Critical Thinking at CSULBBest Practices from Three DisciplinesGalen T. Pickett Mary Caputi Jody Cormack Tiffini TravisProfessor, Physics & Astronomy Professor, Political Science Assoc. Professor, Physical Therapy Librarian
Introductory Comments: Critical Thinking at CSULB• GE and the LEAP Model• Critical Thinking as a way of life• Three disciplines – Physics, Political Science, PhysicalTherapy• Information Literacy a crucial aspect of critical thinking
The Course: PHYS 151• First in a 3-semester sequence• Engineering / Physical Sciences / Biochem• 600 head count / year• Content: “Mechanics and Heat”• Logistics: large lecture / small laboratory• Homework / Social Homework / Laboratory
The Rubric (Physical Problem Solving)• DIRECTOR: Plans solution, identifies givens,unknowns• INVESTIGATOR: Makes ideas in the planquantitative / researches• EXECUTIVE: Synthesizes the ideas, doesmathematics• SKEPTIC: Did problem get solved, whatassumptions, what are limits?
The Data / Solutions• Value-added assessment pre/post instruction:• Intervention: UD Physics Majors, support CT-35-30-25-20-15-10-5051015SolvingConfidenceSophisticationUnderstandConceptApplyConceptRealWorldConnectionInterpretingAfter (N=78) Before (N=119)
Three Examples of Critical ThinkingSkills As Used in Political Science1. Distinguishing a Fact Froman Opinion.Ex: Sending aid to Haiti is afutile project.
2. Does the Reasoning Support theConclusion?• Ex: My daughter has managed to getall her needed classes at CSULB.Therefore, the state legislature neednot procure more funding for publiceducation.
3. Are There Fallacies in the Reasoning?• Ex: The Supreme Court’s defendingObamacare is just the first steptoward a government-controlledeconomy. There goes free enterpriseand the American way. (“SlipperySlope” Reasoning)
Reflection-for-Action Activity:As part of an online course, students apply the followingalgorithm to written and video casesGraded on level of self-reflection, not accuracy of answers
Reflection-on-Action Activity:While on their first internship, students are put into Beachboarddiscussion groups according to their practice setting– At least 1 person per week posts a critical incident• Any experience that was unique, complex, or confusingresulting from direct patient care• Clearly and concisely describe patient issue, what youdid, and what surprised you, and what you did about it• Include reflection on what you might do differently– Each person in the group should respond• Knowledge - ask questions to seek further information• Knowledge - Provide references• Personal experience (similar critical incident and solution)– Graded on depth of discussion (Dunfee et al, 2008)
Information literacy is not just aresearch paper!Learner centered classrooms that requiredecision making based upondata, theory, research, or information requirestudents to use higher order informationliteracy skillsThese skills are demonstrated and measurable beyondtraditional “library” research:Determine the Extent of Information NeededEvaluate Information and its Sources CriticallyUse Information Effectively to Accomplish a Specific Purpose
Problem based learning and ILPhysical therapy: Evidence based practice.Physics:Critical analysis of information inthe lab setting. Extrapolating newknowledge from the data gatheredPolitical science: Distinguishing a fact froman opinion.
IL outcomes that can be assessedPhysical therapyThe information literate student evaluates information andits sources critically and incorporates selected informationinto his or her knowledge base and value systemPhysicsThe information literate student selects the mostappropriate investigative methods or information retrievalsystems for accessing the needed information.Political scienceThe information literate student articulates and appliesinitial criteria for evaluating both the information and itssources.
Misconceptions about Information LiteracyEvery assignment needs outside research to assessinformation literacy skillsEvery course needs to get a library instruction session forstudents to learn these skillsEvery information literacy standard needs to beaddressed and assessed in every course
Additional informationCSULB Assessment of General Education Essential Skillshttp://www.csulb.edu/divisions/aa/ge/faculty/skills/index.htmlInformation literacy Value Rubrichttp://www.aacu.org/value/rubrics/pdf/InformationLiteracy.pdfView these slides
Concluding Comments• Assessment of critical thinking very diverse – recognize diversity ofapproaches among all the faculty• Tied into LEAP outcomes, program-level outcomes, and specific courselearning outcomes• Assessment in the classroom based on disciplinary-specific guidelines(what determines competency)• With information literacy competency, it is crucial to shedmisconceptions about “information literacy”