Director’s Update 2012
As we conclude our second year of implementing our Quality Enhancement Plan, we see definite growth across several key areas. Faculty and students should be proud of their accomplishments. Here are some highlights from this past year:
- Our first cohort of students improved their mean performance on the CAT exam by 24.2%, from 14.95 to 18.57. These students benefited from some of the 107 critical thinking focused lessons that faculty have created and implemented over the first four critical thinking skills. As additional skill lessons are developed and implemented, we anticipate continued improvement in student performance on this important measure.
- Cohort 2 performed 21.2% better on the student research project compared with their peers from cohort 1. Again, we attribute these gains in performance to faculty efforts to integrate critical thinking in the curriculum. We hope that you are equally proud and encouraged by these results.
- Our QEP Faculty Development sessions have consistently delivered interactive, engaging opportunities for faculty to clearly define each critical thinking skill. Thus far in the implementation, faculty have created and implemented 107 unique critical thinking skill lessons for the first four critical thinking skills related to evaluating and interpreting data. Faculty have done an outstanding job of marrying their content with the defined critical thinking skills and providing important learning opportunities for their students to gain both an understanding of their field and how to think critically within it.
- Our Micro-teaching Lab continues to be the hub for support activities related to the QEP, from lesson planning support meetings to the extensive array of print and media resources available to faculty. Each year as we implement additional critical thinking skills, we are able to build upon existing resources to provide a robust collection of critical thinking and instructional support tools for the faculty to use. Tools available to faculty include the resources shared at our QEP Faculty Development sessions as well as additional titles that support the instructional strategies and critical thinking skills addressed during the session. Faculty are encouraged to utilize these resources as they develop lessons to integrate critical thinking in their content areas.
- Finally, the QEP staff has identified a number of new consultants that will be joining our QEP Faculty Development series beginning in Fall 2012. We are excited about the expertise that each of these consultants has related to critical thinking and education. We are looking forward to fresh and original perspectives and we are confident that faculty will find the upcoming sessions to be intellectually stimulating and engaging.
As we move into year three of our implementation, faculty should continue to attend all faculty development and lesson planning sessions to have the best opportunity to achieve the goals outlined in the QEP. In the coming year we will focus on “problem solving and creativity” and continue to integrate new instructional and assessment strategies in support of critical thinking.
We appreciate the spirit of cooperation and collaboration that has developed as we have worked together to enhance critical thinking in the School of Health Professions. Thank you again for all of your support and participation this past year. Each of you has made a significant contribution to ensuring the success of our QEP.
Dr. David M. Ford
Note: Links to documents within the Quality Enhancement Plan website are password protected and require a login to MD Anderson's Box system.