Course Refresh Weekly Challenge Week 4 – Creating Digital Critical and Creative Thinking Activities

Week 4 – Effective Course Activities

This 6-week challenge will help faculty focus on specific tasks to work on for your fall courses as we prepare for the possibility of different teaching modalities.  Each challenge is based on the TLTC’s simplified OSCQR (OPEN SUNY Course Quality Rubric) checklist. We hope that as you build your course, the checklist is helpful as some of the points are simple and mechanical and some are deeper and get to how a course can be designed and how students are evaluated.


OSCQR 4.2: Course activities encourage learners to develop higher order thinking and problem-solving skills, such as critical reflection or analysis.


Select an activity for a class you will be using this fall.  Try to modify that activity to provide more opportunities for learners to be puzzled (the notion of adequate challenge and perplexity), giving them the opportunity to recognize problems and construct knowledge through collaboration and interaction (collaborative inquiry).  Here are some ideas to refresh your course:

  • Include reflection as part of project assignments. Have learners reflect on the process they went through completing a project, and how that process impacted their learning.
  • Create peer review groups to encourage learners to learn from each other, and help each other construct new knowledge.
  • Create a scenario-based discussion forum, and assign roles to each learner.
  • Have learners present a proposed project or research topic to the class to solicit feedback that they can then integrate that feedback into their own work.
  • Create a simple weekly challenge to encourage creative thinking. For example, have learners share one related resource to the module topic, and share why it matters to them, and what value it brings to the course.

Supporting Materials:


Join Us:

  • TLTC Summer Webinar series session: What do you want your students to remember from this assignment? How to establish expectations for assignments and hold students accountable – Tuesday, July 14, 1-2pm, Microsoft Teams
  • Teaching Breakfast – Creating Digital Critical and Creative Thinking Activities – Join us on Thursday, July 16, any time from 8:30-10:00am to talk about how to create and manage online groups.  We will be meeting in the Teaching Breakfast Microsoft Team area

Show us your great ideas!

We have set up a space on the TLTC’s blog for you to share the work that you have done if you are willing.  Leave a comment at the bottom of the Week 4 – Effective Course Activities post describing the work that you have done so that others can get ideas on best ways to organize their courses as well.

We support students by supporting faculty

The following focus areas were developed through the examination of AAC&U’s High Impact Practices together with the mission of the Teaching, Learning and Technology Center. Click on each button to see projects we are working on, what we are reading in these spaces, and examples on our own campus.

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