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Critical thinking and its beneficial use essay

Small group learning was also used in the nonwriting treatment groups to a greater or lesser extent depending on individual instructor preference. Baseline critical thinking performance was established in the academic quarters preceding the writing experiment to more specifically attribute changes in critical thinking to the writing treatment.

  1. Everyone has to learn the key academic study skills they use to think, read and write critically.
  2. It is easy to get lulled into just agreeing with what an academic says because they write it so persuasively and they write it so eloquently but what you need to do is establish what you think about a particular topic.
  3. These skills include critical analysis, introductory and concluding justification, valid conclusion, distinguishing facts and opinions to assess the credibility of sources of information, clarification of concepts, and recognition conditions 6 , 7.
  4. Each essay included an introduction with a group-generated thesis statement, two to three body paragraphs that provided sufficient detail to support the thesis statement, and a summary paragraph that concluded the essay. So when they have knowledge of their own reasoning-as they apply critical thinking-they can detect syllogistic errors 22 — 26.
  5. At university you will need to demonstrate your critical thinking skills in a variety of areas.

Concurrent nonwriting course sections were also used as comparison groups. The historical baseline provided a way to determine what student performance had been before experiencing the writing treatment, whereas the concurrent nonwriting groups allowed for a direct comparison of critical thinking performance during the writing treatment. Pretest scores indicating prior critical thinking skill were also used to further establish comparability between the writing and nonwriting groups.

INTRODUCTION

Laboratory activities were coordinated for all sections by a single faculty member who taught in the nonwriting group. All faculty and graduate assistants met regularly to discuss course progress, laboratory procedure, and coordinate resources. Nonwriting faculty drafted quizzes that addressed laboratory content knowledge.

Writing faculty collaboratively crafted a consensus essay, or thought question, designed to elicit student critical thinking and ability to apply content knowledge. Each thought question was designed so that students had to apply lecture concepts and build on their conceptual understanding by integrating actual laboratory experiences see Supplemental Appendix 1available online for thought question examples. Weekly thought questions became progressively more difficult as the term progressed.

Initial planning meetings took place just before the beginning of the academic quarter and included graduate assistant training to help them learn to consistently evaluate student writing using a modified thesis-based essay rubric see Supplemental Appendix 2 ; Beers et al.

A range of sample essays from poor to high quality was used to calibrate graduate assistant scoring and ensure consistency between assistants from different laboratory sections within the writing group.

All graduate assistants and course instructors applied the thesis-based rubric to sample essays and worked toward consensus. Initial training ended when all graduate assistants scored within 0. Students were given weekly thought questions before beginning laboratory to help them frame their efforts during laboratory exercises.

Critical Thinking: The Development of an Essential Skill for Nursing Students

Students completed the prescriptive lab activities during the first hour, and then each student group relocated to an assigned computer lab in the same building and worked around a common computer terminal to draft a collective response to the weekly thought question.

Students were allowed to use any suitable information or materials laboratory observations, laboratory manuals, lecture notes, textbooks, the Internet, etc. Internal group discussions allowed students to argue individual viewpoints as they worked toward group agreement on each thought question.

  • To practise this skill visit the Evaluating arguments page in this section;
  • This method should be implemented by nurses at the end of their shifts, when reviewing patient history and progress, planning the nursing plan or discussing the treatment of a patient with colleagues 9;
  • The Decision The decision is the selection of appropriate actions to fulfill the desired objective through critical thinking;
  • Interesting Thoughts and Feelings for Research Nurses need to recognize, examine and inspect or modify the emotions involved with critical thinking;
  • Writing faculty collaboratively crafted a consensus essay, or thought question, designed to elicit student critical thinking and ability to apply content knowledge.

Essay responses to thought questions were answered using a standard five-paragraph format. Each essay included an introduction with a group-generated thesis statement, two to three body paragraphs that provided sufficient detail to support the thesis statement, and a summary paragraph that concluded the essay.

Students were not allowed to work on essays outside of the laboratory environment. Initial essay drafts were composed in Microsoft Word and submitted to the graduate assistant by the end of the laboratory period using the campus e-mail system. Graduate assistants evaluated each group's essay typically six per lab section and assigned an initial grade based on the thesis-based essay rubric. Graduate assistants made comments and suggestions electronically using Microsoft Word revising and track changes tools.

Benefits of Critical Thinking

Evaluated essays were e-mailed back to each student group, which addressed comments and suggestions during the subsequent week's laboratory writing time.

Each student group submitted a final draft that was re-evaluated and assigned a final grade. During the second week, students both revised their essay from the previous week and then generated an initial draft for the current week's thought question, all within the lab writing hour. This was done to help students become more proficient writers within a short period of time. An identical percentage was used to calculate traditional quiz and lab book scores in all nonwriting course sections.

At the end of the quarter, each writing group member completed a peer evaluation for all group members, including themselves see Supplemental Appendix 3.

  • Case studies across the curriculum;
  • Laboratory activities were coordinated for all sections by a single faculty member who taught in the nonwriting group;
  • Bandman EL, Baundman G;
  • Don't be afraid to criticise people who are published, even if it's your own lecturer's book, if you don't agree with what they've written don't be afraid to say that because what that shows is that you are thinking critically.

This was done to help students reflect on and evaluate their own performance, maximize individual accountability within the group, and make sure students received credit proportional to their contributions. Collectively, this approach to writing and evaluation was used to 1 help students reflect on and discuss deficiencies in their collective and written work, 2 provide an opportunity for students to explicitly address deficiencies in thesis development and general writing skill, 3 provide a suitable reward for student efforts to revise their work relative to established performance benchmarks, 4 improve individual accountability within each group, and 5 help students develop more efficient and effective writing skills that collectively might lead to improved critical thinking skill.

Assessment of Critical Thinking Using critical thinking to indicate student learning performance is particularly useful because it can be measured within and across disciplines. Various instruments are available to assess critical thinking Watson and Glaser, 1980.