critical thinking

Critical Thinking in the Disciplines: History

Critical thinking and analysis are foundational elements of an historian’s work. As they conduct their research, they use those skills to interpret primary sources (such as letters, films, photographs, and other documents) and consider what these sources reveal about the individuals, groups, cultures, and societies that existed within humanity’s recent and not-so-recent past. Historians also read secondary sources—that is, what others have said about these events and people—and thoughtfully evaluate the evidence and arguments presented therein. Those who teach history also endeavor to teach these skills to students. By developing these critical-thinking skills, students learn to go far deeper than Read More…


Questions that Can Help Students Read and Listen Analytically

As instructional designer Jason Lancaster wrote in “Designing a Framework for Critical Thinking,” a previous post at the Engaging Minds blog, “A common goal in the education field is to get students to think critically about what they’re studying.” One way for students to strengthen their critical-thinking skills involves learning how to ask the kinds of questions that help them evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, truths, and falsehoods within an individual’s argument. They may come across various arguments as they read a book, website, or magazine; or, they may find themselves listening to an argument in the Read More…


Helping Students Think More Critically and Strategically

In their book McKeachie’s Teaching Tips, Fourteenth EditionMarilla Svinicki and Wilbert J. McKeachie write, “As college instructors, our task is to provide edible fish (content knowledge), but our task is also to teach our students how to fish (learning how to become strategic, self-regulated learners in our field)” (304). But how can an instructor do this in the most optimal manner? If you’re hoping to inspire your students to improve the quality of their thinking and reach deeper levels of learning, consider the fifteen suggestions that Svinicki and McKeachie put forth in their book. We’ve summarized them below: 1. Read More…


Using Aplia, Verdis Robinson’s American History Students Analyze Lessons from the Past

If you teach American History, you may recognize the challenge of helping students to develop their ability to think analytically, draw conclusions, and go beyond memorization of facts and figures. If so, read this Success Story featuring Verdis Robinson of Monroe Community College (Rochester, NY), which shows how he used Aplia in his American History course to facilitate his students’ contextualization and analysis of course material, encourage active participation in the classroom, and demonstrate the significance of the individuals and events he covers in his course. Read More…


Aplia Helps Larry Thomas’ Intro Psych Students Understand and Think Critically with Course Concepts

Do you teach the Introduction to Psychology course? Are you seeking an online learning solution that builds students’ critical thinking skills, helps ensure that students come to class prepared, and demonstrates the relevance of the topics you cover? Discover how Larry Thomas of Blinn College (Brenham, TX) used Aplia to help students become familiar with course concepts prior to the lecture, develop their understanding of those concepts, and discover how the psychological principles addressed in class and in the text can be applied to real-world contexts.

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Aplia Gives Dr. Christine Weinkauff’s Intro Psych Students a Positive Learning Experience

When using Aplia, Dr. Christine Weinkauff of California State University, San Bernadino found that her students came to class better prepared—and left the course with a sound understanding of psychology. Read her story and learn how Aplia’s fresh content, experiential activities, and thought-provoking questions that foster critical thinking skill can help increase student engagement and lead to improved outcomes in your course as well.

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Students of Dr. Bea Talpos Learn to Think Critically About American Government with Aplia

As an involved instructor with a passion for American Government, you want to inspire that same level of engagement and enthusiasm in your students. At the same time, you recognize the need to ensure that they learn how to think critically about the topics and issues that arise when we discuss government and politics. Discover how Aplia helped Bea Talpos of Wayne County Community College increase student involvement in her class, and learn how it strengthens her students’ ability to analyze information and apply key concepts.
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Professor Dawn White Sees Increased Student Engagement and Improved Outcomes with Aplia

If you teach Developmental English, you recognize the challenges of covering all relevant material in the course of one term, while also keeping students engaged and motivated in the class. Discover how Dawn White of Davidson County Community College (North Carolina) used Aplia to address important concepts, help her students master critical thinking and composition skills, increase student engagement, and improve learning outcomes. Read More…


Aplia Helps Dr. Kathryn Lowrey’s Students Interact and Connect with Biology Concepts

When teaching Biology, your students benefit from resources that clarify some of the more complicated biological processes. Ideally, those resources will also provide them with extra help and practice for learning and retaining your course material, and also help to increase motivation among your students. Discover how Dr. Kathryn Lowrey of Jefferson Community and Technical College (Louisville, Kentucky) used Aplia to engage students, promote critical thinking and comprehension, and help students visualize and understand complex processes, systems, and concepts. Read More…


Ethical Decision Making

When you’re making plans and you must decide on the best course of action, you weigh a number of different options and choices. Although cost, time, and preferences will play a role in determining your path, they aren’t the only factors you need to take into account. In most situations—and especially those that will have significant ramifications on people and resources—you must account for the effect on people, rather than simply opting for the most expedient route. Therefore, weighing the benefits and consequences of each choice is an important part of your decision-making process. In his book, Problem-Solving and Decision Making: Illustrated Course Read More…