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Wednesday, May 14 • 10:15am - 11:15am
Reflections on Facilitating Critical Thinking Sessions for Online Learners

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At Athabasca University—Canada’s Open University—a multidisciplinary approach was adopted to conduct a series of webinars on critical thinking for graduate students over the past two years. Drawing on panelists’ experience with these webinars and their expertise in Interdisciplinary Studies, Information Literacy, Academic Writing and Learning Design, this presentation will address strategies to guide learners’ in developing critical thinking skills. Panelists will discuss and share reflections on designing, developing, facilitating and evaluating educational development activities to support post-secondary students’ critical skills in an online context.

The presentation will provide an overview of critical thinking and discuss the three schools that dominate current day practice: philosophical, psychological and generalist. The generalist approach is then discussed and critiqued in relation to Bloom’s original taxonomy of educational outcomes and its subsequent refinements.

Next, the connection between the research process and critical thinking is examined. Focusing on analysis, evaluation and synthesis, this section of the presentation provides a critical thinking approach and a set of strategies that can be employed across a variety of disciplines.

The connection between clear thinking and good writing in an academic setting is then addressed. Parallels between the writing process and a student’s ability to think, read and write critically will be examined, using Toulmin’s rhetorical model, and the ways students can refine and challenge their own thinking, using the drafting process, will also be discussed.

Of Interest to: Online and distance education, Post-secondary education, Instructional designers, Researchers, Educational technologists


Corinne Bossé

Learning Designer, Centre for Learning Design and Development, Athabasca University
avatar for Derek Briton

Derek Briton

Chair, Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies, Faculty of Humanity and Social Sciences, Athabasca University
avatar for Elaine Fabbro

Elaine Fabbro

Acting Director, Library Services, Athabasca University
avatar for Linda McCloud-Bondoc

Linda McCloud-Bondoc

Write Site Coordinator, Faculty of Humanity and Social Sciences, Athabasca University

Wednesday May 14, 2014 10:15am - 11:15am PDT
Campus Activity Centre, TRUSU Boardroom 900 McGill Road, Kamloops BC, Canada V2C 0C8

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