Cohort II: 2010-2012

Collaborative Learning Community Project Descriptions 2010-2012

Project Leaders: Julie Onnembo and Dave Shaw
Program: Division of Student Affairs

We will develop a student training program that enables student employees to be more intentional in using critical thinking in the workplace. This will be accomplished by developing an online training module based upon the components of the existing CLAWS rubric (LINK to that provides feedback to students, staff, SAB and RSOs of the Student Activity Center. The team received an i2a SUN Grant to support the development and launch of their new module to help staff and students make the most of the rubric for student employee evaluations.

Project Leader: Chris Poche
Program: University Libraries

The goal of this CLC project is to inculcate critical thinking in student assistant interactions with library patrons, with the intent to promote better patron service, improved communication skills and greater understanding of how to use information by students. Through training and mentoring, the project focused on explicit use the language of the critical thinking model (specifically information and interpretation) in helping students think through patron interactions. Components of the project consist of instruction with library databases and catalogs, and mentoring of example-based learning.

Project Leader: John Smith
Program: Intramurals

The goal of this project is to create a climate or cultural change with students involved in Intramurals and to move the emphasis from winning and losing to enjoyment of the process, appreciation of time spent with friends, and everything associated with the pursuit of a common goal. The project leader has challenged participants to imagine what it would look like if everyone "bought in" to the concepts of participation for the intrinsic values rather than measuring success by victory/defeat. Components of the project will include regular focus group meetings, direct observation of programs and activities, an assessment piece of comparing the department rate of unsportsmanlike conduct with benchmarks and documentation of unsportsmanlike incidents, along with appropriate penalties. The program incorporates critical thinking concepts to promote students' desire to 'dare to play fair.' This project includes a focus on the Intellectual Traits of fair-mindedness, intellectual humility, courage, empathy, autonomy and integrity.

Project Leaders: Denita Campo, Pam Frank, Jo Kaelin
Program: Information Technology

The outcome of this project is for the IT HelpDesk to increase the number of calls that can be successfully resolved at the initial point of contact using the Paul-Elder critical thinking framework. This is accomplished by integrating critical thinking into training, and challenging participants to consider their thinking about root causes of technology problems, as well as asking them to think with more depth. Components of the project have included staff skills assessment, triage training, call scripts, automation of HelpDesk processes and the creation of a technical knowledge base.

Project Leader: Phyllis Clark
Program: The Cultural Center

The goal of this CLC project is to improve the services, projects, and programs of the society of Porter Scholars by using the Paul-Elder critical thinking framework during the transformation and planning process. Through a concentrated focus on using the Elements of Thought in the review, planning and change process, the staff and students who lead and participate in the Porter Scholars program during the 10-11 and 11-12 academic years began to integrate critical thinking more intentionally into their work as a shared language and thinking protocol.

Project Leaders: Mike Abboud and Tony Robinson
Program: Cardinal Covenant

The project focuses on the incoming Cardinal Covenant students and the challenges they will face in their first year of college. Many of these students struggle with the skills of self advocacy and intellectual perseverance. The CLC project focuses on helping beginning students to think more clearly and critically about the coming transition to college. They will examine their assumptions with components of the summer program and analyze where they are in their thinking about what college will be like and what the assumptions may mean. They will also set an attainable goal for their first term and discuss how they plan to get there. The project includes a revision of the Cardinal Covenant admissions essay to get students thinking about what college means, how it might affect them to be a Cardinal Covenant and what they believe they bring to the University community that will benefit all of us. The second project is a summer program to be held during welcome week. Topics to be included will be talking to faculty, study skills, time management, how/who and when to reach out for help.

Project Leader: Brian Buford
Program: Office of LGBT Services

The CLC project will focus on developing a Safe Zone II training that takes participants deeper into their thinking about who they are as an LGBT ally. Critical thinking will be implemented into the training by challenging assumptions and asking participants to consider where their thinking about sexual orientation comes from (parents, school, church, friends). Concepts and inferences will be addressed by asking them to think with more depth about what it would look like for them to be a stronger ally. What behaviors would they demonstrate? What would their office and other spaces look like? How would they plan their lessons and curricula? To what conclusions do these questions bring them? Components will include a self assessment, freestyle writing about first thoughts on homosexuality, and action planning to commit to ally behavior.

Project Leader: Mark Woolwine
Program: REACH

The purpose of this CLC project is to incorporate critical thinking into the REACH student success seminars, so that students leave a seminar with a better understanding of their responsibility by using the critical thinking traits of intellectual perseverance and intellectual autonomy. A pilot for the project will be constructed by revising two of the REACH student success seminars (test taking/time management) by setting fundamental and powerful concepts for each and then designing activities that will walk students through various critical thinking problems to see perseverance and autonomy. Intellectual perseverance and autonomy will be the focus of the project; students will complete in-class activities as well as a final evaluation asking them to rate their understanding before and after the seminar.

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