Last week as we considered creating a Learning Community, we briefly shared some ways to encourage critical thinking in an online course. This week, let’s examine some specific instructional strategies that can be used in the online classroom.
To learn more about critical thinking, explore What is Critical Thinking? and the Critical Thinking Toolkit.
The following examples are designed for group work, which can be supported by the discussion forum and collaborative tools such as a wiki, Dropbox, or GoogleDocs.
- Use Learning Teams to move students away from Dualistic Thinking to Multiple Perspectives
- Have students work to generate multiple solutions to a complex problem
- Example: Create-A-Problem weekly partner exercises in a business math course
- Design a constructive controversy to encourage students to explore all angles of an issue
- Use case studies, games or simulations, or student moderators to promote critical thinking
These writing assignment examples can be submitted directly to the teacher via the Assignment tool or TurnItIn, or shared with the class to stimulate further discussion.
- Create argument maps to analyze reading or papers; another example here
- Require students to evaluate the sources they cite in their paper(s)
- Help students identify and evaluate assumptions in their reading and research
- Using informal low-stakes writing to stimulate critical discussion
- Require a critical thinking journal or other forms of writing assignments that require critical thinking
- Teach students about evidence in the field/profession and how to use it to make an argument
- Create SEEQ assignments: State, Elaborate, Exemplify, Question
Need some more examples? Browse the Reusable Learning Objects for Critical Thinking.
Ready to assess critical thinking in your class? Try the Critical Thinking VALUE rubric.