Book-In-Common - First Year Initiatives

  • Christy Metzger, M. A.
  • Director
  • Office of First Year initiatives
  • Undergraduate Affairs
  • Katie Partin, M. Ed.
  • Program Coordinator Sr.
  • Office of First Year initiatives
  • Undergraduate Affairs

Christy and Katie chose to focus their revision efforts on the Book-in-Common program because they determined that development of students' critical thinking skills should be central to the program. Book-in-Common was piloted in Fall 2007 with basic goals and objectives; they began their work with the CLC in Fall 2008. Their hope was their work with the CLC would help them build a successful and sustainable program.

In their own words:

First Year Initiatives utilized our CLC experience to investigate how we could infuse the Paul-Elder critical thinking framework into the Book-in-Common program and become more intentional about fostering critical thinking through participants' experiences of related in-class and out-of-class programs. We identified and clarified the program's mission, goals, and outcomes; we designed programs specifically intended to utilize the Paul-Elder framework, and we created assessment instruments relevant to stated goals and outcomes for use with in-class and out-of-class participants.

As a result of Christy and Katie's work in this area, the articulation of the broad objectives of Book-in-Common improved dramatically, and the development and assessment of critical thinking skills have been clearly integrated as an intentional component of the program. Participation in the CLC also has helped First Year Initiatives to more effectively tie Book-in-Common to university-wide initiatives and develop partnerships with other offices. An unintended, but nonetheless beneficial, consequence of working with i2a has been the integration of the Paul-Elder framework into other aspects of the work of First Year Initiatives, including creation of the Reflection Pizza activity, collaboration with the Cultural Center on the Difficulty of Difficult Discussions program, and sessions with incoming students during Summer Orientation.

View Book-in-Common documents (in pdf format) and links:

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