Between March 7 and 11, Open Education Week, the Digital Learning Team is highlighting open education projects by faculty and students at Muhlenberg, including open educational resources and open educational practices and pedagogies. As we begin to build momentum, support, infrastructure, and expertise, we want to create space for recognizing some of the earliest open education efforts at Muhlenberg that have helped us learn what is possible and what kinds of organization and support are necessary to continue to build these efforts.
The first project we highlight is the recently published OER by Tad Robinson, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Arguments in Context: An Introduction to Critical Thinking, available in our Pressbooks catalog here: https://open.muhlenberg.pub/arguments-in-context/
In his acknowledgements at the outset of the book, Professor Robinson writes, “In my view, courses in ‘Critical Thinking’ are difficult to teach well, and this text is my effort to make this task a little easier.” This OER project grew out of Professor Robinson’s engagement in the 2019-20 pedagogical learning community facilitated by Tim Clarke and Tina Hertel. Tad also acknowledges, in addition to support and feedback from colleagues, “the many students whose questions and comments helped me to improve and refine the text along the way.” With its open license (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial), the text can be adopted and adapted, in part or in whole, by faculty elsewhere teaching critical thinking. “Overall, the text aims to equip readers with a set of tools for working through important decisions and disagreements, and to help them become more careful and active thinkers.”
Choosing to write and openly publish a textbook is an enormous challenge and I recall the questions Professor Robinson posed during the learning community seminars that helped all of us critically consider the case for open educational resources. Two years later, it is very exciting to see this book now published in the open!