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Undergraduate Education

East Tennessee State University

Critical Thinking

A Resource for Faculty 

Many teachers use reading and writing, listening and speaking assignments to help students learn critical thinking skills.  But there are important differences between assignments . . .

  • that request critical thinking and those that require it.
  • that request or require critical thinking and those that teach it.

When assignments only request critical thinking, some students will try to meet the request, others won’t.  When assignments ask for critical thinking but don’t teach it, students who already have these skills can succeed, others can’t.  This web site shows you how to design activities and assignments that require AND teach critical thinking.

Using these Resources

Many of the activities and assignments on this web site . . .

  • can be done as in-class activities or out-of class-assignments.
  • can be ungraded or graded (grading criteria are evident in all of them).
  • can be converted into test questions in various formats - short answer, multiple choice and essay.
  • can be done in large section courses; look for items followed by ( L).

About this Web Site

This web site was created by Dr. William Kirkwood, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education at East Tennessee State University. © 2003, East Tennessee State University.  Permission is granted to make copies of this material for non-commercial use by educators, provided that notice is included of its authorship and copyrighted status.

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