In its QEP, "Ideas to Action: Using Critical Thinking to Foster Student Learning and Community Engagement," the University of Louisville outlined its intention to require every undergraduate to apply critical thinking skills in a culminating undergraduate experience such as a:
- capstone course
- service learning project
- research project
- student teaching semester
The defining features of a culminating undergraduate experience are that it:
- Is undertaken after sufficient academic preparation e.g., after completion of at least 90 credits of coursework or key prerequisite courses.
Is part or all of an approved or accepted:
- credit-bearing course in the major or
- experience in the discipline/major(e.g., honors project or independent study).
The unit/department has the responsibility for designing the culminating undergraduate experience.
- Provides the opportunity for demonstration of the student's mastery of content, reflection on accumulated content and experiences, and the integration and application of critical thinking skills.
- Addresses an authentic issue. Authenticity includes meaningful, real-world issues, problems or concerns that are relevant to the learner and the discipline and are shaped by practical constraints of time, space, or resources.
- Incorporates ongoing, comprehensive feedback from students, faculty or others involved with the experience (which may include mid-term or final student evaluation, periodic review by department faculty, feedback from internship/practicum sites, or other assessment measures).
- Results in an output that can be assessed by internal or external reviewers using evaluation criteria favored by the discipline. Examples of outputs include a paper, portfolio, or performance.
- Eight Principles of Good Practice for All Experiential Learning Activities
- Glossary of "Learning" Terms
- Huber, M. & Hutchings, P. (2004). Integrative Learning: Mapping the Terrain. Washington, D.C.: Association of American Colleges and Universities.
- Ideas to Action