Location

Room 211

Type of Presentation

Individual paper/presentation (20 minute presentation)

Target Audience

Higher Education

Abstract

In this presentation, we outline the challenges faced when we adopted a LEAP-inspired general education curriculum with several critical skills as outcomes but created no support structure to deliver and foster them. Our General Learning Outcomes (GLOs) include writing, information literacy, speaking, and critical thinking; however, we had faculty leadership, expertise, and tutoring support only for writing. While writing assessment showed strong results and ultimately created curriculum change, the outsourced assessments of info lit, critical thinking, and speaking gave us widely divergent and unsatisfactory results. As one consequence, assessment efforts stalled in those areas. Looking at the successful development model established by faculty ownership of writing, we speculated--with some confidence--that because no faculty body was tasked with owning and fostering these essential skills, assessment results would continue to be substandard unless someone took charge.

Thus, the partnership already existing between faculty in information literacy and writing took the lead and formed an ad hoc group to devise materials and support mechanisms for teaching and learning. Issues so far have included enhancing info lit support as a consequence of the revised ACRL Framework and its shifting conception of “research”; identifying willing faculty who have the requisite expertise in speaking and critical thinking; and identifying suitable opportunities for professional development. Our challenge now: how to move forward with this unprecedented grassroots initiative.

Presentation Description

What happens when four critical skill learning objectives are adopted—but not really supported--across the curriculum? This presentation describes what happens when two faculty experts in writing and information literacy, seeing disappointing assessment results in information literacy, speaking, and critical thinking, decide to create a grassroots support network for faculty. Together, we took the initiative to develop a Critical Skills Team. Now, we ponder our next steps: recruiting allies, looking for professional development opportunities, or laying out an implementation plan?

Session Goals

By attending this session:

Participants will learn how faculty at one university have formed a team that collates expertise on critical skills, including writing, information literacy, critical thinking, and speaking.

Participants will learn how this collaboration is being used to enhance support for and assessment of critical skills.

Session Objectives

After attending this session:

Participants will be able to apply strategies for collaborating with campus partners at their own institutions.

Participants will be able to articulate ideas for enhancing critical skill support at their own institutions.

Keywords

collaboration, information literacy, writing, critical thinking, critical skills, learning outcomes

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Sep 28th, 10:50 AM Sep 28th, 11:10 AM

Four GLOs Walk Into a Classroom: The Challenge of Supporting Critical Skill Growth

Room 211

In this presentation, we outline the challenges faced when we adopted a LEAP-inspired general education curriculum with several critical skills as outcomes but created no support structure to deliver and foster them. Our General Learning Outcomes (GLOs) include writing, information literacy, speaking, and critical thinking; however, we had faculty leadership, expertise, and tutoring support only for writing. While writing assessment showed strong results and ultimately created curriculum change, the outsourced assessments of info lit, critical thinking, and speaking gave us widely divergent and unsatisfactory results. As one consequence, assessment efforts stalled in those areas. Looking at the successful development model established by faculty ownership of writing, we speculated--with some confidence--that because no faculty body was tasked with owning and fostering these essential skills, assessment results would continue to be substandard unless someone took charge.

Thus, the partnership already existing between faculty in information literacy and writing took the lead and formed an ad hoc group to devise materials and support mechanisms for teaching and learning. Issues so far have included enhancing info lit support as a consequence of the revised ACRL Framework and its shifting conception of “research”; identifying willing faculty who have the requisite expertise in speaking and critical thinking; and identifying suitable opportunities for professional development. Our challenge now: how to move forward with this unprecedented grassroots initiative.