Using Assessment to Nurture Critical Thinking

by Erin Macnab, Programs Coordinator, CTSI

On April 19th, CTSI will present a special workshop, Using Assessment to Nurture Critical Thinking, facilitated by Garfield Gini-Newman. Garfield is a Professor in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at OISE. His research focuses on the pedagogy of critical thinking and how to embed critical thinking into the classroom, including in higher education, and on effective assessment practice, focused on both formative and summative assessment, as well as assessing for thinking. Garfield recently published a new book with Roland Case, Creating Thinking Classrooms: Leading Educational Change for a 21st Century World, and this workshop draws on many of the ideas outlined in that work.

In this full day workshop, participants deeply engage with a framework for critical inquiry into effective assessment. In a facilitated process, participants will look at how assessing the intellectual tools for rigorous thought can provide deeper learning to students through peer and self-assessment. Lunch will be provided to the participants, and in the second half of the session, you will have an opportunity to work with your own assignments to ensure critical inquiry is nurtured. Throughout the session, an exploration of technology in support of assessment as learning, not just of learning, will be woven in. Participants can expect to come away with new ideas for their own assignments, courses and modes of assessment, as well as a framework for thinking about these concepts on a wide scale.

The workshop engages ideas of critical thinking, building on the theme of assessment that has guided other CTSI workshops this semester, including the Powerful Assessments showcase with Geoff Scott, Professor Emeritus, Western Sydney University.

For more details about the workshop, click on this link:

Themes of critical thinking and assessment will be explored further in the 10th Annual Teaching & Learning Symposium on May 10th, 2016. RE:Think – Navigation & Transformation in Today’s Learning Landscape will take a collaborative approach to considering the future of teaching and learning in higher education, and explore a range of ideas, issues and possibilities relating to powerful teaching practices and innovations. For those interested in participating in Garfield’s workshop, we encourage you to join us at the Symposium as well for more fruitful discussion on these important topics. Follow this link for more information: