To discuss how various critical thinking paradigms (e.g., from Richard Paul, John Chaffe, C. Travis and C. Wade and William Perry) apply to helping online students to think about course content rather than just merely memorizing content. To illustrate how an online course can be designed thematically to create learning environments for connected knowledge and thought. To examine the effectiveness of asynchronous discussion groups through cooperative and collaborative learning. And To engage in a discussion as to what kinds of questions and experiential exercises we might pose to students in asynchronous discussion groups to enhance their ability to analyze, synthesize, apply and evaluate course content—the objectives outlined by The Institute for Higher Education Policy (March 1999) as benchmarks for success in internet-based distance education.
While Bloom proposed his continuum of cognitive and affective learning domains as early as 1956, research tends to show most college teaching focuses on the simpler cognitive levels such as memorizing factual information and comprehension (Chaffe, 1999; Paul, 1997; Elder & Paul, 1997).
Critical thinking researchers such as Linda Elder and Richard Paul see content as originating from a way of thinking about a discipline, and as such, content is a network of concepts with logical interdependent connections. Teachers need to reevaluate the design of course content (Wade & Tavris, 1997; Paul, 1997) and seek instructional materials and activities guiding students through the process of developing higher level thinking competencies as well as content knowledge. Depth rather than breadth of introductory content Reducing the sheer amount of material covered Presenting science as a social enterprise, strongly influencing--and being influenced by--human thought and action Fostering scientific ways of thinking
As such, students are comfortable in answering such questions as: &quot;Who, what, when, where, how__________________?&quot; and &quot;Retell____________________in your own words.&quot; or &quot;What is the main idea of________?&quot; (knowledge and comprehension type questions) &quot;What would you predict/infer from______? Or &quot;What ideas can you add to_____? Or (Synthesis) &quot;Do you agree with______? Why or why not?&quot; Or &quot;What criteria would you use to access______?&quot; (Evaluation) From John Chaffe &quot;How is_____an example of_______?&quot; Or How is______related to?&quot; (Application) &quot;How does_______compare/contrast with___________? Or &quot;What evidence can you present to support________________?&quot; (Analysis)
How faculty perceives both students and their own role in the learning process dramatically affects: If students are able and capable of answering critical thinking questions. Whether students are presented with an active role to construct content in ways relevant and connected to particularly everyday life. Perry on How Faculty View Learning— The Dualism View In a dualism view knowledge is certain, factual and additive. Students take the role of taking it in—memorizing. Teacher's role is that of authority--the giver of knowledge. Peer collaboration is irrelevant. The Multiplicity View Knowledge in the multiplicity mode is not presented as concretely as with dualism so differences between multiple perspectives are learned. But it ultimately leads to one way to think because students are expected to conform to the teacher’s thinking. Perry’s Relativism View Knowledge is viewed as dependent on context. One applies criteria to evaluate ideas, data and values. Student are expected to think independently and begin to analyze, synthesize and evaluate content because they are learning the criteria to apply to what they are learning. To guide students becomes the role of teacher in this model. The role of peers becomes more important if they too use rules of evidence, logic and the tools of a discipline. The Fourth Model Commitment in Relativism… Knowledge becomes even more personally (affectively) constructed and students decide what works best to their own learning. The teacher is a facilitator of this independent learning and collaborates in the construction of knowledge; in particular, the teacher models tolerance and rigor. Peers are viewed as partners in this community of learning.
What we discover then is a commitment to Relativism. There is a shared community…ability to share views and debate in a secure climate. Here the roles of emotion, intuition, imagination and values in thinking are integrated with the learning process. Focus on Pedagogy Elaine Showalter (1999) describes that while academics may &quot;see an interest in pedagogy as the last refuge of a scoundrel,&quot; it is essential teachers talk about pedagogy. Wilbert J. McKeachie ( McKeachie's Teaching Tips) addresses such educational issues as learner-centered teaching, running class discussions and teaching for higher-level goals.
Structure is the What “ What content am I going to teach?&quot; &quot;What questions or problems will be central to the course? What concepts will be fundamental?” &quot;What amount of information will students need to access?&quot;“ What point of view or frame of reference do they need to learn to reason within?&quot; Such questions address one's concept of the course as well as the general plan for implementing that concept. Adopted from Richard Paul and Linda Elder Tactical (Process) Questions are: &quot;How am I going to teach so as to make the structure work? &quot;How am I going to get the students to be actively involved? &quot;How am I going to get them to develop insights, understanding, knowledge and ability that are essential? &quot;How am I going to get them to learn to reason their way to the answers to questions in the field?&quot; These questions address the type of role faculty gives to students.
Psychological principles created through themes not text chapters Themes I and II: Defining the parameters and thinking of the discipline Theme III: Thinking scientifically and Applying Theme II
Online Lectures Are used to construct the themes. Principles, concepts, theories, methods and applications are discussed throughout each unit. Hypertext links are interwoven within and between units.
When teachers integrate questions with their &quot;lectures&quot; they are defining the task, expressing problems and delineating issues rather than giving answers that tend to signal a full stop in thought. It cannot be expected students will ask thought-stimulating types of questions when teachers view their role as presenting knowledge for they too are not thinking through their own subject.
Such tactics include: Asking students to explain course concepts to a new learner. This is one level of developing the application of content. Having students summarize course lectures to one another. This begins the process of thinking actively and reflectively. Integrating debates around content. Being able to debate on substantial issues related to a discipline's concepts, principles and methodology sanctions students to view multiple ways of examining an issue.
Debates: Encourages students to engage in analysis and synthesis especially when they take a side clashing from their own beliefs. It also furnishes a new context to apply their understanding of a discipline's tools to think through content. Such experiences can lead to formulating hypotheses, asking questions, and examining alternative explanations of content
Toby Klinger Presentation-^th Sloan-C International Conference on Distance Learning
Integrating Critical Thinking into Online Courses: Teaching and Learning of Introductory Psychology Online Toby Klinger Johnson County Community College 6th International Conference on Asynchronous Learning Networks November 3-5, 2000
Overview <ul><li>Defining critical thinking through outcomes competencies </li></ul><ul><li>Examining assumptions about teaching and learning </li></ul><ul><li>Looking at how our assumptions influence the design of learning environments </li></ul><ul><li>Viewing online learning being a paradigm for developing thinking </li></ul>
Bloom’s Taxonomy Affective Learning Receiving Responding Valuing Organizing Characterizing by value Adopted from Wisconsin Instructional Design System
Models to Consider <ul><li>Competencies and higher order thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Goals in Science for All Americans </li></ul><ul><li>Wade and Travis </li></ul>
Student Perception of Learning: Learning means Regurgitating <ul><li>"What is the main idea of________?" </li></ul>But Clueless with Answering How does_______compare/contrast with___________? Or "What evidence can you present to support________________?"
But Who Has Created Student Passivity for Learning? <ul><li>William Perry (1970) </li></ul>Worldviews about the view of knowledge, the roles of student, peers and teacher affect ways in which teachers organize content and process.
Dualism versus Relativism Tasks reflect lower levels of thought Tasks reflecting higher level thinking Rote memorization and simple explanations Using evidence skillfully to support and generate possible new relationships
So What Are We Talking About? Traditional class reform or online course delivery…Could it be both? Structure and Process
Online Course Design <ul><li>Themes interwoven with content </li></ul><ul><li>Underlying principles connecting a significant percent of content </li></ul><ul><li>Units of content integrated with exercises and activities </li></ul><ul><li>Questions directing the learning of content </li></ul>
Content Designed Around Theoretical Frameworks
Active learning usually doesn't occur spontaneously Interactive teaching is best defined as the encouragement of student questioning and participation. An opportunity for reflection on the content learned and the learning process is essential (Savery & Duffy, 1995).
Sociocultural Theory <ul><li>Lev Vygotsky predicted that thought evolves from guided participation through cooperative interchange with more able peers. </li></ul><ul><li>Cognitive change is social in nature—it stems from joint problem-solving (Rogoff, 1990) </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing of different points of view while attempting to achieve a common goal leads to learning. </li></ul>
Questions are so deeply buried in traditional instruction that as Paul and Elder (1997) argue we rarely recognize that all assertions are answers to implicit questions.
<ul><li>As content builds on concepts the questions progress to higher level thinking . </li></ul>
And as the Unit Continues and Other Units Connect, the Questions …
Tactics of Thought and Collaboration <ul><li>Part of the premise of what makes active learning work is that students collaborate. </li></ul><ul><li>The prediction is that listening to others enhances learning and thinking and various tactics develop dialogues between students, teacher and peers. </li></ul>
But what is the role of “teacher” Allow students to respond to questions See if and how other students respond to peers’ postings Respond with both positive and constructive feedback
But What If A Student Is Confusing a Concept or Worse Yet? <ul><li>Role of teacher is to scaffold and to become a cooperative peer. </li></ul>
Role of peers To read fellow students’ postings To question a peer if they don’t think they may have responded accurately To add or acknowledge which questions have already been addressed and proceed to other questions.
In Debates Students Begin Asking Questions Around an Issue <ul><li>But when do they begin to generate questions around content. </li></ul><ul><li>In the last Unit of the course, while the web lectures and text readings are there, they have to generate questions around the themes themselves. </li></ul>
And Even After Most Students Generated Questions, My Role Continued
Issues About Collaboration <ul><li>Students have not been exposed to collaborative techniques. </li></ul><ul><li>They tend to answer their selected questions, but don’t usually respond directly to others. </li></ul><ul><li>Debates tend to lead to more collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Yet there are the doers and those who don’t and won’t take on the responsibility. </li></ul><ul><li>What is the faculty’s role—is it to provide positive feedback when correct, and constructive criticisms or questions for weak answers? </li></ul><ul><li>Or should discussion be worked out among students. </li></ul>
Is Technology Still Not Sophisticated Enough to Allow for Seamless Dialogue?
For more information… Toby Klinger, Associate Professor Johnson County Community College [email_address]