Center for Instructional
Innovation and Assessment


Goals Contents
Innovative Teaching Showcase: Garth Amundson - Goals
Garth Amundson
Department of Art

Promoting Collaboration for the Real World

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 Garth Amundson's teaching strategies meet each of these student learning outcome goals.

Critical Thinking

Learning Outcomes Definition Course Outcomes
Identification Accurately identifies and interprets evidence. One of the primary goals of the class is to address key themes, which are relevant in the historic and contemporary application of photography as a practice: the relationship between art and culture; concepts of audience; differing functions of media forms; new information and communication technology; and issues of identity difference and globalization as relevant to photography. In each project, the student is expected to self-assess their own abilities and identify goals and objectives for each project.
Alternative Consideration Considers major alternative points of view. Each level of photography introduces students to a broad range of critical thinking in order to further develop their skills in verbal and textual analysis. Students consider the relationship of their art to contemporary rhetoric. All courses are designed with a strong emphasis on theoretical and philosophical consideration of current art practices. Each course includes a general analysis of contemporary and cultural studies, including post-colonialism, gender, and globalization, as relevant to the state of emerging trends in contemporary art.
Accurate Conclusions Draws warranted, judicious, non-fallacious conclusions. Every classroom meeting, students address problems and concerns in the context of their projects. Group discussion and group problem-solving is an essential part of the courses. They consult with the instructor and one another in order to summarize and analyze the relationship between visual modes of communication and text.
Justification Justifies key results and procedures, and explains assumptions and reasons. Photography is a visual language that shares some important characteristics with verbal language. Both are communicative and structural. Initially, students do not treat photography as a language and often see a photograph as truth. Throughout all coursework, via critical dialogue, the students are asked to redefine and reinterpret definitions of photography. It is essential to re-contextualize photographs as more than simple records. Instead, the students are asked to define photography as subjective and interpretive, and as in any language, they are both imbued with multiple meanings.

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