Critical Thinking and Reflection

The following resources are designed to help you assess and develop your students’ critical thinking and reflection skills.

All our resources are available for free educational use under a Creative Commons licence. You are welcome to link to them, use them and adapt them if necessary for your students, but please acknowledge LearnHigher as authors.

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Critical thinking: an introduction

The material covers the basics of what critical thinking is, and how this abstract concept is realised in actual academic reading and writing. It was originally used for a generic 30-minute webinar on the topic, but it is recommended for a session of 45+ minutes to allow sufficient for students to engage in the interactive activities (e.g. analysing a text).

Activity time:

Types of media: PowerPoint File, Word Document

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Excelling at critical analysis: a 3-stage method with an image

The aim of this activity is to clarify the difference between descriptive and analytical writing and emphasise the importance of research-based argument. Participants engage in an interactive 3-stage exercise that interrogates a (visual) text in order to generate a piece of academic writing.

Activity time: 1 hour

Types of media: Handout/s, Slides, PowerPoint File

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The Three Domains of Critical Reading

The Three Domains of Critical Reading

Activity time: Depends - could be 10 mins to 1 hour

Types of media: PowerPoint File, Word Document

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Employability Skills Assessment

To acknowledge the skill employers are looking for in new employees in the workplace. Learners will identify their personal employability skill level and critically reflect upon how they can provide evidence that they have gained employability skills from their life and learning experiences.

Activity time: 30 Minutes

Types of media: Worksheet

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Critical Thinking Card Game

• Identify what critical thinking is • Apply critical thinking • Recall questions to ask of source material to aid critical thinking, reading and writing • Interpret and analyse subject information

Activity time: 10 Minutes

Types of media: Handout/s, Interactive Learning Object

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Critical Evaluation of Evidence

Question, discuss, and critique Assertive Discipline theory - Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the theory, and the contexts in which the strengths and weaknesses occur - Come to a reasoned conclusion about Assertive Discipline based on their evaluation

Activity time: 30-45 minutes

Types of media: Helpsheet, Slides, PowerPoint File

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Critical Thinking in Everyday Life

20-30 minutes

Activity time: 20-30 Minutes

Types of media: Lesson Plan, Slides, PowerPoint File

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What are Digital Capabilities?

To reflect upon the digital capabilities which are important to you

Activity time: 3 mins

Types of media: Video

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Learn Hacks

The animations are all based around the themes of productivity, curation, discovery, collaboration, impact and transferable skills. It is to highlight the many ways students can engage with technology to improve their learning experience.

Activity time: 3 minutes

Types of media: Video

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Focusing on the functions and qualities of writing using Wrasse

A classroom activity, designed to help students recognise the broad functions of academic writing

Activity time: 20 minutes

Types of media: Webpage

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Writing for Assignments E-library (Wrasse)

Students can browse examples of students work from a number of subject areas, and see comments from lecturers

Activity time: Variable

Types of media: Webpage

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Tips for writing a critical essay

This guide provides students with additional tips to help them apply models of critical thinking to their writing.

Activity time: 15 minutes

Types of media: Handout/s

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What’s the difference between description and critical analysis?

What's the difference between description and critical analysis?

Activity time: 5 Minutes

Types of media: Handout/s, Webpage, Helpsheet

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Critical thinking and reflection

A comprehensive range of guides exploring the critical thinking process.

Activity time: Up to 1 hour

Types of media: Handout/s, Video, Interactive Learning Object

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What is critical thinking?

A brief introduction to critical thinking

Activity time: 10 Minutes

Types of media: Webpage

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How do staff and students define critical thinking?

A brief introduction to staff and students interpretations of critical thinking

Activity time: 10 minutes

Types of media: Webpage

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Six steps to success

A presentation outlining a whole new approach to successful study. The six steps are:

S = Study Techniques and practices
O = Overview
C = Creativity
C = Communicate effectively
E = Emotions
R = Review, review, review

Also includes a booklet for students' reference, and some suggested activities to follow the presentation.

Activity time: 40 minutes

Types of media: Handout/s, Slides, PowerPoint File, Word Document

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