Center for Instructional
Innovation and Assessment


Julie A. Lockhart
Arunas P. Oslapas
Grace A. Wang
Goals Contents
Julie A. Lockhart
Department of Accounting

Institutional Goals

Listed below are selected learning outcomes in the area of critical thinking that Western Washington University is actively integrating into its curriculum. Each learning outcome is listed with its definition, along with a description of how Julie A. Lockhart's teaching strategies meet each of these student learning outcome goals.

Critical Thinking

Learning Outcomes Definition Course Outcomes
Identification Accurately identifies and interprets evidence. Cases and projects in the Environmental Accounting course help students to identify issues and interpret evidence. As we discuss cases and projects, students are first asked to identify the business and sustainability issues. For example, in the Specialty Glass case, the issues include toxic inputs and waste, excessive packaging and electricity use, and waste treatment options. I also ask the students to identify the relevant facts in the case that will help in recommending a solution.
Alternative Consideration Considers major alternative points of view. Alternative points of view abound, especially in the area of sustainability. We evaluate solutions to environmental cases that span from the do nothing approach to an eco-centric approach where sustainability is the most important decision criteria. For each alternative, I ask students to consider the consequences to the company and to the environment. We also look at the points-of-view that stakeholder groups might have in an environmental disaster. In the Olympic Pipeline Explosion project, students are asked about different information needs given the various stakeholder roles.
Accurate Conclusions Draws warranted, judicious, non-fallacious conclusions. Informed conclusions come from exploring issues, facts, and alternative courses of action. Once the students have a good understanding of all options and opportunities, they are asked to come to a conclusion.
Justification Justifies key results and procedures, and explains assumptions and reasons. I foster a learning environment where students feel comfortable expressing their views. Once they take a position, they need to justify it in class discussion and in writing assignments.

Sources: Adapted from the California Academic Press's Holistic Critical Thinking Scoring Rubric (HCTSR).

Adapted from Western Washington University's Learning Outcomes for Writing II.