Observations on Processes of Assessment and Concerns about the Teaching of Analytical Thinking

Judith Puncochar,* School of Education, Leadership, and Professional Service, Northern Michigan University, USA

Don Faust, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Northern Michigan University, USA


Honing students’ analytical thinking skills could expose the uncertainty of our current knowledge and ambiguity of contexts in which university instructors teach. Four instructional strategies were posited to improve university teaching for analytical thinking: (1) implementation of three to five seconds of wait time, (2) providing students with practice for honing skills of observation and asking questions, (3) assessment of analytical thinking with instructor feedback, and (4) use of logic fundamentals in university teaching. Implementing logic fundamentals could increase the likelihood that students use analytical thinking to explore strengths and limitations of arguments ubiquitous throughout their personal, professional, and civic lives. Expanding the New Version of Bloom’s Taxonomy to include “Critical Thinking” and “Problem Solving” within the level of “Creating” is suggested to differentiate analytical thinking at the level of “Analyzing” as foundational to critical thinking at the level of “Creating”.

Keywords:  assessment, pedagogical philosophy, critical thinking, analytical thinking

*Corresponding author. Email: jpuncoch@nmu.edu

Read more

Developing Cultural Intelligence: Designs for Higher Education Courses

Natesha L. Smith,* Student Affairs Administration, Binghamton University, USA


This paper presents the design of a course aimed at developing cultural intelligence among graduate students at an American university. Culturally relevant pedagogy is a frame for developing the cultural intelligence of students preparing for work as student affairs professionals. Student-centered in-class group learning activities primarily characterize the course format, which is further supported by synchronous and asynchronous online activities using the learning management system of Blackboard. Cultural intelligence development, expressed in the form of cognitive, metacognitive, behavioral, and motivational factors were evaluated using digital storytelling and environmental audit course projects.

Keyword: cultural intelligence, digital storytelling, student affairs, instructional design

*Corresponding author. Email: nlsmith@binghamton.edu

Read more

Mooting into the Gap of Transition

Felicia Snyman, Law lecturer, Akademia, South Africa


Moot court—a mock proceeding where students argue points of law—is an innovative teaching method well suited to bridging the gap of transition from secondary school to university. However, the practice of moot court is generally not available to first-year students in higher education, and mooting is usually conducted face-to-face rather than by distance education or broadcast technology. Akademia’s model of blended learning enables students from different geographical areas and backgrounds to cooperate through distance learning. Students perform roles for which marks are awarded by external assessors who assess from the studio. Peer review is facilitated, and feedback provided to the lecturer. This makes learning relevant and engaging.

Keywords:  moot court, holistic approach, blended learning, problem-based learning

*Corresponding author.  Email: Felicia@akademia.ac.za

Read more

Closing the Gap: Challenges between Student Expectations and Competencies to Meet School Administration Workplace Demands

Clifford E. Tyler,* School of Education, National University, USA


Institutes of Higher Education (IHE) Schools of Education in California are faced not only with the challenge of closing the gap between student expectations on the one hand and the realities of university instruction and the workplace on the other, but three additional new challenges. These are (1) meeting the diverse and rapidly changing needs of students; (2) adequately preparing them to successfully transition from course theory to competent practices to meet the demands school administration; and (3) assuring their success in passing the California state-mandated administrative performance assessment.

This paper will describe these challenges and what can be done to meet them.  Students’ changing needs will be described related to the skills they must acquire to successfully complete their theoretical course content and apply it to their fieldwork/intern experiences.  The paper will also describe the challenges that higher education faces to provide them quality courses and a fieldwork and intern course experience, preparing them to pass all three cycles of the state-mandated California Administrative Performance Assessment (CalAPA), or to remediate failing students at IHE expense.

Keywords:  fieldwork, performance assessment, school administration

*Corresponding author. Email: ctyler@nu.edu

Read more