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Critical Thinking Initiatives

Challenging Students to Think Better

Discipline – Focused Projects

Purpose:
The Critical Thinking Discipline-Focused Projects furthers FSU’s critical thinking development commitment by supporting academic disciplines working to purposefully infuse critical thinking into upper-division curriculum. In addition, faculty participants engage in cross-disciplinary forms of evaluation in order to help build a university-wide culture of critical thinking.

Application Type: Academic Department

Grant Duration: Two Years (Year 1: summer through spring; Year 2: fall and spring)

Funding Level: Up to $10,000 paid in two annual installments ($5000 annually) based upon the proposed budget

Participant Obligations:
1) Participate in critical thinking professional development programs including presentations, group meetings and one-on-one sessions during the summer of Year 1. Participate in 1 – 2 Critical Thinking Initiative programs during the academic years.

Rationale: Provides foundation and common understanding of critical thinking as envisioned at FSU. Opportunity to develop network of campus critical thinking advocates and practitioners. Provide guidance in development of discipline-refined critical thinking rubrics. Continued support and professional development.

2) Develop discipline-refined critical thinking rubrics for undergraduate programs at FSU based upon the AAC&U Critical Thinking VALUE Rubric. (If the unit previously developed the rubric because of the efforts of a Faculty Fellow, no additional rubric is needed.)

Rationale: The AAC&U VALUE Rubric serves as the common language for FSU’s Critical Thinking Initiatives. By design, the language of the published rubric is generic. Except in units where a Faculty Fellow has done so, FSU’s Critical Thinking Discipline Project PI will serve as the department lead in translating the AAC&U rubric into discipline-specific language for use by the home department in assessing and enhancing undergraduate courses at the junior and senior level (of particular interest to the QEP). Ultimately, the institution will develop a shared language with a variety of dialects.

3) Modify key curricula that are part of the junior and senior major curriculum to enhance development of all five distinguishing characteristics of the FSU Critical Thinking scheme.

Rationale: The institution’s QEP outlines FSU’s pledge to enhance critical thinking among upper division undergraduates. The institution has committed to achieving this goal through the systemic modification of major-related coursework, working through department faculty.

4) Participate in administration and grading of the Critical Thinking Assessment Test (CAT) prior to the implementation of curricular changes and at the conclusion of the funding period. The early sample will consist of rising juniors (pretest) and graduating seniors (control group). The administration at the end of the funding period will consist of graduating seniors (posttest).

Rationale: The CAT is a nationally recognized and normed examination measuring critical thinking skills. Because of the national data behind the instrument, FSU has selected the CAT as is primary assessment tool.

5) Demonstrate use of the data from the assessment process to make curricular adjustments..

Rationale: By assessing refined course experiences, the unit has access to valuable information regarding curricular effectiveness. The hope is that units will make data driven curricular adjustments related to critical thinking.

6) Prepare progress report at the end of Year 1. Prepare final report at end of Year 2. Upload rubrics and specified reports to identified sites.

7) Serve as CAT scorer for at least two administrations beyond those associated with own project.

Approved December 16, 2014
Critical Thinking Advisory Board
Revised July 2016