critical thinking

How to Build Decision-Making Skills with MindTap

Guest Contributor: Scott Rudeen, Ph.D.(ABD), MBA, MA, MSM
Criminal Justice Online Program Chair at Broadview University Developing tomorrow’s decision makers in criminal justice is certainly a tall order. But, this is one challenge I take very seriously, as do most instructors. One of my biggest challenges is finding effective ways to engage my students and build their decision-making skills because I know how critical this will be to their success as a criminal justice professional. As an online criminal justice program chair, I want to design a learning experience that helps empower my students to reach their potential and Read More…


How to Teach Critical Thinking Skills to College Students

There are entire courses on critical thinking, helping college students learn to go beyond common sense and deeply consider the implications of an idea through the application of logic and reason. But teaching critical thinking skills can be important to any class, and asking students to apply those skills can help them gain a deeper understanding of the course material. In addition to the excellent textbooks that flesh out the application of logic and statistics to teaching critical thinking, here are some concrete examples of critical thinking exercises you can use in your courses.

Why teaching critical thinking is

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How to Evaluate Learning Outcomes

When you’re creating a course, how do you determine the goals for your college students to reach by the end of the semester? Creating learning outcomes gives you a tool by which to tailor your student assessment, measuring their aptitude against the initial purpose of the course. Writing student learning outcomes can be a challenge, and there are several different ways to look at this tool. Consider some of these ideas as you evaluate your students’ learning.

Assessment and learning outcomes

Assessment of college student academic performance can be easily summed up as you determine if your students have learned Read More…


Tips for Students: Apply Critical Thinking Skills During Final Exams

Critical thinking skills help college students reason through content. Final exams are conducted primarily to assess this reasoning process and your overall knowledge and retention of important facts and processes from the course studied. However, exams are filled not only with memorization of facts and figures, but also of thought processes, problem-solving, deductions, and inferences based on previously presented or known information. During finals week, make sure to utilize your critical thinking skills to prove that you’ve mastered the concepts.

Students can practice critical thinking

Critical thinking involves developing the ability to understand and articulate concepts that describe how the world works. Students Read More…


Higher Grades and Improved Critical Thinking with MindTap

In the fall of 2015, MarketingWorks and SEG Measurement, two independent research firms, conducted a comprehensive study of whether students in philosophy courses that use MindTap® receive higher grades and improve their critical thinking skills more than a comparable group of students in similar philosophy courses that do not use MindTap. A total of 227 students and nine instructors teaching 15 philosophy classes in nine different institutions of higher education participated in the MindTap research, including five classes that used MindTap and 10 classes that did not. All instructors who used MindTap provided feedback about MindTap throughout the semester, Read More…


Activity Idea: Teaching Critical Thinking with Social Media

In your work as an instructor, you undoubtedly encourage your students to think critically about the topics and issues you cover in your class—and those that they encounter in the world around them. Given that students (and perhaps you!) enjoy social media, you may be thinking about using social media as a means of teaching students valuable critical thinking skills. We know that you enjoy reading about other instructors’ teaching ideas, so we’d like to share this great idea from Melody Niesen of the University of Central Missouri. In this video, Melody describes her strategy for teaching critical thinking Read More…


How Do You Use Digital Tools to Teach Critical Thinking?

How do you use digital assignments to foster students’ critical thinking skills? Share a digital assignment that sparks critical thinking in our Make It Count contest, and you could win great prizes.

Critical thinking is a critical element of your course. As we have observed how instructors teach critical thinking, and as we have heard from many of you and your students, we have seen numerous, creative ways to incorporate that important skill into coursework—many of which take advantage of today’s engaging digital learning tools.
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Ideas for Building Students’ Critical Thinking Skills

If you’re like the majority of instructors, you recognize the importance of teaching critical thinking. However, you may occasionally find it challenging to communicate that importance to your students.

Looking for ways to refine, increase, or change the ways you address critical thinking in your classroom? Below, we’ve provided some questions that will help you consider (or reconsider) how your course helps students develop the critical thinking skills they’ll need today, and in the future. If you’d like to add your own suggestions, please share them in the comments!

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OWLv2 is Key to Meaningful Homework and Better Student Engagement

If variety is the spice of life nowhere is that more evident than inside a university classroom where distractions abound and students can easily find other things to do rather than focus on lectures and concentrate on homework. “I want them to know the homework assignments aren’t just busy work,” said Steven Neal, an organic chemistry professor at the University of Tennessee Knoxville.
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How to Think Critically About Images

In our media-saturated culture, images are everywhere: billboards on the freeway; posters at the bus stop; paintings on museum walls; photos shared through our friends’ social media accounts. It’s nearly impossible to imagine a day going by without encountering several images.

Given the pace of life today, it’s very easy for many of us to take these images at face value, without pausing to consider the deeper message that the image is intended to communicate. However, it’s important to think critically about images as we encounter them in the world around us, so that we can grasp those meanings and use that information in a wise and appropriate manner.

For this reason, it’s imperative that today’s students learn how to apply their critical thinking skills as they consider the true message conveyed by all sorts of images: advertisements, artistic photographs, infographics, silly memes… and more. If you’re hoping to build students’ skills in this arena, you may want to share some tips that will help them engage in the process with care and skill.

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