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CRITICAL THINKING E-COURSE DESCRIPTION Spring 2013 The course description contains information about: 1. Instructor 2.

Course Goals 3. Course Components 4. Assignments and Grading 5. Course Timeline and Topics 1. INSTRUCTOR: Agnieszka Alboszta Instructor and Curriculum Developer Generally available by email: Monday-Friday 10am-4pm Pacific Time

2. COURSE GOALS By the end of this course, participants should be able to: a. Understand and explain critical thinking concepts and patterns b. Identify relevant resources for developing and using critical thinking c. Identify and analyze teaching techniques and materials to incorporate critical thinking in teaching and learning d. Apply critical thinking to classroom teaching and materials development: redesign and implement instructional units and lesson plans with activities that require critical thinking 3. COURSE COMPONENTS This is an asynchronous course. This means participants can retrieve materials and post discussion responses and other assignments any time during a given week (before the weekly deadline). It is strongly encouraged, however, that readings be accessed as early in the week as possible so that related tasks can be completed in a timely manner. Also, discussions related to specific readings can commence during the first few days of the week and have time to develop as the week moves along. Materials for the course and course interactions will be on Blackboard: Readings on current issues from online journals, reports, and guides, which are available at no additional cost. Articles can be read online or offline. Online discussions related to readings and class work. Evaluation of participant teaching methods and materials. Weekly assignments to practice and apply course concepts and materials. 4. ASSIGNMENTS AND GRADING This class is Pass / No Pass. Participants will receive a final score (maximum = 100%) at the end of the course. Participants with a final score of 70% or higher will pass the course. There is a substantial amount of work in this course. You should put aside 6 -10 hours each week on average to do the readings, participate in discussions, and complete the tasks. Take time to think about your weekly schedule and to plan so that you can do a little course work each day or every other day instead of waiting until the end of the week. Again, since this course is asynchronous, you need not log on at any particular time of the week for a lecture or discussion. This allows more flexibility. However, it demands that you manage your own time wisely throughout the week and not wait until the last minute to read and complete assignments. Grades will be made available to participants on the Blackboard course management system as work is completed: Scoring system. Participants will each receive an overall percentage score for this class based on work in three areas:

Discussion (discussion and exercise grades) 30% Assignment (tasks, including journals) 30% Group Project (all project grades) 40% Weekly Online Discussions: Participants individually contribute (post) substantive comments on at least one discussion topic per week. A variety of discussion topics will be available on pedagogical issues and practical teaching tips and techniques. In order to create as realistic of a discussion as possible, participants are expected to interact with colleagues by regularly checking the discussions and commenting or building on ideas to move the discussion forward. Posting (a minimum) of two times to each discussion is a good rule of thumb. Discussion posts should adhere to guidelines explained in a separate document, Discussion Information & Guidelines (available in the Orientation Materials folder). Weekly Tasks. Over the weeks, participants will complete a series of tasks that enhance comprehension of critical thinking and its application. The work will be cumulative in the sense that it is all part of a term-long process, with each piece building on the previous. Guidelines for scoring will be laid out for each task in assignment overviews and discussion prompts. Exercises. In addition to discussions and tasks, there are occasional exercises that will be done in small groups. Course Project. The course project consists of four components: analysis, lesson plan, critical thinking assessment, and action plan, which are developed and refined in the weekly tasks. Participants will collaborate with one or two others on the analysis, lesson plan, and assessment portions of the Course Project. Certificates. Participants who complete all four parts of the Course Project and earn a score of 70% or higher in the course will receive certificates of completion. Deadlines. All assignments are due each week on or before Tuesday, 10 AM Pacific Time (Los Angeles time). In several weeks, there will be an early or mid-week deadline, so be sure to read assignments instructions/information early in the week. Note that you will need to start the assignments at the beginning of the week. Set aside a block of time each week (probably 3-5 hours) to complete readings and time to complete assignments for the week (probably another 3-5 hours). No late work will be accepted without prior arrangement with the instructor, or in the case of an emergency.

5. COURSE TIMELINE AND TOPICS The course opens with Orientation & Week 1 by Monday, April 1st, 12:00 AM PT. After Week 1, each week will end and the new week will open on Tuesday morning at 10:00AM PT. Note that the last week is slightly shorter. ******To compare your time to the Pacific Time Zone, go to: Type Eugene, Oregon USA in the Search for City box. You will see Eugene time at the top of the left column.******

Orientation to course & Week 1: April 1 April 9 Getting to know the UO Blackboard system Introductory discussions -- Definitions of critical thinking -- Intellectual Traits

Week 6: May 7 - 14 Peer assessment Course Project, Part 2B: Revising the Lesson Plan

Week 2: April 9 - 16 Frameworks for critical thinking Course Project, Part 1A: Analyzing a course using elements of reasoning

Week 7: May 14 - 21 Assessment (formative, summative) Course Project, Part 3A: Assessing CT

Week 3: April 16 - 23 Intellectual standards and the Socratic method Course Project, Part 1B: Evaluating the analysis using intellectual standards

Week 8: May 21 - 28 Constraints on teaching CT Self-assessment Course Project, Part 3B: Revising CT Assessment

Week 4: April 23 - 30 Lesson plans and instructional strategies Critical thinking (CT) objectives Preparing to redesign instruction to include CT

Week 9: May 28 June 4 Course Project, Part 4: Creating an Action Plan Self-assessment and reflection

Week 5: April 30 May 7 Course Project, Part 2A: Incorporating CT into a Lesson Plan Developing critical thinking

Week 10: June 4 - 7 (note that this week ends on a Friday) Course wrap-up

2013 Critical Thinking, American English Institute, University of Oregon