Center for Instructional
Innovation and Assessment


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Goals Contents
Paula Dagnon
Elementary Education Department

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 Paula Dagnon's teaching strategies meet each of these student learning outcome goals.

Critical Thinking

Learning Outcomes Definition Course Outcomes
Identification Accurately identifies and interprets evidence. Students are required to identify and interpret a variety of forms of evidence as well as present their conclusions in a way that an intended audience can understand. They learn how to gather and interpret survey data. They also learn how to transform the data into a visual representation.
Alternative Consideration Considers major alternative points of view. As a component of visual literacy, students learn about interpreting visuals from multiple perspectives and become more informed critics, consumers, and composers of visual information.
Accurate Conclusions Draws warranted, judicious, non-fallacious conclusions. Drawing on a literature review and gathered survey data, students are asked to draw conclusions about their findings and suggest next steps.
Justification Justifies key results and procedures, and explains assumptions and reasons. Students communicate the results of their projects through a website that contains a variety of visual and textual elements and through a formal presentation. In these presentations of materials, students must clearly communicate and justify their methods and conclusions in an optimal balance of visuals and words.

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

Information Literacy

Learning Outcomes Definition Course Outcomes
Identifying Need Recognizes and articulates the need for information, identifies potential sources, considers the costs and benefits, and reevaluates the nature and extent of the information need. Through face-to-face and asynchronous or real time collaboration with tools like Google Docs, students brainstorm research ideas. During videoconferences with peers and the instructor, students further refine and focus their ideas and identify the need for information.
Search Strategies Matches information needs to information resources, organizes an effective search strategy and manages the information and its sources. Students learn to utilize a variety of search strategies and organization methods. For instance, they learn how to search for different media through Western´┐Żs library databases (including ebooks, journal articles, books, etc.). They also learn the value and differences of searching for information in formally and informally produced channels. Students create a personal library of references using a reference management tool, such as Zotero or Mendeley. They also gather and organize information through social media sites like Pinterest.
Evaluating Evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system. Through their literature search via formal and informal search channels, students evaluate sources for reliability, validity, and bias.
Synthesis Applies new and prior information to the planning, creation, and revision of the development process, and communicates the product or performance effectively. Students utilize multiple means of expression (formal academic English, slide shows, infographics, videos, etc.) to communicate new knowledge as related to prior information.
Responsibility Understands many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information and accesses and uses information ethically and legally. Students discuss the role of intellectual property and demonstrate an understanding of fair use of information, particularly in the use of images. They also the trade-offs that often result from innovation. They further discuss the potential for technology for social justice and as a platform for more democratic participation.

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