Episode 34

"Critical Thinking"

Duration 00:13:09      Recorded on October 14, 2007

In this episode, Dan and Susan explore the idea of critical thinking in online learning. Can you create the same kind of dynamic, spontaneous pursuit of a topic when you move online?

Show Notes:

In this episode, Dan and Susan explore the idea of critical thinking in online learning. Can you create the same kind of dynamic, spontaneous pursuit of a topic when you move online? Susan first asks whether there is the possibility to work synchronously. But for those who teach asynchronously, most would argue that the technology can be used to bring about greater depth, participation and critical thinking.What is the disconnect that keeps faculty from making the transition and building courses that are driven by critical thinking? Susan says this starts with instructional design. What are you asking students to do and how?

How are we asking the questions? A couple resources: A Questioning Toolkit - old '97. And then Introduction to Crafting Questions for Online Discussion

Dan also suggests looking at the verbs you use when asking questions, but Susan reminds us to keep it within the vocabulary range of the learner.

How do you know when someone has thought critically? Facilitators must not assume learners understand the roles needed to bring about critical thinking. Instructions, rubrics and rewards are three strategies discussed.

Poorly inter-related monologues; how do we get beyond these? Susan admits she's struggling in this area!

Final nuggets: get training in pedagogy, set up your course for discussion to be central, craft appropriate questions, know what outcomes you want in advance, facilitate accordingly. Of course, it is never that simple!

A final resource we forgot to mention: Teaching Critical Thinking through Online Discussions [PDF]

 
About Us

The LT Green Room is a podcast for Renewal, Retooling and Conversations about Learning. It is co-hosted by Susan Manning and Dan Balzer and its show topics are often drawn from members of LearningTimes.org, a free online community of education and training professionals from across the globe. The LT Green Room gives listeners (and ourselves) an opportunity to reflect on what they're doing behind the scene that results in an effective learning experience.

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Susan Manning
Co-Host & Producer
Dan Balzer
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Carl Heine
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