Approach to Learning: Self-Assessment

An interesting little quiz to help students identify their learning style.

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Strengths

A short little test that can get students to think about the way they evaluate information and acquire new information.

Concerns

As stated on the page, this is not a researched and tested product, just an “avenue of self-exploration.”

Recommendations for use

The Professor could use quiz before introducing Critical Thinking in detail to the class.

Mission Critical: Readings and Activities

This is a section of the Mission Critical web page devoted specifically to hands-on assignments that students can do to develop their critical thinking skills, as well as readings from Arthur Conan Doyle and Plato, as well as political policy proposals they can analyze.

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Strengths

This page provides a variety of different sample games, activities and readings to use with students in helping them practice their critical thinking skills and evaluate arguments from a variety of different formats.

Concerns

The samples of arguments (Doyle, Plato, etc.) do not include pre-established questions or evaluations, so the instructor will have to do some of that work.

Recommendations for use

The instructor could assign the logic readings outside of class, and then ask students to evaluate the arguments included in those readings with specific elements of critical thinking tools discussed in class.

Critical Thinking (Tutorial)

A good overview of critical thinking. Provides several tutorials covering the definition of critical thinking, how to improve, and how to teach critical thinking, as well a critical thinking test.

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Strengths

Includes nine different tutorials related to critical thinking, including defining it and teaching it.

Concerns

The material might be a little too basic.

Recommendations for use

For the Professor who doesn’t have much background in teaching Critical Thinking, these tutorials would be very useful in preparing a CT course.

Using the Four Question Technique to Enhance Critical Thinking in On-line Discussions

One technique to improve critical thinking in on-line discussions, from an article in the Journal of Online Learning.

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Strengths

The four questions represent an interesting way to try to use on-line discussions to improve critical thinking.

Concerns

This is a journal article, so it’s focus isn’t really on recommending or explaining the use of the technique but the analysis of some research on using the technique.

Recommendations for use

The Professor could use these questions with on-line discussions on Scholar.

 

 

Learning Toolkit: Thinking Critically

Very introductory material, but includes a variety of different elements, including videos, questions, tip sheets and more.

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Strengths

The video is a nice introduction to critical thinking. The handout is also useful.

Concerns

There seems to be a lot of things going on and it might be hard to pin down what you want to focus on.

Recommendations for use

A Professor could use this as a simple introduction to Critical Thinking.

Argumentation and Critical Thinking Tutorial

The tutorials consist of a series of tests to help reinforce knowledge and understanding of some basic concepts associated with making arguments and thinking critically. It specifically focuses on the Classical Logical Structure of Arguments and Informal Argumentative Fallacies.

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Strengths

The opportunity for students to do quizzes outside of class is valuable, and there are different options for true/false or multiple choice quizzes.

Concerns

The topics are a little narrow and the tutorials provide only the most basic coverage of the topics – additional coverage of the topics would seem to be necessary. In addition, one of the samples includes the

Recommendations for use

The professor could assign specific tutorials and quizzes to pre-test knowledge of various issues related to Critical Thinking.

Critical Thinking

A video-based introduction to Critical thinking – covering the definition of critical thinking and a variety of different elements, including evaluating arguments, causal reasoning, and evaluating sources.

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Strengths

Very simple and straightforward video presentations on various Critical Thinking topics. Divided into a variety of relatively short pieces (six to thirteen minutes) that could be distributed throughout the semester.

Concerns

Some might consider the presentations a little dry, and may have too much to go through if you’re just looking for a simple introduction.

Recommendations for use

The professor could use the first video (Intro to Critical Thinking) at the beginning of class and then use others during the semester as he or she introduced different topics (evaluating arguments or sources, for example).

Mission Critical: Readings and Activities

This is a text-based presentation, introducing a variety of different elements of Critical Thinking. It is very, very thorough, and also includes quizzes on the material.

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Strengths

This page provides a good overview of a lot of different elements of Critical Thinking. It includes quizzes, so that if students were to cover the material outside of class, the professor could check their work. One could also pick and choose the sections  to cover, as appropriate for topic or interest.

Concerns

As a text-based format, it is not especially stimulating (though the author does his best not to be too dry). Also, the volume of information could be overwhelming, and make it unclear what to include and what not to include in a class.

Recommendations for use

The professor could use this source for his or her own overview of what Critical Thinking is about, and perhaps assign certain pieces (on arguments, for example) for the class.

Class Reunions 2016

Homecoming Logo 2016Reconnect with your classmates during your class reunion October 7-8!

Class Reunions will be celebrated for the following classes during Homecoming & Family Weekend 2016:

1966

1976

1986

1991

1996

2006

2016

Members of reunion classes are invited to join us for the many events held during Homecoming & Family Weekend.  The weekend will culminate with a Class Reunion Celebration & Dinner for all reunion classes on Saturday, October 8th from 6-9 p.m. in Hubbell Hall I.  The celebration will include a program with remarks from President Jay Simmons, a current student and Distinguished Alumni Speaker Nile Ramsbottom ’66.  Cost is $10/person and includes dinner, wine and refreshments.  A cash bar will also be available. 

Please contact andy.english@simpson.edu if you wish to be a host committee member for your class reunion.  Host committee members are asked to attend the Celebration & Dinner as well as contact classmates to encourage their attendance.

CLICK HERE to register today!

Confronting the -isms

Teaching Tolerance offers an exercise to help students reflect on their own assumptions and biases regarding people whom the student considers to be different from them.

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Strengths

Encourages introspection and self-awareness, fostering greater critical awareness of others

Weaknesses

Coming to terms with one’s own prejudices can be upsetting (but necessary). The exercise mainly amounts to keeping a journal, so a bit rudimentary.

Recommendations for use

I might use it in a SC class, to help students gain greater self-awareness and to help set the stage for discussion of how pervasive prejudice is and potential remedies.