The process for submitting Core I (CT) courses for approval is outlined on a flowchart posted on the Faculty Senate website. Only 100- and 200-level courses are eligible for CT-designation. Additional information is found on the Criteria for CT Courses.
- Prepare the Course Addition or Course Change forms.
- Add the completed Critical Thinking Designator Form.
- Attach your course syllabus.
- Submit these documents for approval to your Department Chair/Division Head, the Registrar, College Dean, and College Curriculum Committee.
- Approved courses should be forwarded to the General Education Council.
- The GEC will forward approved CT courses to the University Curriculum Committee.
The general principle underlying Core I courses is an emphasis on critical thinking. The FYS and (CT) courses have critical thinking and the core domains as a common focus. Taken together, the three (CT) course should provide a common framework for understanding critical thinking, recognizing its application to different domains of thinking, and applying it to further gen ed (Core II) courses as well as study in students’ chosen majors.
With that in mind, course proposals which incorporate both the structure and language of critical thinking outlined in the Critical Thinking Criteria document passed by the Faculty Senate are more likely to be approved. These elements should be evident in both the Critical Thinking Designator form and the course syllabus. And there should be a direct correspondence between what appears on the Critical Thinking Designator form and the course syllabus. It is especially helpful if information on the Critical Thinking Designator form directly references the syllabus (e.g., “The case study assignment [p. 3 of the syllabus] requires students to collaborate, using problem-based learning to solve a problem and reasoning to defend a theory-based solution to the problem.”)
Tips for getting GEC approval:
- Insure that the course title concludes with “(CT)” – the parentheses count as part of the 30-character limit on the length of the course title.
- Only 100- and 200- level course without course pre-requisites can apply.
- Read and understand definitions on the Criteria for CT Courses document. Familiarity with this document is crucial to building a syllabus and filling out the Critical Thinking Designator Form.
- Syllabi need to be updated to reflect the language and understandings explained on the Critical Thinking Designator form submitted.
- Take time to explain terminology specific to your discipline.
- Be sure that the course objectives you list on your syllabus mirror the information you included in the Critical Thinking Designator form. You may, of course, have several course objectives that go beyond those critical thinking-focused student outcomes.
- In both the syllabus and the Critical Thinking Designator form use active-learning verbs that reflect higher-order thinking on Bloom’s Cognitive Taxonomy: application, analysis, evaluation, or synthesis. See Bloom’s Taxonomy of Measurable Verbs.
- Be sure that your assessments on the Critical Thinking Designator form can be seen as directly related to outcomes. Also, be sure that the assignments on the syllabus can be seen as directly related to the assessments identified on the Critical Thinking Designator form.
- Courses are required to include an artifact submission for the Assessment Committee (through mu-online), and this should be described in the Critical Thinking Designator form.