Although the goals of the T3 Program have been accomplished as of September, 2011, the learning and sharing of new ideas and methods will continue among the faculty into the future .
St. John’s vision of empowering “diverse learners with quality education for life” took on new vigor with a 1.5 million dollar grant from the United States Department of Education under its Strengthening Institutions Title III program. The University’s project, called T3 - Transforming Teaching with Technology, was on the cutting-edge in the use of technology in education, and initiated new faculty development and curriculum enhancement projects. T3 provided interested faculty with opportunities to explore the use of technology and information literacy in their teaching as well as the use of critical thinking and active learning strategies. The focus was on core curriculum courses and initially on the Scientific Inquiry course. Ultimately, both full-time and adjunct faculty were invited to participate in the program which had two foci: faculty development and curriculum development.
Eighteen faculty, chosen because of their expertise in the various aspects of the program, were selected as participants in the first stage of this grant. This website provided information on the developing project so that the entire University could share in this exciting opportunity.
Director, Center for Teaching & Learning[email protected]
Gina (Marandino) Robinson
New Media and Communications Specialistro[email protected]
Kathryn G. Shaughnessy
Associate Professor and Technology Librarian[email protected]
Forms the basis for lifelong learning. It is common to all disciplines, to all learning environments and to all levels of education. IT enables learners to master content and extend their investigations, become more self-directed, and assume greater control over their own learning. An information literate individual is able to:
Research literacy, while showing significant overlap with information technology skills, is a distinct and broader area of competence. Increasingly, information technology skills are interwoven with, and support, research literacy.
Using critical thinking skills and appropriate technologies, information fluency integrates the abilities to:
Information Fluency may be envisioned as the optimal outcome when critical thinking skills are combined with information literacy and relevant computing skills.
Rote learning of specific hardware and software applications.
Fluency with technology focuses on understanding the underlying concepts of technology and applying problem-solving and critical thinking to using technology. Information technology fluency focuses on a deep understanding of technology and graduated increasingly skilled use of it.
A contextualized approach to teaching where the instructor serves as a facilitator, and students engage in individual and group research to solve problems with multiple solutions. Having its origins in medical education, PBL is often compared to case-based instruction, though its use of case studies is often more open-ended. PBL offers the students the flexibility and leeway to construct their own approaches and solutions as the instructor adopts the role of guide, tutor, and evaluator rather than the traditional lecturer. A key difference in PBL education is that students are taught ways of accessing resources for research, instead of being given a specific set of required resources. PBL encourages interdisciplinary research, team participation skills, self-directed learning, and student-student and teacher-student interaction as students assume increasing responsibility for their learning.
In contrast to traditional methods of passive learning requiring rote memorization, critical thinking can imply a number of activities where students conceptualize, apply, analyze, synthesize and evaluate information. Critical thinking is a self-reflective process that requires the ongoing assessment and evaluation of one’s own thinking process. Often critical thinking will imply a healthy skepticism as rejecting, or suspending judgment. Solving problems, fashioning inferences, and calculating likelihoods are all associated with critical thinking, as is examining and testing possible solutions to see if they work.
In opposition to the “banking concept” of education, what Paulo Freire called the traditional manner by which teachers seek to “deposit” information into their students’ heads for later withdrawal, critical pedagogy drives students to examine social, political, and economic contradictions within their fields of study, so that ultimately student might have the necessary critical tools to study and promote social justice. Freire’s answer was a problem-posing teaching, where students and teachers are co-investigators in a mutual dialogue.
Developing Critical Inquiry Skills across the Core Curriculum