Joseph Halter

Critical Thinking for Student Engagement

Discussion created by Joseph Halter on May 15, 2017
Latest reply on May 21, 2017 by Joseph Halter

I decided to branch Student Engagement in an Online Course to a new discussion called Critical Thinking for Student Engagement. My previous branch had some unintended consequences of "clutter" from the previous discussion. Sorry for those who contributed before and the added confusion.


I will begin with a dialogue on the use of critical thinking in courses we teach, traditional or online.


Many educators use critical thinking in the courses they instruct. I would like to hear from you on what you are doing in your classes using critical thinking. Please provide your ideas, examples, rubrics, standards, activities, assignments, projects, etc on how you use critical thinking in your classroom. Tell us what is working and what is not working. Humility is a great trait to have using critical thinking in the classroom.


Below is my take on using critical thinking and an example.


I have been involved in critical thinking for the past 10 years and I am a strong advocate.  I have been using the Paulian modelfor critical thinking. The Center for Critical Thinking has a 37 year history in research, assessment and testing, library and resources, professional development and conferences/events. I would encourage each of you to explore their great web site to learn more about their efforts.   


Many definitions are given for critical thinking, a few are shared in this link. 


To start: An example I use in the classroom for both online and traditional is stated below:


1. Students choose one key concept from the learning plan or module from a list in the Discussion. 

2. Students will review and research the key concept, define it and cite it. It should be from the course textbook as the first source.

3. Students then will put into their own words what the definition means to them, paraphrase.

4. Students will either draw a picture or find and illustration (mostly done) of the concept and place it in the Discussion. 

5. Students will then use the concept and provide a real world example on how they can use it in their lives.

6. Students then will develop an idea on how they would teach it to other students.

7. Each student will then review another student post and use the standards for critical thinking to assess the post. 


The Discussion is essentially flipping the classroom where the student is the teacher/player of one key concept in the learning plan. The instructor is the coach. I have found this Discussion a great way to have student engagement using critical thinking in the classroom using elements and standards to foster the intellectual traits of the students. 


Orientation is provided on critical thinking, elements, standards and traits prior to the Discussion.


Below is an image of the Discussion.

Key Concepts for Critical Thinking