    Initially, all three CTW instructors have received WAC training, which is compatible with our CTW teaching and learning model, and have adopted all CTW assignments and rubrics. In the future, we will develop new CTW instructors through either an initial workshop conducted at the end of the preceding semester or a workshop at the start of their first CTW semester; a debriefing meeting will be held with the CTW ambassadors and instructors at the end of the semester. Interim and ongoing support will be available from the ECE CTW ambassadors, who will meet with instructors as needed to provide feedback and address concerns.Each above assignments will include a rubric to assist evaluation and assessment. Professors who have taught the course will meet annually to review assessment outcomes, revise assignments accordingly, and create a report for the GEAC committee and put it on Weave Online.Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Early Childhood Education Birth thru 5 (Gary Bingham ) YesThe B.S.E. major in Birth Through Five (B-5) prepares teachers and other early care and education professionals to work in varied settings with young children and their families from infancy through Kindergarten age, including children who are typically developing and those with disabilities.

    As part of this program, teacher candidates will be prepared to critically analyze and integrate child development theories and research into their understanding of environments and educational processes that best facilitate learning. In particular, teacher candidates will demonstrate an understanding of the complex ecological nature of development as it pertains to multicultural contexts.
    In addition, through participation in CTW assignments, candidates will become more thoughtful and careful consumers of content and pedagogy in developmentally and individually appropriate practices for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and Kindergarten age children. As a result of their CTW experiences, candidates will become effective at evaluating the impact of these practices on children's development.
    Teacher candidate's participation in CTW coursework will take place in two Birth thru 5 courses: BRFV 3250 (Professional and Ethical Practice) and BRFV 4370 (Language, Literacy, and Cognition). Each course haz been developed within the CTW framework and contains two assignments designed to strengthen student's CTW skills. Each assignment will be evaluated using a CTW rubric designed specifically for that assignment. Through the use of these 4 rubrics, course instructors will evaluate and record student work. Students' progress in the CTW assignments will be tracked and summarized by the CTW ambassador. Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Economics (Shelby Frost ) YesThe economics department plans to incorporate Critical Thinking Through Writing (CTW) elements into the following two required major courses: ECON 3900 (Macroeconomics) and ECON 4999 (Senior Capstone in Economic Policy). The CTW components, embedded in problem sets for ECON 3900 and a book review and quizzes in ECON 4999, require the students to assess and evaluate concepts in economics as they relate to the real world and to be able to recognize (1) how economic theory relates to policy and (2) how many classical assumptions in economics do not apply in reality yet can still be a useful point of departure. All CTW assignments will be redone after students incorporate the feedback they have been given by the instructor.The CTW ambassadors for the Department of Economics, Shelby Frost and Inas Rashad, plan to have an additional assistant, who will be a graduate student in economics, for every additional 25 students in each CTW course (ECON 3900 and ECON 4999). We plan on having a meeting with ALL instructors and assistants for the two courses three times a year: in the beginning of the fall semester, spring semester, and summer semester. In these meetings we will give a thorough overview of the nature of Critical Thinking Through Writing courses, examples of types of assignments, and methods of assessment (and potential rubrics that might be used). Additionally, there will be debriefing meetings specific to each CTW course throughout each semester, where two leaders, most likely two clinical professors, Paul Kagundu (for ECON 4999) and Grace O (for ECON 3900) will meet with instructors and assistants. These meetings will take place as good communication with assistants is a key component. These meetings will highlight strengths and weaknesses of assignments and course content, and will evaluate potential changes that need to be made to the course.We plan to gather results from our two designated CTW major courses, ECON 3900 and ECON 4999, through the individual grades students obtain on the various CTW assignments and, most notably, their improvement between drafts. Measuring individual improvement is the most useful way of knowing whether the student is responding to feedback, and thus if the feedback is appropriate. In ECON 3900, two homework assignments, worth 10% each, will be given back after the first draft to allow the student to improve on it. Thus, two drafts of each problem set in total will be handed in. The problem sets will involve interpreting articles in the media and applying current events to concepts learned in class. In ECON 4999, three versions of a book review will be handed in by the end of the semester. The student will be required to address any concerns the instructor has in subsequent versions of the book review in order to improve the book review grade. Concerns will be based on the bullet points outlined in the sample book review outline that will be made available on uLearn. In particular, the student will be graded on the following components of the book review: the introduction, explanation of the book, application of at least two economic concepts to the book explanation in the body of the text, structure of review, valid opinion and conclusion, and references (graded also through citing sources accurately and not plagiarizing). Quizzes and class participation will also involve thinking critically. Some quizzes will involve grading other students' work and explaining why or why not they agree or disagree with their colleague's grade upon having the quiz returned. The quizzes will often require the students to critically evaluate classical economic assumptions and provide real-world examples of how and why these assumptions may not be valid.Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Economics (Paul Kagundu ) YesDetails
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    English (Audrey Goodman ) YesThe English Department has identified Audrey Goodman as its CTW coordinator and English 3040 (Introduction to Literary Study), 3050 (Introduction to Advanced Composition and Rhetoric), 4300 (Senior Seminar in Literary Studies) 4310a (Senior Seminar in Creative Writing: Poetry) and 4310b (Senior Seminar in Creative Writing: Fiction), 4320 (Senior Seminar in Rhetoric and Composition), 4330 (Senior Seminar in Secondary Education) as its CTW courses. The Department offers four concentrations (in literary studies, creative writing, advanced composition and rhetoric, and secondary education), and all English majors take one introductory course at the beginning of the major and the appropriate seminar as their capstone course.

    The plan is for each professor of any of these classes to design and assign brief assignments that ask students to respond in writing and to practice specific critical thinking abilities. Critical thinking in English means working towards the expression of an informed, valid, and persuasive understanding of a text. Students engage in critical thinking in the discipline when they interrogate the reciprocal relation between the production and reception of a text; analyze the components of a text’s form; summarize a text’s argument and purpose; evaluate the merit of a text according to literary and rhetorical criteria while also considering the role that changing ideologies and fashions play in assessing value; and articulate their own point of view within relevant literary, historical, and theoretical frameworks. The assignments in CTW courses will be presented to the students online. The students will write their answers online, and the professor and sometimes the other students will provide feedback on each assignment in the form of commentary, annotation, and the application of departmental rubrics. The English Department believes that this process will enable professors to ask their students to write more often and approach the challenges of interpreting texts and building convincing arguments in new ways.

    Every year, the coordinator will run a report which will aggregate the rubrics scores for the department, list the assignments that professors asked students to write responses to, and present examples of effective, less effective, and ineffective student thinking.
    With this information, the coordinator will convene an annual meeting with the professors who taught the courses to discuss the assignments, the rubrics and the experience in general and then make recommendations for refining the rubrics and the assignments. The report and the recommendations for the following year will be forwarded to the GEAC committee and put on WeaveOnline.

    The English Department will hold training sessions to acquaint faculty with the online writing environment at the beginning of each semester and a workshop to bring together current and new CTW instructors at the end of each semester. The workshops will review the concept of critical thinking and the rubric we have developed in English so that faculty can coordinate their assessment strategies and begin to prepare CTW courses for the following semester. The workshop will also provide faculty with the opportunity to discuss specific assignments, compare assessment procedures, review our rubric, and propose new approaches to teaching CTW courses. Over time, we plan to establish a core group of CTW faculty with expertise in teaching the designated courses, but we also want to involve as many new faculty as possible in the process. The regular workshop will allow us to share our collective experience and keep invigorating our CTW instruction. We will use the online writing environment.Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Finance (Richard Fendler ) YesWe believe there are two reasons for making writing an important part of this course. First, employers should expect GSU graduates to be able to structure analyses that are well ordered, focus on key issues, logically lead to a recommendation or decision, are professionally attractive, and are grammatically correct. Second, research shows that if we write about what we are studying, our learning increases.

    We plan to implement critical writing in the course through business analyses. Students will write short analyses of cases using a specified format. We will use the same format throughout the term so that students will be able to use feedback from earlier analyses to improve their later write-ups. We also plan to have students write one page opinion papers. They will write opinion papers following writing rubrics – some or all of these will be peer reviewed and graded. Finally, we plan to have students write a group research paper. This paper will be written by multiple students with each part reviewed and edited prior to submission by everyone in the group.

    Because of the value of writing, written work will compose about 60 percent of the total grade for the course.
    All writing assignments will be common across all sections of the course and will be graded according to specific rubrics. Rubric grades will be compiled each semester. Assignments will be assessed and revised each semester as necessary. A final report will be written each semester evaluating students' engagement in critical thinking through writing. Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Geosciences (Katherine Hankins ) YesCTW Plan, Geosciences

    The CTW ambassador for the Department of Geosciences is Dr. Katherine Hankins. The Department currently has two majors, a BA in Geography and a BS in Geology. As such, there will be designated CTW courses for both majors.

    Critical thinking is defined as "a wide range of cognitive skills and intellectual dispositions needed to effectively identify, analyze, and evaluate arguments and truth claims; to discover and overcome personal prejudices; to formulate and present convincing reasons in support of conclusions; and to make reasonable, intelligent decisions about what to believe and what to do." (Bassham, G., Irwin, W. Nordone, H., & Wallace, J., 2005. Critical Thinking: A Student's Introduction. New York: McGraw-Hill, page 1.). For both geography and geology, critical thinking involves the ability to recognize and evaluate truth claims, synthesize different approaches to knowledge/scientific findings, and articulate coherent and logical arguments.

    For the BA in Geography, students will take two of the following courses: Geog 4674: Urban Geography, Geog 4784: Climatic Change, and Geog 4830: Senior Seminar. In all three courses, students will produce evidence of critical thinking and professors will assess the students based on agreed upon rubrics.

    • For Geog 4674 Urban Geography, students will be required to write a series of short papers (at least ten, one-page papers). Students will be assessed based on their ability to think critically about the literature they are reading and to express their ideas in clear, concise prose. Students will be required to revise their short response papers after receiving feedback on their writing. These weekly writing assignments should provide students with the ability to practice critical thinking through writing and to improve their ability to engage with urban geography literature. Students will be assessed on individual assignments based on a defined rubric.

    • Students in Geog 4784 Climatic Change will be required to produce a literature-review paper and to write four “persuasive” paragraphs that deal with specific topics addressed in lectures. The literature-review paper will be an in-depth exploration of peer-reviewed literature dealing with a specific climatic-change topic. Students will integrate the works based on themes and subsequently uncover gaps in the literature. After receiving permission from the instructor to explore a particular topic, students will complete a rough draft that, in turn, will receive substantial feedback from the instructor. Students will use those comments as a guide when performing revisions for the final draft. Concerning the paragraphs, the instructor will provide detailed comments on the first-submission paragraphs; thus, students will be expected to take those comments into consideration when producing their final paragraphs. Further feedback will be provided on the final paragraphs. The instructor will use a rubric as a guide for feedback and for assessment purposes.

    • For Geog 4830 Senior Seminar, students will be required to submit short response papers in addition to multiple drafts of a term paper. Short papers will provide an opportunity for students to engage in particular paradigms that characterize geographic knowledge. The term paper will be an opportunity for students to develop an original research paper. The instructor will provide feedback on various stages of the student work, including proposals, detailed outlines, and drafts of the paper. Students will be assessed based on their ability to synthesize literature and to construct cogent arguments. The instructor will use a rubric as a guide for feedback and for assessment purposes.

    For the BS in Geology, students will take the following courses: Geol 4006: Sedimentary Environments and Stratigraphy and Geol 4xxx: Critical Thought and Analysis in the Geological Sciences, which will be a newly created senior capstone course for all geology majors. In both courses, students will be assessed based on their ability to think critically about data and scholarly articles and to express clear, succinct analyses.

    • For Geol 4006 Sedimentary Environments and Stratigraphy, students will be expected to produce multiple drafts of a term paper in which they analyze stratigraphic data and reconstruct a history of an assigned geologic region. The purpose of the CTW assignment is to analyze, synthesize, interpret, and communicate the state of knowledge regarding the sedimentary environments and stratigraphy represented by the rocks and sediment of Georgia. The instructor will use a rubric as a guide for feedback and for assessment purposes.

    • For Geol 4xxx: Critical Thought and Analysis in the Geological Sciences, students will be expected to produce multiple short papers in which they reveal critical thinking about different facets of the history and application of geology. They will be required to evaluate and synthesize academic literature, such as exploring the debates around plate tectonic theory versus the geosynclinal theory. The instructor will use a rubric as a guide for feedback and for assessment purposes.


    Before courses are taught, I will organize several meetings with CTW professors in my department to answer questions about the CTW course component.

    Subsequently, before a professor teaches a CTW course, I will check in with the professor to review assignments and appropriate rubrics and assessment. I will again touch base with the CTW professor at the conclusion of the course and gather the collected data on critical thinking. I will also interview the professor to gather information about the effectivenss of the CTW assignments. We will discuss possible modifications to assignments and/or rubrics.

    At the conclusion of the academic year, I will gather the data and interview the professors to review the successes and shortcomings of the CTW plan.
    Professors teaching the CTW courses will report assessment scores, based on agreed upon rubrics, to Dr. Hankins at the end of each semester. This information in addition to the professors’ qualitative impressions of student work will be gathered and compiled into a draft assessment report by Dr. Hankins. Dr. Hankins will then circulate the report to the CTW professors and to the department chair. The report will, if necessary, indicate recommended changes to the CTW courses or to the assessment of CTW assignments. Dr. Hankins will then revise the report as needed and submit it to the General Education Subcommittee.
    Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    History (Jared Poley ) YesThe Department of History’s CTW Ambassador will be Jared Poley. The Department will use the University-provided CTW training. Because the history department must conform to the Faculty resolution, any faculty members teaching the two CTW-certified courses (History 3000: Introduction to Historical Studies and History 4990: Historical Research) will be familiarized with CTW technique by Poley (see implementation plan). The history department subscribes to the definition of Critical Thinking as it was proposed to the Faculty Senate: our courses will help “students develop the ‘wide range of cognitive skills and intellectual dispositions needed to effectively identify, analyze, and evaluate arguments and truth claims; to discover and overcome personal prejudices; to formulate and present convincing reasons in support of conclusions; and to make reasonable, intelligent decisions about what to believe and what to do.’” History 3000 promotes the acquisition of a series of skills vital to student success in this realm: historical mindedness, multidimensional analysis, the awareness of historical context, the analysis of texts, and the presentation of findings. History 4990 provides students the opportunity to collect and analyze evidence and to produce historical knowledge. Each of these classes incorporate a variety of different CTW-based assignments that emphasize skills like analysis, synthesis, explanation, summary, as well as the conjuring and evaluation of alternative explanations. Students typically receive written feedback on their work, and the production of multiple drafts of major writing assignments is a common feature of these courses. The Undergraduate Studies Committee will prepare a qualitative report each year that evaluates a random sampling of student assignments and instructor feedback from History 3000 and History 4990. The report will, if deemed useful, recommend changes to the CTW courses as well as the CTW assessment regime. This report will be submitted to the General Education Subcommittee.I am preparing a brochure that will be distributed to the faculty this summer describing the CTW initiative and how it will affect the Department. The brochure has received preliminary approval from the Chair of the Undergraduate Studies Committee, and it will be finalized and distributed in the coming weeks.

    The changes to the course titles have been approved by the Undergraduate Studies Committee, and await approval by the Department as a whole at our next faculty meeting. Upon approval they will be transmitted to the A&S Curriculum Committee (in advance of the August '08 deadline).

    CTW will be piloted on a volunteer basis during the Fall 2008 – Summer 2009 year. I will encourage those faculty teaching these courses during that time to participate in the pilot program by beginning modifying syllabi and assignments in appropriate ways. The Undergraduate Studies Committee will also be hosting -- and I will facilitate -- in the Fall and the Spring a series of brown-bag meetings to discuss CTW, assignments, and assessment procedures with pilots and anyone else interested. The “pilots” then can share observations, sample assignments and work, and criticisms with each other and with faculty teaching these courses in the 2009 – 2010 academic year. I will begin to “certify” the pilots as well as any other instructors of 3000 and 4990 who will be teaching these classes in the Fall of 2009 formally in the Spring of 2009.

    I also will expect the pilots (during the '08-'09 year), and anyone teaching 3000 or 4990 thereafter, to make sure that:
    • Their syllabus indicates that this is a CTW course (the course titles have been officially changed to History 3000: Introduction to Historical Studies CTW and History 4990: Historical Research CTW).
    • Their syllabus includes the departmental definition of critical thinking.
    • Their assignments indicate how (if appropriate) critical thinking is promoted and then crystallized in written form.
    • They save sample assignments and student work, and transmit them to the Undergraduate Studies Committee (in order to prepare the assessment report)
    The Undergraduate Studies Committee will prepare a qualitative report each year that evaluates a random sampling of student assignments and instructor feedback from History 3000 and History 4990. The report will, if deemed useful, recommend changes to the CTW courses as well as the CTW assessment regime. This report will be submitted to the General Education Subcommittee.Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Hospitality (Debby Cannon ) YesThe first CTW course for hospitality majors will be BUSA 3000. The second CTW course is the capstone course for hospitality majors, "Hospitality Strategic Management" (HADM 4800). This coures incorporates assignments that focus on critical thinking as demonstrated through writing including a group project that focuses on analyzing an actual business and several types of case studies. Students will be expected to demonstrate the identification and analysis of business issues and problems. Through a comprehensive evalaution of available options, students will also formulate recommendations and implementation plans. The student's processes will be described in both written forms and in class presentations.


    The ambassador for hospitality administration is also the instructor for the CTW course for hospitality. The other course, as is the case for the Robinson College of Business, is BUSA 3000. The ambassador has attended the CTW workshop and follow-up meetings. In wanting to get complete faculty understanding of the CTW process, material has been covered in hospitality faculty meetings and will be included on the agenda for the faculty retreat held prior to fall semester '08. The faculty will have a chance to review the syllabus for the CTW course, HADM 4800, how data is collected to asses the learning objectives and how this information fits into the departmental assessment process and plan.

    The assessment will be based on student performance on the case studies assigned individually and on individual and group performance on the business analysis project. Rubrics have been identified for both case assignments and the group project. The group project will also include an evaluation of individual performance completed by each group member. Feedback from industry representatives will also be incorporated into the assessment process. Improvement through rewrites and revisions will also be assessed in terms of improvements with the group project and case studies. Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    International Business (David Bruce ) YesThe BUSA 3000 course (Globalization and Business Practices) is a core requirement in RCB. Since international business is a multi-diciplinary field, aspects of all the business disciplines are surveyed. BUSA 3000 has two key individual writing assignments. One relates to a business case and the other involves international media. By applying CTW criteria to both of these assignments, RCB will address both corporate business analysis and international data gathering. There are nearly 580 students per semester taking BUSA 3000 and we will use two writing assignments. Thus, there will be many data points that can be used. In particular, since there are many sections of the course, we will have the faculty meet for several purposes.
    1. Discuss the challenges of the writing assignments and the grading procedures using the rubrics.
    2. We will survey students regarding their understanding of the grading criteria.
    3. After the first semester of full implementation we will reconvene the faculty members to review the success of applying the rubric grading scheme. We will also ask each faculty member to develop metrics for comparing the work of the students on the first and the second assignment.
    Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    International Business (Pedro Carrillo ) YesDetails
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Kinesiology and Health (Jeff Rupp ) YesThe Department of Kinesiology and Health's Ambassador will be Dr. Jacalyn Lund. The Department will provide CTW training to faculty members teaching CTW classes. The workshop will include an overview of the purpose of CTW, a discussion of how assignments can contribute to CTW, and information about developing rubrics for CTW assignments. The Department has two majors. Both majors will use KH 2130 Introduction to the Allied Fields of Health, PE, and Fitnessas a CTW class. Exercise Science will use KH 4630 Fitness Assessment and Exercise Prescription for the second CTW class and the Health and Physical Education program will use KH 3700 Sexuality Education Inclusive of Special Needs Students. All classes identified have writing assignments that will demonstrate critical thinking and critical thinking represents a significant part of the grade for the classes.

    Department of Kinesiology and Health
    Georgia State University
    Definition of Critical Thinking
    “Critical thinking is a reflective process of acquisition, analysis, and evaluation of information and ideas that leads to the development and active implementation of reasonable and defensible solutions to problems, issues, and situations.”
    It includes the ability to:
    • Gather, organize, classify, and analyze pertinent information, materials, and data
    • Evaluate assumptions, evidence, ideas, and information
    • Consider and/or integrate new and disparate ideas, information, methods, systems, and beliefs
    • Develop rational, reasonable, and informed conclusions
    • Render accurate judgments
    • Present a clear expression of derived conclusions, judgments, and solutions
    • Apply understanding and knowledge to new and different problems and situations

    Training plan for Kinesiology and Health
    I will meet with all of the primary course instructors to discuss the elements of critical thinking that they have identified for their courses. KH 3700 will be my pilot course as it is taught during the summer semester. KH 3650 and KH 4350 will be taught using the critical thinking analysis for the first time during the Fall 2008 semester.
    For all courses, I plan to meet with the primary instructors (1 for KH 3700, 2 for KH 3650, and 2 for KH 4350) individually along with their graduate assistant. We will discuss critical thinking and how it applies to the class. I have reviewed the rubrics already and will make any changes suggested by the GSU reviewers. Throughout the course, I plan on talking with instructors monthly to troubleshoot any potential problems. After the conclusion of the course, I will meet with the instructor(s) for each course and review the assignments and rubrics for possible revisions. Then I will ask them to select 1 or 2 papers that are exemplars for the different levels of their rubrics. I also will get a copy of their students’ critical thinking scores for the semester and develop a recording system for the department.
    During the Spring semester, these sample papers will be available for training any additional Graduate Assistants that are needed to assist with the courses. Monthly meetings will be used to troubleshoot any problems. We will meet at the end of the semester to discuss any issues or potential revisions for assignments and rubrics and upload any changes on the CTW website. I will again collect the critical thinking scores for the assignments and any additional exemplars that can be used for training.
    At the conclusion of the spring 09 semester, I will write a summary report and present this to the faculty for discussion at a meeting. The reviewed data will be the basis for the report filed for CTW.

    Since a substantional part of the course grade includes critical thinking, instructors and/or professors will report grades to the Department's Assessment coordinator (Dr. Lund). Additionally, student performance on the assignments that address critical thinking will be reported to Dr. Lund. This information along with student performance data will be presented at an annual faculty meeting (tentatively April meeting). Following this discussion, recommendations for change will be made. A report on the Department's assessment of critical thinking will be prepared along with the suggested changes and revisions in current policies. This report will be submitted to the General Education Subcommittee and Weave Online. Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Managerial Sciences (WIlliam Bogner ) YesThe Department of Managerial Sciences will have the faculty in each of the four concentration areas develop assignments to be completed during course of the semester that will involve critical thinking. For CT assignments there should be a very tight link between the application of critical thinking skills set out in the University policy and the application of subject matter concepts. The assignments should therefore be practice-oriented situations that involve the students having to identify relevant facts from a rich situation, rationally analyze the identified facts by systematically applying tools developed in the disciple, and reach logical conclusions based on that analysis. These elements need to be presented clearly in prose writing, preferably in the style and format of a standard business memorandum using skills developed in Business Communications (BCOM 3950)Currently there is only one instructor that teaches each of the four courses that make up the alternative concentrations from which a major in Managerial Sciences can choose. In each case the number of students class is relatively small in size and it is not anticipated that more than one instructor will be needed in the foreseeable future for each of the classes. Because the four alternatives are really quite different the criteria, rubrics and the like are independent of each other. It is for that reason that each of the four courses has a separate entry here. For each of the four courses the current instructor is committed to teaching this class for the next several years. Materials are being prepared with the Department Chair so that if, due to unanticipated events, a new instructor would have to be trained for any of the course there would be a clear set of materials and standards that could be employed in training the replacement.General Plan: Each of the four MGS BBA concentration areas will collect across-student assessments of critical thinking levels on each of the three skills set out in the Department CTW plan: (1) Selection of relevant facts, (2) Systematic analysis of relevant facts using subject matter tools, and (3) Logic-based conclusions.

    Implementation: Each concentration area in MGS has an assessment plan in place; the Ambassador who is responsible for the course/concentration will also be responsible for the assessment for their concentration. The CTW Ambassadors and the Associate Chair will develop reporting instruments that will aggregate the CTW evaluations from the student assignments in each concentration's 4000-level class consistent with the first paragraph here.

    After concentration-level assessment data have been collected and aggregated, these data will be forwarded to the Department's Associate Chair, who has all assessment oversight responsibilities. The analysis will look for comparisons with prior year's results, including any impact of continual improvement initiatives instituted as a result of prior year's assessment, and for opportunities for the introduction of new continual improvement initiatives. A summary report will be submitted to the Department Chair and to those in the University overseeing CTW courses who can make further suggestions on improving the delivery of CTW courses and assignments.
    Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Managerial Sciences (Kay Bunch ) YesThe Department of Managerial Sciences will have the faculty in each of the four concentration areas develop assignments to be completed during course of the semester that will involve critical thinking. For CT assignments there should be a very tight link between the application of critical thinking skills set out in the University policy and the application of subject matter concepts. The assignments should therefore be practice-oriented situations that involve the students having to identify relevant facts from a rich situation, rationally analyze the identified facts by systematically applying tools developed in the disciple, and reach logical conclusions based on that analysis. These elements need to be presented clearly in prose writing, preferably in the style and format of a standard business memorandum using skills developed in Business Communications (BCOM 3950) Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Managerial Sciences (Walter Wallace ) YesThe Department of Managerial Sciences will have the faculty in each of the four concentration areas develop assignments to be completed during course of the semester that will involve critical thinking. For CT assignments there should be a very tight link between the application of critical thinking skills set out in the University policy and the application of subject matter concepts. The assignments should therefore be practice-oriented situations that involve the students having to identify relevant facts from a rich situation, rationally analyze the identified facts by systematically applying tools developed in the disciple, and reach logical conclusions based on that analysis. These elements need to be presented clearly in prose writing, preferably in the style and format of a standard business memorandum using skills developed in Business Communications (BCOM 3950) Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Marketing (Chip Barksdale ) YesSix case analyses will be submitted in writing during the semester. Five written assignments will be case note write-up assignments which are required to be prepared for all cases assigned but will be taken up at random for grading. The sixth written case analysis is the midterm examination.

    During the first half of the semester, case notes assignments will be taken up randomly and feedback provided using the rubric created to assess case analysis skills.

    Written assignments will provide the students with experience in the following areas: 1.) creating a comprehensive situation analysis, 2.)clearly defining the central problem that the decision-maker in the case must address, 3.)specifying relevant alternatives as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each one and finally 4.) selecting the alternative they consider to be the best course of action and defend it based on both quantitative and qualitative arguments.

    The process of case analysis demands critical thinking because the student must identify and define the basic problem in the case, evaluate the options available to address the problem, and prepare a recommendation they feel will best address the problem.

    Identifying case problems is not usually obvious. Yet accurately defining the problem is essential because, if the problem is misidentified, the rest of the case analysis will be seriously flawed. The alternatives and the recommendation will likely be incorrect if the problem is not accurately defined.

    Students will use a template to impose structure on what frequently is an ambiguous situation. Often, very little in the case is obvious. New insight must be gleaned by carefully studying all the case information including tables of numbers, charts, graphs, as well as the text.

    Quantitative analysis is critically important in understanding the situation well enough to make a solid recommendation. This quantitative analysis may entail calculating ratios or creating a spreadsheet to perform what-if analysis in order to test different assumptions. The students are required to apply their knowledge of concepts from general business and marketing gained in other required courses in order to arrive at logical and defensible recommendations.

    A rubric is provided to assist the students in their analysis. Grading of the case notes assignments will be based on the rubric disseminated to the students.
    The CTW Ambassador will meet with instructor(s) designated to teach the MK4900 Marketing Problems course and train them starting fall semester 2008. Only two instructors have historically been assigned to teach the MK4900 course. The ambassador has typically taught two of the three sections offered and another instructor has taught one section. However, the other instructor that taught one of the three sections offered each semester will retire at the end of summer term necessitating the training of someone new. That new MK4900 instructor has not yet been named.

    The case method is the dominant pedagogy used in the MK4900. It is therefore the focus of the CTW writing assignments. Any instructor teaching the course is expected to use the case method. The philosophy of CTW, the assignments, and the rubrics will be the focus of the faculty development plan training.

    Several meetings will take place during the fall semester 2008 between the ambassador and the yet to be identified instructor to discuss the CTW writing assignments and rubrics and to revise them as necessary. Piloting the course for CTW purposes will take place during spring semester 2009.

    The Marketing Department's Undergraduate Curriculum Committee which is charged with assessment will be involved in evaluating the CTW assignments. The entire Marketing Department faculty will be updated annually regarding the CTW efforts and outcomes.
    Data will be collected from each class taught and compiled. A random sample of assignments will be created using the student work product from each instructor that has taught the MK 4900 course. A report will be prepared based on the data annually. Revisions to the written assignments and to the rubrics will be made based on the results.Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Mathematics and Statistics (Yi Zhao ) YesThe Dept of Math & Stat has identified Math 3000, Bridge to higher math, and Math 4991, Senior seminar, as its CTW courses. The department has assigned Yi Zhao as its CTW ambassador. Instructors who teach CTW courses need to attend departmental workshop conducted by the ambassador (unless they have attended any university CTW training). Critical thinking in math usually means (1) analyzing and evaluating mathematical arguments, (2) formulating and presenting a proof or a counterexample in support of conclusions, and, (3) deriving an abstract claim from examples and solving a problem by applying known results. Writing in math refers to composing logically correct, well organized, and clearly represented arguments which consist of math formulas and English sentences. Each of the CTW courses will include writing assignments that ask students to practice these critical thinking skills. For example, a typical assignment in Math 3000 is to write a proof for a simple claim, and an assignment in Math 4991 can be solving a practical problem.Every semester the Dept of Math & Stat offers two sessions of CTW courses, one Math 3000 and one Math 4991. The size of these two classes are usually small so that no assistant is needed.

    Before these two courses are assigned to faculty members, the ambassador will provide general information, including requirements and CTW assessments to faculty members who are interested in teaching these two courses. After the courses are assigned and before the semester starts, the ambassador will meet instructors to
    discuss assignments and rubics. After the semester starts, the ambassador will meet instructors regularly to learn their feedbacks,
    including the effectiveness of assignments. At the end of the semester, the instructors will provide the assessment data to the
    ambassador.
    Each instructor who teaches CTW courses will assess students critical thinking and writing from assignments or exams by using rubrics. Every year, the CTW ambassador will organize a meeting with these instructors to discuss their assignments, the effectiveness of the assignments, and then write a report and make recommendations for refining the assignments (or rubrics). The report and recommendation will be forwarded to General Education subcommittee and Weave online.Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Middle Childhood Education (Stephanie Cross ) YesEDRD 4600 – Reading and Writing in the Content Areas and EDCI 4640 – Critical Issues in Middle Grades Education are the two CTW courses for our undergraduate teacher preparation program. The course objective of EDRD 4600 is to “examine reading and writing instructional strategies and materials in the content area classroom. Emphases are on adolescent literacy development, the process of reading and writing in middle grades, the role of textbooks and trade books, concept development, comprehension, vocabulary, and study strategies.” The other CTW course, EDCI 4640 is designed to help future educators examine critical issues in middle childhood education such as “ classroom management, multicultural issues, technology and education, family/community involvement, reflective inquiry and interdisplinary instruction.” The Department of Middle-Secondary Education and Instructional Technology prepares educators and other professionals in career and technical education, English education, English as a second language education, learning technologies, library media technology, mathematics education, middle childhood education, reading education, science education, and social studies education. The department offers 34 programs across seven degrees (B.S.E., M.A.T., M.Ed., M.L.M., M.S., Ed.S. and Ph.D.); three certification-only programs; and three endorsement programs.

    The newest program in our department is the B.S.E. major in Middle Childhood Education, which will start in the spring of 2010. The coordinator of this program is Dr. Gladys Yarbrough, who will also serve as the CTW Ambassador for the department. The two courses in the program that have been designed to meet the CTW requirements are EDRD 4600 – Reading and Writing in the Content Areas, and EDCI 4640 – Critical Issues in Middle Grades Education. These two courses will first be offered in the fall of 2010 and the spring of 2011, respectively. Since future student entry into the B.S.E. MCE program is designed to occur in either the fall or the spring, both of this courses will subsequently be taught every semester after their initial introduction date.

    The initial training of faculty will occur as needed between individuals and the CTW ambassador, preferably no earlier than one semester before the courses are taught. During the training meeting, the ambassador will review the proposed CTW assignments with individual faculty members. A follow-up meeting will also take place at the end of the semester. During the follow-up meeting, the designated faculty and the ambassador will assess the value of the CTW assignments to see if any additional enhancements will be needed.
    All writing assignments will be graded using a rubric, and data will be gathered and aggregated by the CTW ambassador on a yearly basis.
    Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Modern and Classical Lang - French (Eric LeCalvez ) YesIn accordance with the University's regulations regarding the Critical Thinking through Writing component of courses, the French faculty has defined critical thinking in French as follows: students who demonstrate their commitment to critical thinking through writing analyses, and who improve the quality of their work through the rewriting of successive drafts, gain a better understanding of the intellectual production that has taken place among French-language writers over the past several hundred years. They learn more about French thinking processes and are better equipped to find and express their own voices in the target language. Ultimately, students in CTW courses are able to apply their critical judgment by writing commentaries on literary texts and answering critical questions on literary and civilization topics. More specifically, students who think critically about French culture and literature can: 1. Interpret (categorize, decide significance, clarify meaning), 2. Analyze (examine ideas, identify arguments, analyze arguments), 3. Evaluate (assess claims, assess arguments), 4. Infer (query evidence, conjecture alternatives, draw conclusiong), 5. Explain (state results, justify procedures, present arguments), 6. Self-reflect (self-examine, self-correct).
    As for the French major there are only three professors (apart from me) teaching at the 3000 and 4000 levels, it will be very easy to prepare them for the assessment plan, which will be done in a meeting before the implementation of CTW courses in fall 2009.
    In the beginning, we plan to do group readings of selected drafts and rewritings (for culture and literature courses) and text commentaties (for literature courses only), so that we develop a mutual understanding of critical thinking and how to assess it with consistency.
    As the ambassador for the French major I will be in charge of the annual report. After the final assessments will have been compiled and discussed by the French faculty before the final report is completed, the administrative assistant in MCL will post the data on line.
    For the 3000 level, the French section has chosen to define the Introduction to Literary Texts (FREN 3033) as the CTW gateway course.
    For the 4000 level, the two civilization courses (FREN 4103 and FREN 4123) will be designated CTW courses. Students will have the choice between the two for their capstone course.
    For all courses, the CTW component of the course will count for 25% of the final grade.
    In the literature course, assignments will take two forms: 1) commentaries of literary texts (following the pattern of the famous and classical French “explication de textes” based on excerpts of prose, theater and poetry and 2) thematic essays on literary topics related to the works studied in class.
    In civilization courses, the CTW assignment will be an essay on a cultural topic (social, artistic and political), with an emphasis on comparison, either within the target culture or with another culture.
    Several criteria will be considered in assessing the assignments. In addition to the correctness of answers, particular attention will be paid to the quality of the written expression used by the student (clarity; choice of vocabulary, idiomatic expressions, level of style) and to the methodology of writing (general structure; thought process; clarity and evolution of the argumentation; validity and use of the examples chosen for the demonstration).

    Students will be assessed according to six CT skills:
    1. Interpretation (categorization, decoding significance, clarifying meaning)
    2. Analysis (examining ideas, identifying arguments, analyzing arguments)
    3. Evaluation (assessing claims, assessing arguments)
    4. Inference (querying evidence, conjecturing alternatives, drawing conclusions)
    5. Explanation (stating results, justifying procedures, logic, synthesis ability)
    6. Self-reflection (self-examination, self-correction, rewriting)

    For each course, an Excel file will contain three ratings for each assesment (see rubric), the average of which will be the CTW grade for the course. The file will allow comparisons, percentages, which will help to see the improvement of the students and which skills need to be more precisely targeted. It will also help to write the annual report too.

    After the professor of the course has collected all information, it will be passed along to the major's CTW ambassador in French (Eric Le Calvez), who will collect feedback about the CTW assignment structure, assessment tools and potential future avenues for improving the CTW courses.

    Then the major’s ambassador will chair an annual meeting of CTW instructors in French to discuss both the instructors’ evaluation of student projects and the overall effectiveness of the assignments on developing critical thinking and writing. The instructors will agree on a limited number of improvements to be made in teaching these courses the following year, and this recommendation (along with a summary of the instructors' discussion) will be forwarded to the General Education Subcommittee and Weave Online.
    Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Modern and Classical Lang - German (Robin Huff ) YesCritical thinking goes hand in hand with analytical thinking. For Cottrell (1999:188) analytical thinking involves the following additional processes: • Standing back from the information given • Examining it in detail from many angles • Checking closely whether it is completely accurate • Checking whether a statement follows logically from what went before • Looking for possible flaws in the reasoning, the evidence, or the way that conclusions are drawn • Comparing the same issue from the point of view of other theorists or writers • Being able to see and explain why different people arrived at different conclusions • Being able to argue why one set of opinions, results or conclusions is preferable to another • Being on guard for literary or statistical devices that encourage the reader to take questionable statements at face value • Checking for hidden assumption"
    German = Auseinandersetzungsvermögen (Discussion/Debate/Looking into a subject + capacity/ability/assets/means). In terms more specific to the German major, the assignments in our CTW courses will enable students to gain a better understanding of literary and -- more broadly -- cultural and historical trends in the German-speaking world, and equip students with the tools necessary to query their intellectual and personal positions with respect to the long and complex tradition of Germanic cultural production, which at times intersects with other traditions with which students may be familiar, and at times diverges from them. Ultimately, students in our CTW courses will be able to comprehend German texts within their cultural, intellectual, and historical contexts, and engage these texts in ways that are both intellectually rigorous and personally meaningful. The German section plans to make the entry level course Grmn 3301 and the capstone course Grmn 4402 a CTW designated course. Currently there are only two full-time faculty who teach these levels, with a third to be hired spring 2008. The current CTW ambassador, Robin Huff, will train these faculty in CTW procedure and assessment. Writing has always been a key component in all of the German courses and critical thinking through writing with a holistic rubric can be applied to all three concentrations. These designated courses require no curriculum modification and are currently required of all majors in all concentrations.
    The German section is very small, with only 3 full time faculty, one of whom has just been hired and will arrive in August. I can therefore easily do a workshop in the fall to prepare them for the assessment criteria. We plan to do group readings of the selected essays in the beginning to develop a mutual understanding of critical thinking and how to assess it with some consistency. The rubric may be slightly fine tuned after the initial assessments if there is too much statistical divergence. As ambassador I will be in charge of the annual report and the administrative assistant in MCL will compile the data on line, although final assessments will be discussed by German faculty before the final reportThe German section will ensure that each CTW designated course will incorporate a sizeable (in percentile) number of writing assignments with a CTW component, at least 30% of the final course grade.
    A holistic rubric will be used to assess the quality of the assignment. The concensus was that students are able to write in the target language at this level, but the language and syntax per se will only be assessed in the rubric as to whether it inhibits communicative focus. The topic of the assignment itself will be adapted to mirror the concentration (see for example the business assignment under sample assignments). Learning outcomes spread sheets are already in place and can be modified by the administrative staff to conform to the rubric and calculate the mean. It was decided to retain a 1-6 rating scale as this both mirrors the professional standards assessment rubric and our current learning outcomes assessment profile.
    Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Modern and Classical Lang - Spanish (Rudyard Alcocer ) YesThe faculty in the Spanish section have chosen SPAN 3307 (Introduction to Hispanic Literature) as the first CTW course; for reasons specific to the nature of department (and to our section within it), we have decided that any in a series of 4000-level courses will serve as the capstone CTW course (these courses will always carry the CTW designation). All our CTW courses will provide significant opportunities for students to write assignments in their native languages so that they may concentrate more on the development of ideas and less on the process of communicating them in the Spanish language. In accordance with the Faculty Senate's statement on CTW, the assignments in Spanish CTW classes will help students develop the “wide range of cognitive skills and intellectual dispositions needed to effectively identify, analyze, and evaluate arguments and truth claims; to discover and overcome personal prejudices; to formulate and present convincing reasons in support of conclusions; and to make reasonable, intelligent decisions about what to believe and what to do.” (Bassham, Irwin, Nardone & Wallace, Critical Thinking: A Student's Introduction (McGraw-Hill, 2005) page 1.) Students will have the opportunity to revise at least one assignment during the semester. In terms more specific to the Spanish major, the assignments in our CTW courses will enable students to gain a better understanding of literary and -- more broadly -- cultural and historical trends in the Spanish-speaking world, and equip students with the tools necessary to interrrogate their intellectual and personal positions with respect to the long and complex tradition of Hispanic cultural production, which at times intersects with other traditions with which students may be familiar, and at times diverges from them. Ultimately, students in our CTW courses will be able to comprehend Hispanic literary texts within their cultural, intellectual, and historical contexts, and engage these texts in ways that are both intellectually rigorous and personally meaningful. SPAN 3307 will always be the initial CTW course in our section; as for the remaining CTW courses, the members of the section will meet once in the fall to determine which CTW courses will be offered in the following academic year. I will meet (in a group meeting), approximately halfway through the preceding semester, with all the faculty who will be teaching CTW courses (and have not taught it previously), and will orient them as to the nature and goals of CTW; eventually I would like to invite at least one student who has experience taking a CTW course to be present at this meeting and to field questions with regard to his/her perspective as a student. I will also share representative CTW syllabi, and ask that they provide drafts of their syllabi as their semester of CTW teaching approaches. During their semester of teaching, I will meet individually with all current CTW instructors, including those who have already taught a CTW course.
    During the spring 2009 semester, I met individually with all the members of the Spanish department who will have CTW responsibilities. Through these meetings I was able to carry forth my task of educating my departmental colleagues with regard to the mission and workings of CTW. Besides myself, there will be one other faculty member teaching a CTW course in the fall of 2009, and she and I have met on several occasions in preparation for our respective courses. I will remain in email contact with this faculty member during the summer, and will meet with her in person just before the fall semester begins.
    Faculty who teach the Spanish CTW courses will complete a questionnaire developed by the major ambassador based on input from the rest of the faculty. The questionnaire will help determine the extent to which students were engaged in critical thinking through writing during the semester. This information will then be reviewed by the ambassador and the departmental liaison in charge of assessment. The liaison will then be able to file a report with the CTW administration.Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Music (Oliver Greene ) YesDefinition of Critical Thinking through Writing in Music

    Critical Thinking through Writing (CTW) about music involves written interpretation and evaluation of the knowledge, the performance, and the creative, technical and instructional skills associated with music. For the purpose of critical thinking such skills are needed to identify, analyze and evaluate arguments and claims about music. Because School of Music offers curricula in a variety of area concentrations in music critical thinking has been approved as objective of the School of Music in the following areas: 1) the theoretical understanding of music, 2) music in historical and cultural contexts, 3) the use of technology in creating, performing and listening to music, 4) the individual and collective performance of music, 5) the composition and improvisation of music, 6) the conducting of music,7) the processes of educating others about music, and 8) the development of careers in music.



    Sample CTW Plan, Music

    The School of Music has identified Oliver Greene as its Critical Thinking through Writing (CTW) Ambassador. The department has selected MUS 4810: Music from 1750 and MUS 4820: World Music as its two required CTW courses because these courses are required of all music majors of all concentrations. The School of Music will use professors who have been trained by CTW Ambassadors to teach these courses. In CTW music courses students will be required to demonstrate elements of critical thinking such as concept development, organization, analysis, and application. The assignment through which critical thinking through writing will be assessed in both courses is a three-part research assignment that involves the submission of (1) a paper topic and a 250 to 300 word proposal for the research paper on that topic, an outline for the paper, and an annotated bibliography, (2) a 7 to 10 page draft of the research paper, and (3) the revised draft of the research paper. In MUS 4820 the research project will include a fieldwork component. For the critical thinking component of the assignment students will be required to expound on the social, cultural, and or political significance of the music or musician and her/his relevance in the area or region if applicable. Feedback from CTW-trained assistants and the professor will be given for part one and part two of the assignment and will include evaluations of the form or structure of the submitted work, the level of critical thinking exhibited, and quality of writing, and the application of the rubric(s) created specifically for the assignment(s).

    The School of Music believes that these assignments will lead to improvements in the quality and depth of student critical thinking and writing. With the aid of CTW trained assistants, the assignment will not substantially increase the time professors spend responding to student work. Professors for CTW courses will maintain examples of research papers exhibiting effective, less effective, and ineffective critical thinking for students to view. (Of course the anonymity of student’s work will always be maintained.)

    School of Music
    Critical Thinking through Writing
    Faculty Development Plan

    The CTW Courses in Music

    The School of Music has selected MUS 4810: Music from 1750 and MUS 4820: World Music as its two CTW courses because these courses are required of all music majors of all concentrations. The School of Music will use professors who have been trained by CTW Ambassadors to teach these courses. The assignment through which critical thinking through writing will be assessed in both courses is a three-part research assignment that involves the submission of (1) a paper topic and a 250 to 300 word proposal for the research paper on that topic, an outline for the paper, and an annotated bibliography, (2) a 7 to 10 page draft of the research paper, and (3) the revised draft of the research paper.

    Critical thinking cognitive elements implied or required of students in this three-part research project include the following: analysis, application, comparison and contrast, evaluation, extension, extrapolation, inference, interpretation, organization, prioritizing, representation, and synthesis.

    Implementation and Assessment Plan

    The following sequence of events will assure that all aspects of implementation and assessment are agreed upon and understood.

    • The CTW Ambassador will meet with the CTW instructor(s) to review the three-part assignment, rubrics, and assessment strategy during the month preceding the semester in which the CTW course will be offered.
    • CTW instructors will review the assignment, rubrics and assessment strategy with any assistant that may help the instructor with the course or assignment.
    • A brief pre-course evaluation will be administered to students to learn their impressions and knowledge of critical thinking through writing, how it relates to the study, interpretation, and performance of music, and how it might be of service to them in music.
    • Feedback from CTW-trained instructors will be given to students for part one and part two of the assignment and will include evaluations of the form or structure of the submitted work, the level of critical thinking exhibited, the quality of writing, and the application of the rubric(s) created specifically for the assignment(s).
    • CTW instructors in the department will meet following the submission of final revised paper to compare student work to determine if there is mutual agreement in grading. Final revised researched papers will be evaluated and graded using a rubric created specifically this assignment in two designated CTW music courses.
    • Each CTW Instructors will maintain examples of research papers exhibiting effective, less effective, and ineffective critical thinking for students to view. To encourage uniformity in grading, the papers selected by the CTW instructor in each course will be evaluate by the instructor in other CTW course.
    • The CTW instructors will be encouraged to place select student writings on the ULearn website for the course—or to have them accessible to students in another medium—so that they might be used the following semester as samples of students’ work. Of course the anonymity of students’ work will always be maintained. During the second semester in which the course is offered the instructor can review these samples with the students to discuss the quality of work. These examples can be studied in comparison to how they meet the requirements of the assignment.
    • An assessment rubric or chart will be designed by the departmental CTW ambassador to show the numerical results of students work in each of the two CTW courses.
    • The CTW ambassador to the School of Music will aggregate the scores of the rubrics for the three-part research assignment and submit them electronically to the University CTW Assessment Coordinator. The electronic submission will also include the professor’s qualitative assessment of the student’s work. The coordinators and ambassadors will meet annually with the professors who will teach the courses to discuss the assignments, the rubrics, the professor’s experiences in general, and to make recommendations for refining the assignments and the rubrics. The report, with recommendations for the next academic year will be forwarded to the General Education Sub-committee for review.
    • A committee will be formed of two to three students from each of the two music CTW courses to discuss the effectiveness of the three-part assignment and the assessment rubric. Their findings will be shared with the CTW instructors to aid in the process of revising the assignment.
    • CTW instructors will examine and revise rubrics annually to assure that rubrics can be clearly understood by the students and that the rubrics provide a basis for assessment that can measure the quality of critical thinking through writing from one course to another.
    The CTW instructors in these courses will use similar rubrics. They will examine and revise rubrics annually to assure that rubrics can be clearly understood by the students and that the rubrics provide a basis for assessment that can measure the quality of critical thinking through writing from one course to another.

    The CTW Ambassador to the School of Music will aggregate the scores of the rubrics for the three-part research assignment and submit them electronically to the University CTW Assessment Coordinator. The electronic submission will also include the professor’s qualitative assessment of the student’s work. The coordinators and ambassadors will meet annually with the professors who will teach the courses to discuss the assignments, the rubrics, the professor’s experiences in general, and to make recommendations for refining the assignments and the rubrics. The report, with recommendations for the next academic year will be forwarded to the General Education Sub-committee for review.
    Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Nursing (Kathy Plitnick ) YesThe Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing department has identified Kathy Plitnick as the CTW Ambassador and CTW Assessment coordinator. The CTW courses identified for the school are NURS 2080 - Basic Concepts of Nursing Care and NURS 4600 - Leadership and Management in Nursing. Both of these courses fall into area G of the Undergraduate program. Critical Thinking is defined by the School of Nursig as, "a process of reflective and cognitive thought that involves systmatic, rational, and creative thinking. Critical thinking leads to the formation of conclsions and appropriate alternatives in the process of clinical decision making".For this Fall 2008, I plan to have a training session that will involve the faculty and the proposed 5 CTW consultants. For NURS 2080, I am piloting new CTW Assignments. For these assignments students will be writing 6 clinical narratives. For these narratives, a new Rubric has been constructed and is in it's final prep stages. In addition, the previous semester's paper assignment will still be required but in a condensed form and with a newly constructed grading sheet. To train the consultants and additional faculty, sample clinical narratives will be produced that will reflect "poor" critical thinking skills and one that will reflect "excellent" critical thinking skills. After orientation to the rubric, then faculty and consultants will compare how they applied or how they rated both narratives. The purpose of this is to get everyone to use the rubric and interpret the narratives using the same quality or thoroughness of each rater. In addition, student's papers from a previous semester (one of high quality and one of low quality) will also be used in the same way to train new consultants by having them each rate a paper using a rubric. Currently, a standardized critical thinking assessment is given to the students during their first semester and again in their last semester. This assessment is done through ERI - Educational Resources, Inc. It has been in use for several years. The plan is to continue administering this assessment and to developed a common rubric that can be utilized to assess CTW in the identified courses. The data that will be gathered for NURS 2080 will be grouped/normed and compared to data for the same group of students in NURS 4600.Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Nutrition (Barbara Hopkins ) YesThe Division of Nutrition has identified Jana Kicklighter as its CTW ambassador and Nutr. 3010, Introduction to Research, and Nutr. 4950, Senior Seminar, as its CTW courses. The ambassador attended the CTW workshops on October 12, and November 5, 2007 and she will be responsible for training faculty members who will teach the two CTW courses. Currently, research methods is incorporated into an introduction to the nutrition profession course, Nutr. 3000, and Nutr. 4950, Senior Seminar, is a 2-credit course. To meet CTW requirements, research methods will become a separate, 3 credit hour course and Nutr. 4950 will become a 3 credit hour capstone course. Nutr. 3010 is taken at the beginning of the junior year and Nutr. 4950 is taken the last semester of the senior year. Both of these courses will be designed around the production, through several smaller assignments and multiple drafts, of a final written paper. The plan is for the instructor of each of these classes to develop and implement multiple assignments that ask students to identify a nutrition or dietetics-related question and to select, critique, analyze, synthesize and communicate information which addresses the question. Students will be required to respond in writing and utilize critical thinking abilities to evaluate and make decisions related to the question. The instructor will provide specific feedback to each student by providing written comments and by applying rubrics which will be developed by the nutrition faculty, similar to the one used at Washington State University. The assignments in the two CTW courses will provide students with opportunities to practice critical thinking and writing skills necessary for effective dietetic practice. The Division of Nutrition defines critical thinking as the ability to identify a nutrition or dietetics-related question and to select, critique, analyze, synthesize and communicate information which addresses the question. To function effectively as future nutrition and dietetic professionals, dietetic students must be able to access and accurately interpret the scientific literature and make practice-related decisions based on strength of evidence and evidence-based guidelines.The instructors will provide students’ scores on the assignments, based on the rubrics, to the undergraduate program director who will aggregate the scores for the division. Faculty members in the division will participate in an annual assessment meeting to review and discuss the assignments, rubrics, and students’ scores and make recommendations for modifying the assignments, rubrics, courses and/or curriculum, as needed. Comparisons of students’ critical thinking and writing skills between the junior and senior courses will also be made in order to judge improvement over time. The final report and recommendations will be submitted to the General Education Subcommittee and on WeaveOnline.



    Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Philosophy (Andrew J. Cohen ) YesThe Department of Philosophy’s CTW Ambassador will be Dr. Andrew J. Cohen. The Department will use the University-provided CTW training. As all continuing faculty in the Department will be teaching CTW courses, Dr. Cohen will train the faculty by conducting workshops.

    Philosophy’s CTW courses will be Phil 3000, Introductory Seminar in Philosophy, and Phil 4900, Senior Seminar in Philosophy. Both of these courses will be organized around the production (through multiple drafts) of a final seminar paper. See attached sample paper assignment.
    All regular philosophy faculty are likely to teach one or both CTW classes in the future. We will thus provide CTW faculty development at departmental meetings. Because most philosophy classes already involve significant amounts of critical thinking and written work, we expect all faculty to contribute immediately. We thus anticipate the faculty development sessions being open forums with the CTW ambassador moderating the discussion, with those who are teaching (or have taught) the CTW classes (in pilot) discussing what they will do (or are doing or have done), and with all members of the Department contributing to the discussion. The goal is to bring our considerable knowledge and experience to play in order to determine the best format for the CTW classes in order to encourage the most student learning.The professors will give each student’s final draft two grades: one on critical thinking and one on writing. The grades will be given on the A-F scales with +/-. See attached grading scale. In philosophy, critical thinking is the skill of correctly evaluating the arguments made by others and composing good arguments of one’s own. In this document, “writing” refers to the skill of writing clear, well organized, and grammatically correct English prose. Professors will report these grades to the Department’s Assessment Coordinator (Dr. Andrew J. Cohen). This information, jointly with other assessment data currently being collected, the professor’s qualitative impressions of student work, and a draft assessment report written by the Assessment Coordinator, will be discussed at the Department’s annual assessment meeting. The report will, if necessary, indicate recommended changes to the CTW courses or the assessment of CTW. The Assessment Coordinator will then revise the report as needed and submit it to the General Education Subcommittee and Weave Online.Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Physics and Astronomy (Brian Thoms ) YesThe Department of Physics and Astronomy CTW plan is to introduce two new courses. The first is a three credit hour junior level lab course, Phys3300 (Advanced Physics Laboratory), which will replace several existing one credit hour lab courses. The course will be offered each fall term and will typically be taken by physics majors in their junior year. The second course is a three credit hour research project, Phys4900 (Research Project), and will replace the current one credit hour course Phys4950 (Senior Research). This course will be taught each spring term and will typically be taken by senior physics majors. The plan is for the first course to establish and develop both critical thinking through writing and laboratory research skills which can be further developed in the Research Project.

    The definition of critical thinking used by the department for both these courses includes the following aspects from the university's learning outcomes in the core:
    a. Students develop research questions appropriate for research.
    b. Students appropriately collect experimental or theoretical data to address identified research questions.
    c. Students analyze and interpret data to evaluate research questions.
    d. Students use results of data analysis to formulate new research questions.

    In addition, the department adds the following aspects of critical thinking important to scientific writing:
    e. Students choose appropriate ways to communicate information in words, graphs, and figures.
    f. Students communicate correct kinds of information in each section of scientific report.
    g. Students understand and reflect an understanding of the appropriate audience.
    The CTW courses in Physics & Astronomy will be taught for the first time in Fall 2009 (PHYS3300) and Spring 2010 (PHYS4900). Both courses will be taught or co-taught by the ambassador, so no additional training is needed in the first year. Over the course of the first year, a second instructor will be prepared in CTW assessment to allow greater flexibility in the future.In each of the two courses designated CTW courses for the B.S. in Physics, a number of writing assignments will be given. The assignments in both these courses mainly consist of written reports or portions of written reports on scientific experiments (predominantly structured experiments in the first course and predominantly open ended research in the second).

    The particular assignments in each course will be designed to bring out the critical thinking process. Each assignment will be scored according to a rubric developed for use in that course.

    The performance measures will be aggregated across the class for each course to produce a separate measure of the different aspects of critical thinking through writing at the junior and the senior level. These performance measures for the various aspects of critical thinking will be reported in the annual CTW report for the B.S. in Physics.
    Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Political Science (S. Naim ) Yes The Department of Political Science has identified Dr. S. Rashid Naim as its CTW coordinator. The Department will use the University-provided CTW training. All continuing faculty in the Department will be eligible to teach CTW courses. Dr. Naim as the coordinator will work with faculty members to ensure that the CTW courses are consistent in terms of developing and practicing specific critical thinking abilities (identified below) as well as evaluation of learning outcomes in these areas of critical thinking.

    The Department endorses the definition of Critical Thinking proposed to the Faculty Senate. Political Science courses will be designed to train students to “develop the ‘wide range of cognitive skills and intellectual dispositions needed to effectively identify, analyze, and evaluate arguments and truth claims; to discover and overcome personal prejudices; to formulate and present convincing reasons in support of conclusions; and to make reasonable, intelligent decisions about what to believe and what to do.’” The Department has designated the existing POLS 3800 (Introduction to Political Research) and the as yet uncreated POLS 4900 (Senior Seminar in Political Science) as its CTW courses. Students will be required to have taken and completed POLS 3800 before they take POLS 4900 as the latter will further develop and refine skills acquired in the former. These courses will be designed to develop and practice the following specific critical thinking skills - identification of a question or issue, consideration of assumptions and/or context, formulation of a testable hypothesis, collection and presentation of facts/data, analysis of facts/data, integration and synthesis of other perspectives and presentation of conclusions.

    POLS 3800 (Introduction to Political Research) will achieve this goal through a series of assignments designed to practice one or more of the specific skills listed above. Faculty will provide students with feedback on their level of competence and/or proficiency in each of the above skills. The final grade for the course on the A-F scales with +/- will reflect proficiency in CTW as shown through the acquisition of these skills.

    In POLS 4900 (Senior Seminar in Political Science) the above skills will be developed and practiced through the production of a final term/seminar paper by each student. The production of the paper will go through multiple stages where the above critical thinking skills are developed and practiced (see instructions attached under sample assignment). Faculty will provide feedback to students at each stage of the paper’s development using a rubric developed for the purpose (see attached rubric). In some cases peer comments may also be used as a feedback and development tool. The final paper will be assigned two scores, one on critical thinking and one on writing. The critical thinking score will be based on the rubric (0-35). The writing score (which will also be the grade for the course) shall be on the A-F scales with +/-.
    The CTW plan for the Department of Political Science has already been circulated and discussed by the faculty as it was being developed. On the whole plan was well received by the faculty and feedback was incorporated into the plan as it was being developed.

    The future plan of action with regard to faculty training will be carried out in several stages. First, the final version of the plan will be discussed at the annual departmental retreat in the fall of 2008. All faculty members eligible to teach the CTW courses will be present and involved in the discussions on implementation.

    During the spring semester 2009, faculty assigned to teach the CTW courses in the fall semester of 2009 will attend a half day workshop. This workshop will be timed to coincide with preparation of syllabi for the Fall 2009 semester. The topics to be covered will include
    a. The goals and purposes of the CTW initiative and the GSU QEP initiative
    b. The departmental CTW plan and courses
    c. Incorporating CTW goals into syllabi and assignment
    d. Developing buy-in by students
    e. CTW assessment and reporting
    f. Use of rubrics and other tools for assessment and reporting
    g. Role of the faculty in further development and modification of the department’s CTW plan

    At the end of the semester, there will be a brief meeting of faculty teaching CTW courses to provide feedback on changes to be made to the courses or the CTW plan for the department.

    The training will be carried out by the department’s CTW coordinator. As faculty in subsequent semesters teach CTW courses for the first time, they will attend a similar workshop.
    Faculty teaching POLS 3800 will collect random samples of student work submitted as first and final assignment by the same student to serve as evidence of development of CT skills. These along with grades for the course will be submitted to the CTW coordinator. Faculty teaching POLS 4900 will submit each student’s CTW score on the final paper as well as the grade for the course to the CTW coordinator. In the Spring Semester of each academic year the CTW coordinator will meet with faculty teaching CTW courses to discuss the assignments, learning outcomes and suggestions for improvement or changes to the CTW courses or to the assessment process. The CTW coordinator will forward the CTW report and recommendations of the faculty to the undergraduate director for inclusion in the learning outcome report for the Department. The undergraduate director will prepare a final report on CTW to be submitted to the General Education Subcommittee and Weave Online.Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Psychology (Chris Henrich ) YesThe Psychology Department's CTW Ambassadors are Chris Henrich and Kim Darnell. The department has identified three courses for CTW designation. The first, PSYC 3530, Advanced Research Design and Data Analysis, will be required of all majors. It is a new course that will replace the currently required, PSYC 3030, Principles and Methods of Psychological Investigation. The department will also offer senior capstone CTW classes through two existing course numbers - PSYC 4800, Senior Seminar, and PSYC 4000, Laboratory Experience in Psychology. Faculty will propose sections of these courses, which will be reviewed by the department's UPC on the extent to which they apply the university's CTW policy. Students in each of the department's CTW courses will produce a final research project, through multiple drafts, that will be used to assess their engagement in critical thinking through writing.

    In addition to meeting the requirements of the University's CTW policy, the proposed CTW courses are designed to address recommendations by the American Psychological Association (APA) related specifically to the development of critical thinking skills in undergraduate psychology majors. For this reason, we shall operationally define and assess critical thinking in terms outlined by the APA, such as students' ability to "evaluate the quality of information, including differentiating empirical evidence from speculation," "use reasoning to recognize, develop, defend, and criticize arguments and other persuasive appeals," "demonstrate an attitude... of persistence, open-mindedness, tolerance for ambiguity, and intellectual engagement," and "use scientific principles and evidence to resolve conflicting claims" (APA, 2007, p. 15). Additional information about the assessment plan, including a sample scoring rubric for assignments, is provided in a separate section of this document.

    The success of this plan is linked to the availability of resources to create and sustain lines of funding for graduate learning assistants and undergraduate peer-advisors, as well as space and technology for a department CTW support center/writing lab.
    Prior to the onset of the academic year, faculty and graduate students who are involved in the instruction of CTW courses will meet to discuss the American Psychological Association's (APA) learning outcome goals for undergraduates regarding critical thinking and writing, as well as the department plans to achieve these goals through our CTW courses. This will include discussion of the structure and use of our CTW assessment rubric and sample assignments for gathering baseline and progress data. We will have follow up discussions of how the CTW implementation is going during regular faculty meetings at the end of each semester; GTAs and CTW assistants will be included in these discussions.At the end of each semester, faculty teaching CTW courses will rate the research projects of a random sample of students across three dimensions of critical thinking skills and four dimensions of integrative writing. These learning goals for critical thinking and writing have been adapted from the American Psychological Association's Guidelines for the Undergraduate Psychology Major and from Writing Across the Curriculum standards. Each dimension of critical thinking and integrative writing mechanics will be rated on a 6-point scale taken from Washington State's critical thinking rubric. For the critical thinking rubric, scores will be averaged across the various elements of each dimension. This scale spans three categories of skills - emerging (1-2), developing (3-4), and mastering (5-6). Instructors will also be asked to provide examples of assignments they consider to be in the emerging, developing and mastering ranges.

    Instructors of each of the department’s 12 CTW sections per semester will send their quantitative and qualitative CTW data to Chris Henrich, who will compile all of the quantitative ratings into a master data file and conduct descriptive statistical analyses on them. The department's goals for the intermediate course (Psyc 3530) are that there be statistically significant growth in CTW skills over the semester and that by the end of the semester, the majority of students will score in the 'developing' range. The goal of the senior capstone CTW course (Psyc 4000 or Psyc 4800) is that by the end of the semester more students will fall into the 'mastering' range, compared to ratings for Psyc 3530. In this way, learning outcome scores for Psyc 3530 will serve as a baseline for assessing change in students by the end of the senior CTW courses. In these comparisons, senior CTW outcomes will be compared with Psyc 3530 outcomes from the previous year in hopes of capturing growth in the same cohort of students.

    These ratings of students' engagement in critical thinking through writing will be reported through the Weave annual learning outcomes reports for the CTW courses. Examples of assignments flagged as emerging, developing, and mastering will be shared and discussed with the faculty and used for future CTW training sessions for faculty. Each year the UPC will also discuss possible revisions to the CTW courses and assessment rubric.
    Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Public Management and Policy (Janelle Kerlin ) YesThe Department of Public Management and Policy (formerly PAUS) has identified Shena Ashley and Katherine Willougby as the CTW Ambassadors. In the Bachelors of Public Policy degree, we will concentrate on CTW elements in the citizenship course, PAUS 3021 and the evaluation of public policy course, PAUS 4051 beginning in the fall of 2009. Both courses are required for our undergraduate majors. Critical thinking in Public Administration and Policy involves evaluating arguments and making and justifying claims based on theoretical understandings and/or empirical assessment. The two CTW courses were selected because, in addition to course specific content, they address the following critical thinking skills- identification of a question or issue, consideration of assumptions and/or context, formulation of a testable hypothesis, development of an appropriate research design to test hypotheses, integration and synthesis of other perspectives and presentation of conclusions. In PAUS 3021, the CTW assignment is a set of weekly memos submitted to the instructor where students are asked to record their experiences from their service learning activity, describe their feelings about their experiences and draw insights from the course objectives and theoretical explanations in the course readings. The instructor will evaluate the memos according to the scoring rubric and students will get experience developing CTW skills by making improvements in the memos each week based on evaluations of memos from prior weeks. In PAUS 4051 the CTW assignment consists of an evaluation research proposal where students are expected to integrate research methods and evaluation theory and apply them to a real problem. The final evaluation proposal is due at the end of the semester; however, the instructor will review and evaluate drafts of earlier versions. The drafts and the final proposal will be evaluated using a scoring rubric that is typically used by Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) when evaluating research proposals. The departmental CTW plan has been shared with faculty members in a fall 2008 faculty meeting. The CTW Ambassador will meet with the instructors of the CTW courses prior to the class start date to review CTW principles, syllabi, CTW assignments and rubrics. At the end of the semester the CTW Ambassador will meet with the instructors of the CTW courses to discuss any changes that need to be made to the CTW elements in the course. Instructors will report scores for the CTW assignments based on the rubrics at the end of each semester to the CTW Ambassador. The Ambassador will review the assignments and scores with the instructors. They will identify where students exhibited effective and ineffective critical thinking based on the average and range of scores on each part of the rubric. They will evaluate the assignments and rubrics, and recommend changes to the course, assignments, and rubrics based on this assessment to better assist in developing critical thinking through writing skills. The instructors, assisted by the CTW Ambassador, will create a report of the results and an action plan for any changes that will be forwarded to the GEAC committee and put on WeaveOnline along with other assessment data. Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Real Estate (Karen Gibler ) YesThe Department of Real Estate has identified BUSA 3000 as the first CTW course in its major sequence and RE 4700 as its second CTW course. Students will be encouraged to take BUSA 3000 early in their junior year. RE4700 is a capstone course that will require students to use material from the major courses to analyze problems and cases using mathematical analysis and writing. Because of the prerequisites (RE3010, RE4050, RE4150, RE4160, and BCOM3950), students will take this course at the end of their program of study.

    Critical thinking through writing in Real Estate is defined as using writing to assist in developing ability to select, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and draw inferences about business situations and information, and apply problem-solving skills to formulate and communicate convincing reasons in support of conclusions and solutions.

    The instructor of RE4700 will design and assign cases and projects that will require students to use critical thinking abilities expected in the real estate field.

    Specifically, the assignments will require students to:
    • Gather, organize, and classify, pertinent information, materials, and data
    • Evaluate assumptions, evidence, ideas, and information
    • Analyze information
    • Consider and/or integrate disparate ideas and information
    • Develop rational, reasonable, and informed conclusions
    • Present a clear expression of derived conclusions, judgments, and solutions


    Two case write ups will be submitted as drafts for feedback and a score using rubrics; then the students will be required to revise their work and resubmit to the instructor for evaluation and another score.

    The Department’s Ambassador will be Dr. Karen M. Gibler. All instructors will be trained through the University-provided CTW training.
    Each faculty member assigned to teach RE4700 will be required to attend any CTW training provided by the university to learn about the concepts. Each CTW assistant will be required to attend any CTW training provided by the University.

    Prior to the first semester a new instructor will teach RE4700 or a new CTW assistant is assigned, the Ambassador will meet with them to discuss CTW, the assignments, and the assessment. Instructors will be given any CTW materials obtained by the Ambassador to assist them in preparing and delivering the course. The sample syllabus, exercises, and rubric will be provided.

    The Ambassador will be available during the semester to discuss any questions, problems, or concerns.

    After the end of each semester, the Ambassador will collect the assessment data as described in the plan, analyze it in conjunction with the Department Assessment Coordinator, and then review the results with the faculty teaching RE4700 to look for ways to change and improve the CTW assignments, assessment, and training.

    Faculty assigned to RE4700 will be encouraged to attend any related continuing education workshops provided by the university.
    Instructors will report scores on the assignments at the end of each semester to the Department’s Assessment Coordinator (Dr. Alan Ziobrowski) and Ambassador. The Ambassador will review the assignments and scores with all instructors of RE4700. They will identify where students exhibited effective and ineffective critical thinking based on the average and range of scores on each part of the rubric. They will evaluate the assignments and rubrics, and recommend changes to the course, assignments, and rubrics based on this assessment to better assist in developing critical thinking through writing skills. The Assessment Coordinator will create a report of the results and an action plan for any changes that will be forwarded to the GEAC committee and put on WeaveOnline along with other assessment data.Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Religious Studies (Kathryn McClymmond ) YesThe CTW Ambassador for the Department of Religious Studies is Timothy Renick. The designated CTW courses for the Department of Religious Studies are 1) Religion 3750 and 2) Religion 4750. Religion 3750, an adaptation of the department’s current Religion 4220, is an introduction to methodological and theoretical issues in Religious Studies. Religion 4750 is an upper-level capstone seminar that will help students understand methodological and theoretical issues as they are discussed in one specific Religious Studies sub-discipline. Religion 4750 will also help students write longer, research papers. Because many of our majors propose and complete honors theses, the CTW sequence will help students develop the thinking and critical writing skills they will need to complete successfully their thesis projects.

    Critical thinking in our discipline involves carefully analyzing religious phenomena in their different contexts, developing valid interpretations of these phenomena, and communicating these interpretations persuasively in writing. Both of our CTW classes are designed with these goals in mind. They will involve reading challenging primary texts; analyzing these texts, other arguments and theories in class; and discussing course material in seminar-style settings. Faculty members will emphasize "low-stakes" short writing assignments in order to build key competencies such as close reading, summarizing texts, evaluating evidence, and constructing and evaluating arguments. At least one assignment in each course will require students to revise written work previously submitted to the instructor. Longer writing assignments, in which students will be required to use skills learned in shorter tasks, also will be required. Since all upper-level Religious Studies courses require significant writing and since many of our majors go off to top graduate programs, the goal of our CTW program will be to hone skills introduced in other courses, generate active discussions about critical thinking and writing and help students apply their skills directly to theories and questions central to the discipline.
    The Department of Religious Studies will offer its first CTW classes during the 2009-2010 academic year. During the 2008-2009 academic year, all fulltime Religious Studies faculty members will take part in two 90-minute training sessions on CTW, led by the departmental CTW ambassador. We will discuss effective CTW assignments for assessing how well students can think critically, the approved CTW template for Religious Studies courses and its implementation, and procedures for the collection of CTW data, among other issues. At least during this coming year, all fulltime faculty members will be included in the two training sessions both to afford the greatest amount of flexibility in assigning courses in 2009-2010 and to promote a departmental-wide understanding of the CTW initiative. Because there is such a strong affinity between the goals of CTW and those of the department in general, the hope and expectation is that some of the lessons and models emerging from our CTW efforts will be integrated into non-CTW courses in the department on a voluntary basis.Each year the CTW Ambassador will select randomly ten final papers from each CTW section taught in the previous calendar year. The Ambassador will then distribute these papers to a CTW assessment committee comprised of the CTW Ambassador, the department's assessment committee and all faculty members who taught a CTW course in the prior academic year. This CTW assessment committee will then evaluate these papers using the following rubric:

    FOCUS
    1. Does not have a thesis
    2. Thesis is unclear
    3. Thesis is stated but is not sustained over the course of the paper
    4. Thesis is clear but focus on thesis could be stronger
    5. Thesis is clear and is pursued throughout the paper

    ORGANIZATION
    1. There is no discernable organization
    2. The organization of the paper is unclear
    3. The organization is at times clear/sections of the paper are organized
    4. The paper is organized but in a way that is not optimal
    5. The paper’s organization is clear and logical and it helps the author make his/her claims

    EVIDENCE
    1. Supporting evidence is absent
    2. Supporting evidence is minimal or misapplied
    3. Supporting evidence is adequate in nature and application
    4. Supporting evidence is strong and appropriately applied
    5. Supporting evidence is conclusive and applied in a sophisticated fashion

    IDEAS
    1. Ideas are largely incorrect
    2. Ideas represent an adequate summary of other thinkers’ views on the subject
    3. Ideas represent a strong summary of other thinkers’ views but show little original thought
    4. Ideas show some sophisticated, creative or new ideas
    5. Ideas are consistently sophisticated and creative

    WRITING
    1. A large number of grammar, punctuation and style errors are present
    2. A fair number of grammar, punctuation and style errors are present
    3. Some grammar, punctuation OR stylistic errors are present
    4. Very few grammar, punctuation or style problems are present
    5. No significant grammar, punctuation or style problems are present

    Once all selected papers are assessed, the CTW Ambassador will aggregate all of the performance measures and draft an assessment report based on these findings. The CTW Ambassador will then convene a faculty meeting at which faculty can discuss ways to improve the rubrics, alter CTW instruction and find other ways to improve the teaching of critical thinking and writing in Religious Studies.
    Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Respiratory Therapy (Doug Gardenhire ) YesThe Division of Respiratory Therapy will merge the principles of logical reasoning, problem solving, judgment, decision making, reflection, and lifelong learning in respiratory therapy. Each respiratory therapy student, through CTW courses and the program will analyze and evaluate clinical data to formulate and enhance clinical effectiveness.Each faculty member will be trained in conjunction with the CTW ambassador and CTW liaison from the college of health and humans sciences. If possible the same faculty will teach the CTW course for a minimum of 3 years to assess reliability of course teaching and grading.

    The professors for CTW courses will send the RT CTW Ambassador the total score for both clinical simulations and case studies for each student (RT 3027), writing scores (RT 4085). These scores will be held in a database to further assess the student at a later date. The data from RT 3027, a junior level course and data for the senior CTW course (RT 4085)will be compared with:
    1. National Certification Exam given by the National Board for Respiratory Care in spring semester of senior year.
    2. Exit exam, National Registry Exam given by National Board for Respiratory Care

    All data can be reported to CTW program.
    Each faculty member will be trained in conjunction with the CTW ambassador and CTW liaison from the college of health and humans sciences.
    The professor for each CTW course will send the RT CTW Ambassador the total score, including progressing comments on all assignments. These scores and comments will be held in a database to further assess the student at a later date. The data from both courses will be compared with:

    1. National Certification Exam given by the National Board for Respiratory Care in spring semester of senior year.
    2. Exit exam, National Registry Exam given by National Board for Respiratory Care

    All data can be reported to CTW program.
    Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Risk Management & Insurance (Martin Grace ) YesWe have a two part plan. First we will get the students to write in a relatively unstructured format about class or current events. We plan on using public journals (like blogs) to get students writing and interacting with each other. These public journals will be a student's running commentary on issues involving the class topics ( either generated from classroom discussion or from actual events). Secondly, we will undertake a set of structured critical thinking assignments based on case studies. For the purposes of our courses, critical thinking is defined as the ability to evaluate a set of facts, use the facts in conjunction with a theory to develop a conclusion.

    Specifically, the structured assignments will be designed to train the student to:
    1) identify relevant facts;
    2) identify relevant issues;
    3) identify which approaches are candidates to solve the problem; and
    4)Identify the appropriate approach and be able to explain why this approach dominates others.
    We plan on having two to three of these exercises tied to risk management cases. Students will have the opportunity to revise after receiving feedback.
    We plan to develop a case grading sheet which we will hand out at the beginning of the semester. We do do an immediate case and the students will turn in their exercise.

    These results will be recorded and used as the base case against which the initial scores for subsequent cases will be judged.

    We will use the reporting system developed by the CTW group so the data are accumulated as the semester progresses.
    Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Social Work (Deborah Whitley ) YesGeorgia State University
    School of Social Work

    Critical Thinking Through Writing (CTW) Plan

    DRAFT

    The School of Social Work’s CTW Ambassador is Dr. Deborah Whitley. The CTW courses are Human Behavior and the Social Environment I (SW 3330), Human Behavior and the Social Environment II (SW 3340), and Social Welfare Policy (SW 3930). The BSW Curriculum Committee (BCC) in the School of Social Work presently oversees all course content for undergraduate social work majors. It will serve as the focal point for CTW course/assignment design and assessment to ensure designated courses have critical thinking content. The plan is for the CTW Ambassador to provide guidance/training to instructors of designated courses as they develop writing assignments that promote the demonstration of critical thinking skills. Examples of writing assignments may include writing weekly political activity logs, legislative briefs, major term papers that explore a single social issue across the life span, and journal article critiques. The instructors will provide student feedback in the form of commentary, annotation and/or application of school rubrics. Assessments for each CTW assignment and overall course grade will be reported to the CTW Ambassador at the end of the academic semesters (Fall/Spring).


    Course Descriptions

    SW 3330 Human Behavior and the Social Environment I: The course focuses on the biological, psychological, and social influences on the development of infants, children, and adolescents. Knowledge from multiple theoretical perspectives such as systems theory, learning theory, and psychosocial theory is integrated to provide a comprehensive view of infants, children, and adolescents in their social environments. The effects of race, gender, social class, culture, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and physical/mental ability will also be examined.

    SW 3340 Human Behavior and the Social Environment II: Using an ecological perspective, this course examines human behavior as individuals develop from adolescence through late adulthood in the context of family, social groups, and community. Knowledge from the biological, social and behavioral sciences is integrated to provide a comprehensive view of people in their social environment to gain an understanding of their strengths and needs as a foundation for social work practice.

    SW 3930 Social Welfare Policy: This course introduces students to the development and execution of contemporary social welfare policies and service programs in the United States. The influence of social values on policy development is highlighted relative to the differential allocation of materials, goods and services in society. Students will demonstrate critical analysis of the policy-making process by tracking the development of state public policy during the spring session of the Georgia State Legislature.
    Georgia State University
    School of Social Work

    Critical Thinking Through Writing
    Faculty Development Plan

    The School of Social Work has three courses identified as Critical Thinking Through Writing (CTW): Human Behavior Through Social Environment I (SW3330), Human Behavior Through Social Environment II (SW3340), and Social Policy (SW3930). The courses are taught by three different faculty, one who is the CTW Ambassador for the unit.

    The faculty development plan consists of three sessions: Orientation Session, Mid-semester Monitoring, and the End Semester Reporting. All components of the faculty development plan are facilitated by the CTW Ambassador. The general focus of the plan is to provide ongoing guidance to instructors of designated courses as they develop and implement writing assignments, conduct assessments, and evaluate final course outcomes that promote the demonstration of critical thinking skills. To prepare faculty and graduate assistants to meet their responsibilities for teaching CTW courses, the following faculty development plan is being instituted. The CHHS CTW Coordinator will be invited to participate in the three sessions to gain a perspective on the unit’s progress in executing CTW courses, the needed resources, and the techniques used to execute successful outcomes. The Orientation session will occur during Maymester/Summer semester. This will allow faculty who will teach courses in the upcoming Fall and Spring semesters, giving them enough time to prepare their courses with appropriate CTW content.

    Orientation Session
    Relevance of Critical Thinking Through Writing in Social Work Practice
    Overview of Writing Assignments in Designated Courses
    SW3330
    Journal Article Critiques
    Peer Review Critiques

    SW3340
    Final Term Paper
    Submission of paper outline
    Preliminary review of subject analysis
    Final submission of paper
    SW3930
    Political Activity Logs
    Weekly submission of activities during the state legislative session
    Legislative Brief
    Part I: Background of social problem
    Part II: Legislative Process
    Writing Supports for Students

    Course Assessments
    Grading Procedures
    Grading
    Grading Rubric for Social Work Writing Assignments

    CTW Reporting Requirements

    Due to the timing of the initial session, graduate assistants may not be assigned to the course by Maymester/Summer session. An abbreviated session will be held in August and/or January to orient graduate assistants on their responsibilities.

    Mid-semester Monitoring Session
    During the midpoint of each semester, a meeting will be scheduled with CTW instructors and graduate assistants to discuss problems/successes with course writing assignments, progress students are making toward the final writing assignment, and any possible course assignment revisions. Faculty will also be able to communicate by email or individual meetings when necessary.

    End Semester Session
    CTW faculty will be required to submit an end of semester report to the CTW Ambassador. The final report will list the CTW courses, learning objectives, assignment descriptions, rubric scores, grades for individual assignments as well as final courses, other learning outcome measures, or other qualitative information that informs how the CTW objectives have been met. During the end semester session, faculty and graduate assistants will provide discussion on the problem/successes of writing assignments, usefulness of writing supports provided to students, overall teaching factors that facilitate student success in the course, as well as discussion of the final report outcomes. Any elements of the course that should be changed or sustained will be discussed for subsequent integration into the course.


    5/27/2008
    At the end of each academic year (Spring semester), the CTW Ambassador will create an annual assessment report which will list the CTW courses, learning objectives, assignment descriptions, rubric scores, grades and/or other learning outcome measures, and other qualitative information that informs how the CTW objectives have been met. The assessment report will be presented to the BCC for review. Based upon the results of the report, the BCC, with the CTW Ambassador, will provide recommendations to the instructor to strengthen or sustain the critical writing elements within the course. A summary of the CTW annual report and BCC responses will be reported to the full faculty in the subsequent Fall semester. The CTW Ambassador will submit the final report, with any recommended changes, to the General Education Subcommittee and WeaveOnline.
    Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Sociology (Wendy Simonds ) YesAll sociology majors will have the opportunity to take two CTW courses beginning in Fall, 2008 (provided we have the staff necessary to implement this plan at that time). "Sociological Methods" will become the first required CTW course -- required for all majors; and a variety of upper level courses will rotate as CTW courses as well (but will not be taught exclusively as CTW courses). These courses will be offered under umbrella course headings that are named for our concentration areas: "CTW in Family, Health, and the Life Course," "CTW in Gender and Sexuality,"and "CTW in Race and Urban Studies." We will add a fourth umbrella title for courses that are outside our three concentration areas as well: "CTW in General Sociology."

    Our goal will be to offer three or four CTW sections of courses (other than "Methods") each semester (beginning Fall, 2008 -- again, provided we have the necessary staff). Ideally, for their second CTW course, students will be able to choose from options spread across our three concentration areas and general sociology.

    These rotating courses will include:
    Under "Family, Health, and the Life Course":
    "Birth and Parenthood" (3152);
    "Cognition and Society" (3040);
    "Families and Society" (3101);
    Aging and Society" (4116);
    and "Self, Identity, and Social Interaction" (3110).


    Under "Gender and Sexuality":
    "Gender and Society (3216)";
    "Sexual and Intimate Violence" (4150);
    and "Sexuality and Society" (3156).

    Under "Race and Urban Studies":
    "Race and Ethnic Relations" (3212);
    "Urban Sociology" (4226);
    "Activism, Protest, & Revolution" (3220);
    "Crime and Punishment" (3224);
    "Deviant Behavior" (3222);
    and "Educational Sociology" (4380).


    Under "CTW in General Sociology":
    "Sociological Theory" (3030);
    and "Wealth, Power, and Inequality" (3201).

    Syllabi for each of these sample courses are included.

    How we define "critical thinking through writing": Assignments in CTW courses will be geared to develop students' analytical, interpretive, and communication skills. Students will be assessed in terms of how well they are able, through their writing: to demonstrate their understanding of sociological research reports/articles/books/theories; to analyze and interpret these research reports/articles/books/theories; and to use results of their analyses to formulate new research questions and/or to extend analyses in new directions.
    Before the semester in which we begin offering CTW courses (and before the start of each subsequent semester in which we offer these courses), I will schedule a meeting with all faculty teaching them. In the meeting, participants will discuss various strategies for integrating CTW elements into the course; different ways in which opportunities for revision of writing can be accomplished; and I will distribute the rubric used for assessment to ensure that everyone is familiar with it before they begin teaching their courses. Since these courses are not significantly different from the courses as taught previous to the implementation of the CTW program, I don't think this change will require additional meetings during each semester, but if faculty desire to meet midsemester as well, I will schedule and facilitate any additional meetings we have. During the first year, I will either meet with participating faculty after each semester's end to discuss whether any modifications are necessary to our program, or solicit feedback from them by email (to determine whether a full meeting is necessary).Instructors in CTW courses will fill out an assessment sheet on each student's performance at the end of each course, in which they will evaluate students on each CTW assignment utilizing the criteria mentioned above: Students will be assessed in terms of how well they are able, through their writing: to demonstrate their understanding of sociological research reports/articles/books/theories; to analyze and interpret these research reports/articles/books/theories; and to use results of their analyses to formulate new research questions and/or to extend analyses in new directions.Details
    majorUsing UTPCTW PlanFac Dev PlansData Gatheringview details
    Women s Studies (Julie Kubala ) YesIn Women’s Studies, we plan to apply the CTW designation to three courses: one, WSt 3010, Feminist Theories, is required for all majors and minors; students are also required to choose between one of the other two, WSt 4920 or 4950, Internship or Senior Research, for their majors. These courses will help students develop cognitive and analytical skills necessary to fulfill our learning outcomes: they will be able to identify and analyze arguments, they will be able to demonstrate knowledge of theoretical perspectives pertinent to women’s studies, they will be able to demonstrate their writing skills as defined by the ability to organize material, provide sufficient evidence, and formulate new research questions. In 3010, students’ writing assignments comprise 60% of their grade: 40% is in eight short, low-stakes, analytical papers, and 20% in the final analytical paper. Because the low-stakes papers are, in fact, ungraded (though students receive credit for them), they cannot be revised. Students must, though, participate in the revision process for their final paper. In 4920, students write both a journal and a short final paper, which comprise 70% of their grade; students in the 4950 focus on one major research paper, which comprises their only grade for the class. In both these courses students will be required to participate in the revision process for their final papers.There are two aspects to our faculty development plans. Because we are a small department, we have the same two people teach all the CTW courses, at least for now, and I am one of them. In order to ensure cooperation, I am planning to meet with Dr. Megan Sinnott throughout the summer in oder to collaboratively develop assessment procedures. We will then present these procedures to the core faculty, since they will also participate in the revisions called for through the assessment process.In order to gather and assess our students’ engagement in critical thinking through writing, we will collect the final, post-revision, papers in each of these classes, as well as a sample of the weekly papers. The undergraduate committee will assess these papers according to the following rubrics; the core faculty will then discuss the assessment results. These rubrics will operate on a 5 point scale, ranging from excellent to poor.

    For 3010: Students will:
    1) identify and analyze main points and theoretical arguments in their readings for class, as shown in their weekly papers
    2) demonstrate knowledge of theoretical perspectives, in both weekly and final papers
    3) demonstrate writing skills through their ability to organize material, provide sufficient evidence, and articulate a coherent thesis in their final papers
    For 4920/4950: Students will
    1) demonstrate writing skills through their ability to organize material, provide sufficient evidence, and articulate a coherent thesis, in their final papers
    2) demonstrate knowledge of and ability to use appropriate theoretical perspectives
    3) apply interdisciplinary women’s studies knowledge and skills to a particular project, such as the final paper
    4) connect what they have learned to lived experiences; in other words, demonstrate the implications of their project beyond the university, as shown through their papers

    I will then aggregate the rubric scores for the department, list the specific descriptions of assignments, and present examples of excellent, very good, good, fair, and poor papers. This information will prove useful for us, the core faculty, to meet and discuss how we can improve the assignments, the rubrics, or anything else we deem necessary.
    Details