This year's Showcase, themed “Critical Thinking,” seeks to honor faculty whose instructional practices demonstrate deep engagement with critical thinking, their own and their students. Is critical thinking a skill which can be taught and employed across contexts, or is it a practice that depends on deep domain knowledge and self-reflective thought? How do instructors foster critical thinking in students to prepare them for their role in society? Showcase nominations might address:
- modeling respectful disagreement or debate from varying disciplinary viewpoints
- providing a framework for students to reflect on multiple perspectives and to weigh decisions
- equipping students to evaluate information sources, such as news, social media, data, research, texts, or scholarly articles
- making space for students to take the academic risks necessary for developing critical thinking in assessment-oriented courses
- employing methods to effectively assess critical thinking
- fostering grit and perseverance in students to do the difficult work of thinking critically
- promoting activities that take critical thinking beyond typical boundaries into abstract, creative, ethical, and independent thinking
For more on the meaning of critical thinking, see: www.criticalthinking.org
The Innovative Teaching Showcase is a publication created by the Center for Instructional Innovation and Assessment (CIIA) at Western Washington University as a way to highlight and share exceptional teaching practices by WWU faculty.
Each year members of the campus community nominate several WWU instructors who exemplify the Showcase teaching strategy theme.
- video interviews
- portfolio write-up of teaching approach
- syllabi and assignments
- relevant examples, comments, resources
- alignment to institutional goals
The CIIA Advisory Board reviews nominees for inclusion in each year's Showcase. Selected instructors work with the CIIA to develop the resource through the end of spring term. The published work remains on the site permanently.
For 16 years, the Showcase has evolved into a solid set of best practices by over 60 WWU faculty. A strong international audience connects with the Showcase site regularly.