Critical Thinker

Critical thinkers demonstrate the ability to analyse and critically evaluate arguments and evidence, to think logically, solve problems and to be flexible in face of new information and evidence.

  1. Why is this graduate attribute important?
  2. Ideas for incorporating into module or programme

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Why is this graduate attribute important?

The ability to think critically is a skill that is frequently sought by employers, but which is also important in an individual’s personal life and in achieving a meaningful education. Critical thinking helps an individual to analyse a situation to make good decisions without allowing personal bias to cloud their judgement. The trend away from routine work to jobs that require people to engage in analysis and to make judgements means that the ability to think critically is vital for DIT’s graduates.

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Ideas for incorporating into module or programme

Some case study ideas linking skills development to specific learning outcomes are provided below.

Critically evaluating information

Instead of an exam, ask students to write a literature review on a topic of their choice.

Interested in finding out more? RAFT Case Study - Marketing

Example Learning Outcomes

  1. Engage critically with academic literature on the subject area.
  2. Determine which sources provide information that is both reputable and relevant.

Enhancing quality of learning experiences of students on placement

Instead of asking students to write a report on their experiences, students out on work placement undertake a period of writing individual reflective blogs (4 x weekly blog @ 400 words per blog) to capture their experiences and reflections on experiences.

Interested in finding out more? RAFT Case Study - Health Care

Example Learning Outcomes

  1. Reflect and communicate a critical self-awareness through use of an online blog

Summarising information

Instead of asking students to write an essay or prepare a project plan, ask students to present their ideas as a concept map using software such as Freemind, Mindmap etc.

Interested in finding out more? RAFT Case Study - Health Sciences

Example Learning Outcomes

  1. Use a concept map to analyse, synthesise and summarise ideas or
  2. evaluate tools to present data and information

Collaboration and teamwork

Instead of using a lab manual, ask students to work in groups to carry out structured tasks on a weekly basis.

Interested in finding out more? RAFT Case Study - Health and Nutrition

  1. work as part of a team to plan and complete a project
  2. demonstrate an ability to apply lessons from previous tasks to new problems

Critique (the “crit”)

Students participate in a group critique and evaluate their own and other’s performances.

Interested in finding out more?

RAFT Case Study - Architecture

Example Learning Outcomes

  1. Verbalise an evaluation of other students' work.
  2. Presenting an argument logically and clearly, with supporting evidence.

Self-evaluate

Ask students to compile a portfolio of their work. Portfolios may be process portfolios, documenting the stages of learning, or product portfolios, demonstrating mastery of a set of learning objectives, and containing only the best work.

Interested in finding out more? RAFT Case Study - Social Care

Example Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify areas of the course that have extended your learning and reflect on how they have changed your practice.

Apply theory to solve real-world problems

Instead of asking students to write an essay or do a presentation, ask them to do a group report on a case study.

Interested in finding out more? RAFT Case Study - Social Care

Example Learning Outcomes

  1. Use the academic literature to help to identify practical solutions to real-world problems.

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