Welcome to our lecture on building Critical Thinking Skills through Distance Education.
I would like us to begin with this quote by which is: “Good” thinking is an important element of life success in the information age (Huitt, 1993; Thomas & Smoot, 1994).
This generation of students have grown up with technology but lack critical thinking skills. How can we intertwine the two. The Distance Education Instructor must set-up guidelines to develop these skills. If we do not we are almost encouraging plagarism due to the fact that we have not required them to formulate questions or make distinctions. Setting up certain expectations is very important to stimulate these critical thinking skills by using the different processes available through Distance Education. Processess such as discussion forums, blogs, learning communities, and on-line collaboration.
Anderson,Rourke, Archer, and Garrison (2001) delineate three critical roles that a instructor performs in the process of creating an effective teaching presence. First, instructors design and organize the learning experience that takes place to ensure critical thinking skills are activated with the students. Second, teaching involves devising and implementing activities to encourage discourse between and among students, between the teacher and student, and between individual students, groups of students, and content resources (Anderson, 2003b). Third the teaching roles goes beyond moderating the learning experiences when the teacher adds subject-matter expertise through a variety of forms of direct instruction
Two important critical thinking skills are formulating questions and making distinctions. The students produced from Distance Education must have these critical thinking skills. This generation of students have grown up with technology but lack critical thinking skills. How can we intertwine the two. The Distance Education Instructor must set-up guidelines to develop these skills. If we do not we are almost encouraging plagarism due to the fact that we have not required them to formulate questions or make distinctions.
Language is power and building a better vocabulary is adequate to the needs of one’s reading and self-expression. Distance Education has the potential to let students experience the language and grammar of people from different parts of the country and different cultures. Then share their new vocabulary with their peers.
Students need to have the ability to examine things that are being said and consider the validity of the content or structure of problems they are presented. Distance Education Activities such as defending certain papers or opinions on a distance education forum is essential to our Distance Education students. This will benefit our students by improving the quality of the arguments they use.
The ability to generate a list of similarities and differences between two topics is vitally important to our students growth.
appreciating the Means & Endstrusting your Active & Synthetic Imaginationaccurate Interpretative Skills
"Critical" does not mean that one is "negative" or "complaining." It means being able to look at the information or assertions with sufficient intellectual ability and analytical skills so that you can indeed weigh the evidence, the values and words used to see how true or constructive the position, idea or argument actually is. And of course, your goal is to be clear and truthful AND to change minds!
Distance education, or distance learning, is a field of education that focuses on the pedagogy and andragogy, technology, and instructional systems design that aim todeliver education to students who are not physically "on site". Pedagogy is the correct use of teaching strategies and Andragogy is the learning strategies focused on adults.
Pedagogy is the correct us of teaching strategies.
Critical Thinking Skills are:<br />appreciating the Means & Ends<br />trusting your Active & Synthetic Imagination<br />accurate Interpretative Skills<br />
"Critical" does not mean that one is "negative" or "complaining." It means being able to look at the information or assertions with sufficient intellectual ability and analytical skills so that you can indeed weigh the evidence, the values and words used to see how true or constructive the position, idea or argument actually is. And of course, your goal is to be clear and truthful AND to change minds!<br />
Socratic Questioning<br />Socrates was one of the greatest educators who taught by asking questions and thus drawing out (as 'ex duco', meaning to 'lead out', which is the root of 'education') answers from his pupils.<br />http://changingminds.org/techniques/questioning/socratic_questions.htm<br />
Socratic Questioning<br />Why are you saying that? <br />What exactly does this mean? <br />How does this relate to what we have been talking about? <br />What is the nature of ...? <br />What do we already know about this? <br />Can you give me an example?<br />Are you saying ... or ... ?<br />Can you rephrase that, please?<br />
REFERENCES<br />Bidjerano, Temi & Bidjerano, Temi (2009). Community of Inquiry as a Theoretical Framework to Foster <br /> “Epistemic Engagement” and “Cognitive Presence” in Online Education. Computers & Education, v52 (n3), p543-553.<br />Bill, R., Newby, T., & Yang, Ya-Ting (2005). Using Socratic Questioning to Promote Critical Thinking Skills Asynchronous <br /> Discussion Forums in Distance Learning Environments. American Journal of Distance Education, v19 (n3), p163-181. <br />Bill, R., Newby, T., & Yang, Ya-Ting (2008). Facilitating Interactions through Structured Web-Based <br />Bulletinn Boards: A Quasi-Experimental Study on Promoting Learners’ Critical Thinking Skills. Computers & Education,<br />v50 (n4), p1572-1585.<br />Kurubacak, Guslun (2006). Improving Critical Thinking Skills Through Online Synchronous <br /> Communications: A Study of Learner’s Attitudes toward Building Knowledge Networks. Online Submission<br />Maurino, Paula San Millan (2006-2007). Looking for Critical Thinking in Online Threaded Discussions. <br />Journal of Educational Technology Systems, v34 (n3) p241-260.<br />Oriogun , Peter K. (2009). Detecting Aspects of Critical Thinking by Cleaning On-line Message Transcript <br /> through Code-Recode. American Journal of Distance Education, v23 (n1), p. 34-50<br /> Thomas, G., & Smoot, G. (1994, February/March ). Critical thinking: A vital work skill. Thrust for Educational Leadership, 23, <br />34-38. <br />
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