Critical Thinking eAcademy Summary

chico eacademy summary shotCourse:  Philosophy 102, Critical Thinking
Model:  Online
Lead Faculty:  Wai-hung Wong, Professor of Philosophy
Dates:  August 12-14, 2013
Faculty Participants:  17 from 9 CSU campuses

The Design:

This two-and-a-half-day eAcademy focused on teaching Critical Thinking in an online format. Professor Wong introduced the online model, his approach and philosophy the first day, and took the participants through a module from his course and provided examples of Student Learning Objectives. After the introduction, the participants discussed their experience using a new tool and showed interest in creating mini-screencasts for their students. Second-day activities included an exercise and discussion as the group went deeper into the online model and explored the tools used. Dr. Wong provided tips, recommendations, and adjustments that would be needed while participating in this project.  The final day, the focus was on evaluation of the course and student success.

Campus Provided:

Support staff and faculty from CSU Chico made presentations and led discussion on key related topics, including a case study on online teaching and research and experience-based knowledge of online learning.  They jointly presented, with CO staff, the use of Collaborate for Professional Learning Communities and student engagement; accessible syllabi and universal design; flipped classroom model; Affordable Learning Solutions and textbook alternatives; effective blended and online teaching (QOLT); student learning outcomes, assessment, and feedback.  A Critical Thinking course pre/posttest was made available by a faculty participant after the eAcademy. Staff provided information on how technology assists with quizzing, testing, and minimizing cheating.

Chancellor’s Office Provided:

In addition to joint presentations with campus support staff, the Chancellor’s Office staff introduced the context of the Proven Course Design eAcademies, with their goals. In addition, they presented information on how learner analytics can be used to assess connections between use of learning management systems and student success.  Other topics discussed included cheating in online courses, hands-on video production, and how to improve student success without sacrificing course rigor.

Selected Participant Recommendations:

  • Provide some pre-Academy readings

  • More concrete examples of effective pedagogy in online teaching

  • More hands on creation and redesign of participants’ course materials, and access to the lead faculty member’s materials