Learning Assessment Community of Practice: Join Now!Submitted by Brett Fulkerson-Smith, Philosophy

Now, perhaps more than ever, students need to think critically. Our students are under a steady barrage of information, particularly from online sources, friends, family, and media. It is only by thinking critically that students can deeply understand, comprehensively evaluate, and effectively respond to this information.

Beginning this year, the Community of Practice on Learning Assessment will focus on critical thinking. This CoP offers full-time and adjunct faculty an opportunity to collaborate with colleagues to, among other things, develop a deeper understanding of critical thinking as a mindset and as a set of skills, and the strategies to develop both in students. Since there is no consensus about what critical thinking is or requires, full-time and adjunct faculty from all disciplines are invited to participate in this CoP; a diversity of perspectives will no doubt inform a deeper understanding of critical thinking and improved engagement with students in it.

In addition to facilitating the achievement of personal goals relating to the understanding, teaching, and assessment of critical thinking, the CoP has several common goals. Participants will meet monthly on-campus and participate in field excursions to possibly:

  • Read and discuss The Palgrave Handbook of Critical Thinking in Higher Education.
  • Participate in “How We Argue”, a seminar offered by ThinkerAnalytix and the Harvard University Department of Philosophy.
  • Learn how to assess critical thinking.
  • Develop an online repository for learning activities and assignments designed to improve critical thinking among students.
  • Share findings with the campus community through the Academy News and other venues.

If you are interested in joining this CoP or have questions, please contact Brett Fulkerson-Smith at: bfulkers@harpercollege.edu.