Critical Thinking: About this theme

“Critical thinking is central to both the National Science Standards [1] and the National Educational Technology Standards [2]. Derek Bok [3] notes that over ninety percent of faculty in the U.S. feel that critical thinking is the most important goal of an undergraduate education. Increasingly, the importance of critical thinking/problem solving skills in the workplace is also being recognized. For example Halpern [4] argues, “virtually every business or industry position that involves responsibility and action in the face of uncertainty would benefit if the people filling that position obtained a high level of the ability to think critically”.”

In M. Iskander (ed.), Innovations in E-learning, Instruction Technology, Assessment, and Engineering Education, 79-82. © 2007 Springer.  Assessing Critical Thinking in STEM and Beyond by Barry Stein, Ada Haynes, Michael Redding, Theresa Ennis, and Misty Cecil Tennessee Technological University. Available online:  

The researchers at Tennessee Tech define critical thinking as having the following domains:

  • Separate factual information from inferences that might be used to interpret those facts.
  • Identify inappropriate conclusions.
  • Understand the limitations of correlational data.
  • Identify evidence that might support or contradict a hypothesis.
  • Identify new information that is needed to draw conclusions.
  • Separate relevant from irrelevant information when solving a problem.
  • Learn and understand complex relationships in an unfamiliar domain.
  • Interpret numerical relationships in graphs and separate those relationships from inferences.
  • Use mathematical skills in the context of solving a larger real world problem.
  • Analyze and integrate information from separate sources to solve a complex problem.
  • Recognize how new information might change the solution to a problem.
  • Communicate critical analyses and problem solutions effectively.

What is the Mental Tattoo for Your Course?

Date: Monday, June 1
Time: 10:40 – 12:00 noon
Location: Mitchell Auditorium

What is the Mental Tattoo for Your Course? from Summer Faculty Institute 2015


Morling, BethBeth Morling, Psychological & Brain Sciences

Beth Morling earned her B.A. in Psychology from Carleton College and the Ph.D. in social and personality psychology from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She has taught at liberal arts colleges (Union College and Muhlenberg College) before teaching at the University of Delaware. Throughout her career, she has focused on both classroom teaching and cultural psychology research. She regularly teaches courses on research methods, cultural psychology, the self-concept, and the teaching of psychology, and has published a textbook in research methods. Beth’s most recent scholarly research has focused on how culture shapes human motivation and social life, as well as where cultural differences are located and measured—whether within the person, or in cultural products such as media, texts, or buildings. She is a Fulbright scholar, having lectured and conducted research in Kyoto, Japan from 2010-11. She is a Delaware State Professor of the Year, an award from CASE and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Measuring and Enhancing Critical Thinking of Students

Date: Tuesday, June 2
Time: 9:00 a.m – 10:00 a.m.
Location: Mitchell Auditorium

Measuring and Enhancing Critical Thinking of Students from Summer Faculty Institute 2015

Slides from Kevin Harris keynote presentation (PDF format)

Introduction of guest speakers: Deborah Allen, Director of Center for Teaching & Assessment of Learning

The CAT Instrument (Critical thinking Assessment Test) is a unique tool designed to assess and promote the improvement of critical thinking and real-world problem solving skills. The instrument is the product of extensive development, testing, and refinement with a broad range of institutions, faculty, and students across the country.

Come and learn about what our own UD faculty learned about how well diverse UD seniors from the class of 2015 scored on this instrument. Learn how any faculty from any discipline can more purposefully develop course activities that will require students to exercise their critical thinking skills.

Tennessee Technological University (TTU) has been engaged in an extended effort during the last 14 years to develop and refine an instrument to assess critical thinking that over-comes many of the weaknesses of other existing tools. Preeminent theoreticians and educators in the area of learning sciences and assessment participated in the project. Unlike many other available assessment tools, the Critical thinking Assessment Test (CAT) instrument uses short answer essay responses to assess critical thinking. The CAT instrument is unique in that it utilizes a campus’s own faculty to evaluate student responses. The National Science Foundation has provided support for many of these activities.


Harris, KevinKevin Harris is the Associate Director of the Center for Assessment and Improvement of Learning (CAIL) at Tennessee Tech University. In his role at CAIL, Dr. Harris leads regional training workshops to prepare institutions for the implementation of the Critical-thinking Assessment Test as a performance measure of student critical thinking and as a faculty development tool. Over the past two years, Kevin has helped develop a framework associated with using the CAT as a model for course based critical thinking assessments called CAT Apps. His academic interests include the effect of high impact practices on critical thinking, the use of the CAT as a faculty development tool, and the evaluation of alternative measures in the assessment of critical thinking.
Lisic, ElizabethElizabeth Lisic is the Assistant Director of the Center for Assessment & Improvement of Learning (CAIL) at Tennessee Tech University. In her role at CAIL, Elizabeth provides support to institutions across the country in the implementation of the Critical-thinking Assessment Test (CAT) at multiple institutional levels. Elizabeth has extensive experience with CAT scoring sessions and helps lead training workshops throughout the country. Over the past two years, Elizabeth has helped develop the framework associated with using the CAT as a model for course-based critical thinking assessments called CAT Apps. She currently leads on-site workshops to help faculty develop and refine CAT Apps within their discipline. Elizabeth’s academic interests focus on the use of the CAT as a faculty development tool and the impact of CAT scoring as a catalyst for faculty change.

Developing an Active, Engaged, and Inclusive Classroom Culture Through Project-Based Learning

Date: Tuesday, June 2
Time: 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon
Location: Gore Hall 116

Classroom Culture for Active Learning from Summer Faculty Institute 2015

8 Essentials Article v2014

Classroom Culture PowerPoint Slides

FreeBIE Tubric

Project Design Overview Planning

Project Assessment Map

During this workshop, attendees will have an opportunity to experience a fun and engaging project as a starting point for a group discussion about active classroom learning. Each attendee will have time to consider their own class and will leave with ideas for future class projects, methods for engaging students, and tips for assessing student learning.

Bruck, JulesJules Bruck, Landscape Design

Jules Bruck, ASLA, PLA, is Associate Professor of Landscape Design at the University of Delaware, where she teaches courses in design process, CAD, field sketching, and planting design. She also teaches landscape design courses at Longwood Gardens, Mt. Cuba and the Barnes Foundation. She is a registered landscape architect and a permanently certified member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers. She owns and operates Evolution Landscape Design, LLC with her husband, Tony. With a love of travel and interest in experiential education, Dr. Bruck has conducted many study abroad trips to highlight design in both Brazil and Europe. Her current research interests are in design based learning and public perception of sustainable landscape practices such as designing for ecosystem services. Dr. Bruck has a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University. Visit

Three Perspectives on the Use of Story in Teaching and Learning

Date: Tuesday, June 2
Time: 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon
Location: Gore Hall 103

Three Perspectives on the Use of Story from Summer Faculty Institute 2015

Hunger Games Meets Model U.N.: Using Role-Play as a Teaching Tool with Undergraduates

This session will share experiences of using role-playing games to build understanding of global leadership issues as well as student capacity for team building, communication and negotiation. Session attendees will be asked to participate in a short and hopefully fun activity!
Prezi link for Hunger Games Meets Model U.N.

Jennifer Fuqua, School of Public Policy and Administration

Jen Fuqua is currently an adjunct faculty member in the Organizational and Community Leadership Program, Jennifer Fuqua (ABD) is completing her doctoral studies in Public Policy and Administration at University of Delaware. Ms. Fuqua came to UD after many years as an administrator for a human services agency in Queens, New York, where she developed and supervised youth development programs in community and school settings.

Professor 13: Helping Kids, Parents and Teachers to Understand and Do Math

Fernsler, AbacusThomas Fernsler, Professional Development Center for Educators

Dr. Thomas Fernsler, aka “Professor 13”, has successfully taught mathematics to students at all levels K-grad school. His areas of professional interest include working with K-8 students and teachers, emphasizing a deeper understanding of mathematics content and demonstrating proven pedagogical techniques for the classroom. Tom enjoys sharing his extensive knowledge and experience gained from more than 30 years working with students and teachers from around the country. His teaching style and participation in numerous funded projects at UD and other universities place him in a unique position to help both teachers and students succeed in learning and understanding mathematics at all levels. Professor 13 is known world-wide and has been the subject of hundreds of media interviews (CNN, BBC, NBC, USA Today) focusing on his interest in triskaidekaphobia, the fear of the number 13, where he makes connections between the historical significance of 13, politics, and famous and infamous people.

Story + Theatre = Life Learning

In this segment, participants will experience a story theatre exercise and consider the potential for including similar activities in their courses.

Dad Summer 2010Allan Carlsen, Theatre

Allan Carlsen is Assistant Professor of Theatre for the University of Delaware where he serves as the Coordinator of Undergraduate Studies as well as the adviser for the department’s almost 300 Theatre minors. Allan personally developed two of UD’s largest and successful theatre lecture courses, one of which focuses on bringing the history of theatre alive by integrating its course work with performances by UD’s REP actors and the other which takes students behind the scenes from the inception of a production to its realization on stage.

Also, he is co-founder of UD’s innovative Healthcare Theatre program, where interdisciplinary avenues between the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Health Sciences are explored. Here, Allan and his partner, Amy Cowperthwait, train undergraduates from throughout the university to become simulated patients, family members, and health care providers, whose performances improve the interpersonal communication skills and the clinical work of students and professionals in the health care industry.

Faculty Perspectives: Dawn Berk, Tammy Rossi, Daniel Sullivan

Date: Tuesday, June 2
Time: 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Location: Gore Hall 116

Two Perspectives on Critical Thinking from Summer Faculty Institute 2015

Slides from Dawn Berk and Tammy Rossi presentation (PDF format)

The Mathematical Sciences Learning Laboratory: Transforming Teaching and Learning in UD’s Introductory Mathematics Courses

Launched this spring, the Mathematical Sciences Learning Laboratory, or MSLL, aims to transform teaching and learning in UD’s introductory mathematics courses. MSLL employs a new model of teaching that integrates problem-based learning and individualized instruction. MSLL is located in a newly renovated space in McKinly Lab, featuring a large PBL classroom with fully embedded technology, a dedicated testing center, an on-site faculty team, and a full staffed tutorial center. Courses are taught on-site in an active, small group format, with adaptive technology used for targeted, personalized instruction. In our talk, we will describe this new approach and our experiences from our first semester offering two introductory mathematics courses in MSLL.


Dawn Berk -288Dawn Berk, Mathematical Sciences Learning Laboratory

Dawn Berk is the founding Director of the Mathematical Sciences Learning Laboratory (MSLL) and Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Delaware. She earned an M.S. in Mathematics and a Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from the University of New Hampshire. Her research interests focus on the teaching and learning of undergraduate mathematics and on the mathematical preparation of teachers. She is currently the PI on two grants from the National Science Foundation to investigate the effects of mathematics teacher preparation on teachers’ knowledge, skills, and classroom practice. As Director of MSLL, Dawn facilitates the work of a team of faculty to improve teaching and learning in the foundational mathematics courses by employing a data-driven, continuous improvement model to determine what works, what does not, and why.


Rossi, TammyTammy Rossi, Mathematical Sciences

Tammy Rossi is an instructor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences and the new Mathematical Sciences Learning Laboratory (MSLL). She spends her time finding ways to engage students and help students find success in mathematics. She developed the curriculum and taught Math 010 for the Mathematical Sciences Learning Lab this spring.


An Integrated Approach to Reduce the Propensity and Practicality of Cheating on Asynchronous, Objective, Online Assessments

Cheating, left untended, erodes the validity of evaluation and, ultimately, corrupts the legitimacy of the course. I profile an approach to manage, with an eye toward preempting, cheating on asynchronous, objective, online assessments. This approach taps various technological and social solutions to academic dishonesty, integrating them into a tech-centric, socially-sensitive pedagogy. The resulting design, engages a battery of tech tools, within a social context moderated by the testing effect, to minimize the practicality, productivity, and hence, propensity to cheat. Operationally, this design relies on the Canvas LMS to generate a differentiated series of 5 to 15 question quizzes, drawn from corresponding questions banks holding several hundred potential items. Cross-sectional data from 352 students spanning 9 classes (5 online and 4 hybrid) found consistent support for the effectiveness of the profiled pedagogy with strong indication of students’ perception of the resulting uselessness of cheating. The session closes by profiling implication of these findings to test anxiety, student engagement, learning effectiveness, and workflow efficiency.


dps_photo-288Daniel Sullivan, Business Administration

Daniel P. Sullivan, Professor of International Business at the Alfred Lerner College of Business of the University of Delaware, received his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina. He researches a range of topics, including globalization and business, international management, and various aspects of pedagogy. His work on these topics has been published in leading scholarly journals, including the Journal of International Business Studies, Management International Review, Law and Society Review, and Academy of Management Journal. Similarly, Professor Sullivan, along with John Daniels and Lee Radebaugh, co-authors International Business: Environments and Operations. Published by Pearson, this text is presently in its 15th Edition, is used worldwide, and has been translated into several languages; work is underway for the 16th Edition. Relatedly, Professor Sullivan has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of International Business Studies and Management International Review. More recently, Professor Sullivan has expanded study to assess dimensions and dynamics of hybrid and online pedagogies. This works has received funding support from Academic Partnerships and been reported at various conferences and research outlets.

Consistently Applying Rubrics

Date: Tuesday, June 2
Time: 2:15 – 3:15 p.m.
Location: Gore Hall 208

In this session, attendees will practice applying a critical thinking rubric to evaluate student work. Attendees will learn and practice techniques for consistent scoring. Attendees will also learn easy ways to determine if a rubric is being applied consistently (by one or more people) and make suitable modifications.


Guidry, KevinKevin Guidry, Center for Teaching and Assessment of Learning

Kevin R. Guidry is Senior Research Analyst at the UD Center for Teaching and Assessment of Learning. He works with faculty on exploring new pedagogies and improving existing teaching practices to enhance student learning. Guidry specializes in assessment of student learning and survey methodology having worked on teaching, learning, and assessment research and practice at levels ranging from individual courses to projects spanning hundreds of colleges and universities.


Kathy Pusecker, Center for Teaching and Assessment of LearningPusecker, Kathy

Kathleen Langan Pusecker is the Director of Educational Assessment at the University of Delaware. She establishes and maintains relationships with faculty members, Chairs, Deans, and other senior internal constituencies and external agencies, to include national accreditation bodies. She also serves on the Faculty Senate General Education Committee that passed new goals in November 2014. Her responsibilities include assisting UD in addressing the Middle States Commission on Higher Education accreditation standards related to the assessment of general education and student learning. She helps to select and develop tools and oversees their implementation and the analysis and reporting of data. Pusecker establishes critical communications and coordination with internal constituencies and University senior decision-makers to address issues that may affect execution/implementation of University strategic plans, policies and programs. In addition, Pusecker publishes the reports of student learning outcomes for the College Portrait.

Optimize Your Professional Online Presence

Date: Wednesday, June 3
Time: 10:30 – 12:00 noon
Location: Gore Hall 104

Optimize Your Professional Online Presence from Summer Faculty Institute 2015

Learn best practices for building your digital brand as an academic professional. Participants will leave this session with recommendations for a universally-identifiable Internet name, a bio sketch tailored for different social media channels, and the start on a checklist of the most important steps to take to establish your optimal professional online presence (that is to say, what people see when they google you).


Norton, HollyHolly Norton, Communications and Public Affairs

Holly Norton is a communications professional who specializes in digital strategy and social media production, analysis and marketing. Throughout her 15-year career at Gannett, Holly worked in the sports department as a copy editor and writer, launched Spark, a successful entertainment weekly focused on Delaware young professionals, and led the newsroom in social media development and strategy as the community engagement editor. As The News Journal and Delawareonline brand transitioned into a paid content business model, Holly designed and implemented a social media strategy for reporters and editors, a crisis and brand reputation management protocol and acted as a liaison between the marketplace and The News Journal staff. Holly has been recognized by Gannett corporate as a leading manager, recipient of Chairman’s Award, Individual Excellence Award, as well as received multiple Delaware Press Association awards for column writing and editing. She is also a University of Delaware alumnus, class of 1998.

Plourde, MathieuMathieu Plourde, Academic Technology Services

Mathieu Plourde is an educational technologist with IT Academic Technology Services at the University of Delaware. He holds a bachelor’s degree in graphic design (2000) and an M.B.A. (2006), both acquired at Université Laval, Quebec City, Canada. He is now pursuing an Ed.D. in educational leadership at the University of Delaware, and taught a class on social networking for educators in 2012. His multidisciplinary background (graphic, web and instructional design, IT, marketing, e-commerce, management, communication, education, etc.) gives him a unique view of teaching, learning, and user support. He is also a social media strategist and an open education advocate.

Five Minutes of Fame

Date: Wednesday, June 3
Time: 2:15 – 3:15 p.m.
Location: Gore Hall 104

Five Minutes of Fame from Summer Faculty Institute 2015

Five Minutes of Fame is a fast-paced session where you can pick up ten exciting ideas, technologies, projects, or resources, all in five minute doses. Presentations can come from any faculty or staff participant at this year’s institute. Want to be considered for this year’s list of 10? E-mail your idea to

Doceri by Kim Graves, Interdisciplinary Science Learning Laboratory

Be untethered from the podium, as you control (and annotate!) your presentation from anywhere in the room.

TED-Ed Videos by Mu He, IT Academic Technology Services

Build a lesson around any TED-Ed Original, TED Talk or YouTube video.

Practicing Partnership by Lindsay Hoffman, Communication

Students cross divides to apply technology to social, political problems.

 Flippity by Sandy McVey, IT Academic Technology Services

Easily turn a Google spreadsheet into a trivia game show.

StrengthsQuest by Michele Kane, Residence Life & Housing

StrengthsQuest – helping students reach their full potential: StrengthsQuest is an inventory which helps students understand their natural talents and ways of being. When students better understand their talents and apply these ways of being to everyday actions, they can turn the talent into a strength. This tool has been used to help students work in teams and approach challenges. Additionally, the online tools connected to this inventory help students understand how to best approach their academics, relationships, and their career search.

IT Security for Faculty by Sean Barefoot, IT Client Support & Services

Best Practices in IT Security for Faculty

Name That Tool by Becky Kinney, IT Academic Technology Services

A new tool for working with online assessment

Whiteboard Video Creation Tools by Aaron Davis, CUNY- Hostos Community College

Leveraging student Consumption of Media: Learn about media consumption trends, and how Whiteboard video tools can leverage student retention.


(Hat tip to the New Media Consortium for pioneering this session format.)

Video Street Ethnography: How to Use Film to Tell The Streets of Black America’s Story

Date: Thursday, June 4
Time: 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Location: Mitchell Auditorium

Video Street Ethnography from Summer Faculty Institute 2015


Yasser A. Payne is an associate professor in the Department of Black American Studies at the University of Delaware. His street ethnographic research program is centered on exploring notions of resiliency with the streets of Black America using an unconventional methodological framework entitled Participatory Action Research–the process of involving members of the population of interest on the actual research team.

His approach to diversity is centered on exploring or examining the variation of psychological identity as it relates to Black and Brown populations involved with the criminal justice system. In most instances, such populations are framed in a monolithic way and Dr. Payne through his research has found great emotional, psychological and developmental variation. Also, he aims to break down or through stereotypical barriers and images of Black and Brown people in the criminal justice system, so that transition back in the community and opportunities for upward mobility are successful. Dr. Payne’s work is centered on humanizing those in the criminal justice system and getting undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty and/or everday residents to work more closely with those in the criminal justice system.

Any Questions?

Date: Thursday, June 4
Time: 10:30 – 12:00 noon
Location: Gore Hall 103

Any Questions from Summer Faculty Institute 2015

“Judge a teacher by their questions rather than their answers” (with apologies to Voltaire) sums up this session nicely. Through the perspectives of 3 faculty, this session will demonstrate several techniques that break from lecture mode and encourage thoughtful participation and meaningful discussion. The presenters have applied these techniques in classes of 10 to 120, in a mix of face-to-face and online class formats. You’ll experience over 12 specific models for questioning that can be applied to your course.

Harvey, Terry Terry Harvey, Computer & Information Sciences

Terry Harvey, Associate Professor of Computer Science, received his BS in Marketing and his PhD in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Delaware. Harvey uses problem-based ;earning and clickers to keep classes engaged, and likes projects that require collaborations outside the classroom. He has taught a Software Engineering course that collaborates with an Art class to produce serious games, and also “Educational Game Design for the XO Laptop” in which UD student teams collaborate with local middle school teachers to design and implement educational games for the middle school classroom. Working with Profeessor Lori Pollock, the XO collaboration received a 3-year grant from the NSF’s Broadening Participation in Computing program. Harvey was awarded the University’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2009.

Leefeldt_Anja-288Anja Leefeldt, Dietetic Internship Program

Anja Leefeldt is the Dietetic Internship Director at the University of Delaware. The course content for the internship program is delivered in an online format, so Anja has trialed several strategies for enhancing student engagement and critical thinking in the absence of regular face-to-face contact. She will share some of the strategies from her experiences teaching online and in the classroom. Prior to teaching, Anja worked as a clinical dietitian for 12 years.


Gordon, RichardRichard Gordon, Computer & Information Sciences

Most UD faculty know Richard Gordon as the Manager of UD’s IT Communication Group, but he also holds a secondary appointment as adjunct assistant professor of Computer and Information Sciences (CISC). He has 25 years teaching experience at the university level: Seven years in the English departments at the University of Missouri and the University of Delaware, and 18 years in UD’s CISC department. At the 2015 Institute, he will share his experiences teaching CISC355 (Computers, Ethics, and Society—1995-2013) and CISC356 (Intellectual Property in the Digital Age—2008-2015). This will be Richard’s sixth appearance in a UD Faculty Institute session.

In his primary job in UD IT, he has actively supported faculty and student use of technology, developed support for and communication about information security, and written and presented about a variety of IT-related topics, including a stint as technology columnist for the Wilmington News Journal. Outside UD, he is known as the bassist with the local old-time band Tater Patch and the host of two public affairs programs on WVUD radio, Campus Voices and The Music Room.