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Critical Thinking for Assignments and Activities

Critical Thinking for Assignments and Activities

You are expected to demonstrate proper level comprehension and communication skills in all your course activities. In less formal activities, such as WebExercises and Discussion Forums, these can be demonstrated by integrating critical thinking elements into your writing (see Critical Thinking Guidelines, below). These activities focus more on evidence of your understanding, and not so much on strict adherence to formal writing skills.

In other activities, such as presentations and research papers, your instructors are looking for your ability to demonstrate sophisticated writing skills, clarity of thinking, and synthesization of ideas and information into new understanding for professional application. Above all, instructors look for academic and professional excellence.

Below are some guidelines that will assist you in further understanding what is expected of you as a student in this program, and what instructors are looking for in your work.

Critical Thinking Guidelines

Washington State University's Critical Thinking Project developed a set of guidelines for encouraging critical thinking skills in students. These elements are outlined below:

  1. Identifies and summarizes the problem/question at issue (and/or the source's position).

  2. Identifies and presents the STUDENT’S OWN perspective and position as it is important to the analysis of the issue.

  3. Identifies and considers OTHER salient perspectives and positions that are important to the analysis of the issue.

  4. Identifies and assesses the key assumptions.

  5. Identifies and assesses the quality of supporting data/evidence and provides additional data/evidence related to the issue.

  6. Identifies and considers the influence of the context of the issue.

  7. Identifies and assesses conclusions, implications and consequences.

Although you are not expected to demonstrate all seven elements of critical thinking in every activity, you are expected to demonstrate thinking skills that contribute to furthering your understanding and application of the material.