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How to Promote Critical Thinking
in the Online Classroom
WEBINAR FOR MOOC: ‘HOW TO TEACH ONLINE’, LEEWARD COLLEGE
DEBBIE M...
How can Instructors
promote Critical
Thinking in the
online classroom?
How to Promote Critical Thinking
• Goal of this Webinar: develop instructional strategy for
fostering critical thinking sk...
Critical Thinking Defined…
“Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of
actively and skillfully concept...
The most influential resource for developing
students’ critical thinking skills:
Methods for teaching critical thinking…
• Numerous teaching methods contribute to intellectual growth
• A combination of i...
Community of Inquiry Model (CoI)
CoI framework represents a
process for creating deep and
meaningful online learning
exper...
Social Presence (CoI)
• Student’s have a ‘voice’ and a presence
• A feeling of togetherness and mutual
awareness.
• Three ...
Teaching Presence (CoI)
• Students sense the instructor is ‘there’
• Teaching presence is a significant
determinant of stu...
Cognitive presence (CoI)
• Cognitive presence is the
extent to which learners are
able to construct meaning
through sustai...
“If students are to reach a high level of critical thinking and knowledge
construction, the interaction or discourse must ...
Methods that support Higher Order Thinking
• Online Discussion: Promote analysis, reflection via carefully constructed que...
Elements of Effective Asynchronous Online Discussions
• Carefully constructed question(s) that support learning
goals of a...
Examples of effective discussion questions:
Moderator Behaviours that Support Asynchronous
Online Discussions
• Prompt further discussion by responding to student pos...
Discussion Prompts
• What would be an example?
• Where did you get this idea?
• What is your main point?
• Can anyone see ...
Example: Introduction Exercise from first week o f
online course designed to build Social Presence
Example: Discussion questions from an
online course on Health Economics
Example: Discussion questions in response to a Case
Study in an online course on Health Economics
Questions and Discussion
Resources
• Teaching CriticalThinking through Online Discussions, (2000), C.
MacKnight, EDUCAUSE (PDF)
• Essential Element...
Thank you!
Contact Info
• Twitter: @OnlineLearningI
• Blog: Online Learning Insights
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How to Teach Critical Thinking in the Online Classroom

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How can we get to students develop higher order thinking skills and think critically? And, is it even possible in an online learning space? This presentation shares a model that supports deep and meaningful learning - the Community of Inquiry model [CoI]. The CoI,(Garrison) provides a foundation for encouraging students to engage with the content & classmates and apply content in learning contexts that build higher order thinking.

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  • @debrabuckpierce Hi Debra,
    Thank you so much for your comments, and applying them to a real teaching context by synching how the concepts apply to your teaching and learning. I agree with you how we can learn so much for our students! I too learn a tremendous amount for other educators like yourself that share their experiences online.

    Thanks again Debra!
    Debbie
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How to Teach Critical Thinking in the Online Classroom

  1. 1. How to Promote Critical Thinking in the Online Classroom WEBINAR FOR MOOC: ‘HOW TO TEACH ONLINE’, LEEWARD COLLEGE DEBBIE MORRISON, ONLINE LEARNING INSIGHTS SEPTEMBER 30, 2013
  2. 2. How can Instructors promote Critical Thinking in the online classroom?
  3. 3. How to Promote Critical Thinking • Goal of this Webinar: develop instructional strategy for fostering critical thinking skills in the online classroom • Agenda : 1) theory - Define critical thinking - Review Community of Inquiry model - Identify components of critical thinking 2) application - Methods to encourage higher order thinking - Examples from online classes
  4. 4. Critical Thinking Defined… “Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.” It is a standard of intellectual excellence required for full participation in social, economic, and political life of a given society. A statement by Michael Scriven & Richard Paul, presented at the 8th Annual International Conference on CriticalThinking and Education Reform, Summer 1987.
  5. 5. The most influential resource for developing students’ critical thinking skills:
  6. 6. Methods for teaching critical thinking… • Numerous teaching methods contribute to intellectual growth • A combination of instructional methods are needed • Instructional methods need to encourage higher order thinking - synthesizing, summarizing, reflecting, creating, etc. (Bloom’s Taxonomy) • Several frameworks/models exist that theorize elements needed for critical thinking
  7. 7. Community of Inquiry Model (CoI) CoI framework represents a process for creating deep and meaningful online learning experiences through the development of three interdependent elements - social, cognitive and teaching presence. Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer,W. (2000)
  8. 8. Social Presence (CoI) • Student’s have a ‘voice’ and a presence • A feeling of togetherness and mutual awareness. • Three elements of social presence: 1) effective communication, 2) open communication and 3) group cohesion
  9. 9. Teaching Presence (CoI) • Students sense the instructor is ‘there’ • Teaching presence is a significant determinant of student satisfaction, perceived learning, and sense of community • TP construct falls into three categories: 1) design 2) facilitation 3) instruction
  10. 10. Cognitive presence (CoI) • Cognitive presence is the extent to which learners are able to construct meaning through sustained communication and discourse in a community of inquiry • Critical thinking can be fostered and developed
  11. 11. “If students are to reach a high level of critical thinking and knowledge construction, the interaction or discourse must be structured and cohesive.” Facilitating Cognitive Presence in Online Learning: Interaction is not Enough, (2005) D.R. Garrison & M. Cleveland-Innes
  12. 12. Methods that support Higher Order Thinking • Online Discussion: Promote analysis, reflection via carefully constructed question(s) within asynchronous discussion forum with instructor moderating • Case Study: Promote analysis , synthesis and application of course content through responses and interaction within asynchronous discussion forum • Group Assignment: Small groups construct solution to given problem, create digital artifact to demonstrate application of course content. Group artifacts can be shared and discussed with entire class in asynchronous discussion • Debate: Promote analysis & synthesis using controversial event—teams discuss in structured forum, each taking a ‘position’ within group, or class forum • [Recorded] Live Discussion: Promote analysis of course content through small synchronous guided discussion with instructor and 3 or 4 students that is recorded for other students to view. Post session, students reflect and discuss viewpoints raised within discussion
  13. 13. Elements of Effective Asynchronous Online Discussions • Carefully constructed question(s) that support learning goals of a module, lesson etc. • Skilled moderator that guide discussions to support goals of discussion (could be course instructor or student leader(s)) • Guidelines that include concise & clear instructions for student participation, expectations, evaluation i.e. rubric • Feedback after discussion closes in form of grade, or individual or collective comment on discussion outcomes
  14. 14. Examples of effective discussion questions:
  15. 15. Moderator Behaviours that Support Asynchronous Online Discussions • Prompt further discussion by responding to student postings that encourage elaboration, further explanation and deeper analysis • Encourage students to add value by prompting them to share resources (links), ask questions, or incorporate content from course when responding to another student’s post • Let discussion flow – don’t dominate, but enhance • Summarize discussion responses at end of discussion period sharing highlights of student posts, summary of perspectives and ideas
  16. 16. Discussion Prompts • What would be an example? • Where did you get this idea? • What is your main point? • Can anyone see this from another perspective? • Could you explain further? • What assumptions are made here? • How can we find out? • What are you assuming?
  17. 17. Example: Introduction Exercise from first week o f online course designed to build Social Presence
  18. 18. Example: Discussion questions from an online course on Health Economics
  19. 19. Example: Discussion questions in response to a Case Study in an online course on Health Economics
  20. 20. Questions and Discussion
  21. 21. Resources • Teaching CriticalThinking through Online Discussions, (2000), C. MacKnight, EDUCAUSE (PDF) • Essential Elements in Designing Online Discussions to Promote Cognitive Presence – A Practical Experience,(2008) Y.Wang &V.D. Chen • CoI Model, communitiesofinquiry.com • CriticalThinking in the Online Classroom, Online Learning Insights • College and University Faculty,The CriticalThinking Community
  22. 22. Thank you! Contact Info • Twitter: @OnlineLearningI • Blog: Online Learning Insights

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