Critical Thinking Unit 2 Generic

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Part of a set of university teaching materials called "Encouraging Critical Thinking Online" by Meriel Patrick of Oxford University, made openly available for adaptation and re-use in the Intute Virtual Training Suite <http: />

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Critical Thinking Unit 2 Generic

  1. 1. Encouraging Critical Thinking Online Unit 2 Gauging and Examining Popular Opinion
  2. 2. Overview
  3. 3. [Insert topic or question here] • Find and browse websites that address this issue • Note the range of views you encounter, and the key site(s) for each view • Note how prevalent each view is
  4. 4. Key Views
  5. 5. Key Sites
  6. 6. Discussion Questions • Which views are most widespread? – How significant is this? • Are there any discernable patterns in who holds each view? – Among experts and lay people? – In the UK and elsewhere in the world? – Among religious and secular groups?
  7. 7. Discussion Questions • How representative do you think the views you encountered are of wider society? – What might make people more or less likely to express their views publicly? – What might make them more or less likely to do so online?
  8. 8. Examining the Sites • Look at some of the websites again, and consider: – How various views are expressed – What techniques sites use to promote their views – What you find persuasive – and why
  9. 9. Discussion Questions • What techniques are used to promote each view? – Are arguments given? Do they work? – Is evidence presented? Is it convincing? – Are appeals to emotion or shock tactics used? Are these effective?
  10. 10. Discussion Questions • Do any of the sites examined feature: – Evidence of bias or prejudice? – Ad hominem arguments? – Sweeping generalisations about opponents or opposing views? – Statements you know to be false? • How does this affect your reaction?
  11. 11. Discussion Questions • What do you personally find persuasive? Why is this? • Was there anything you found off- putting, or that had the opposite effect from that intended by the author? • Did anything cause you to question views you’d held previously?
  12. 12. This slideshow is part of Encouraging Critical Thinking Online, a set of free teaching resources designed to develop students’ analytic abilities, using the Web as source material. For the full set, please visit Intute Training: http://www.intute.ac.uk/training/

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