Short Critical Thinking Activities

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What if you could WCTL 2.1 Transparent

Explain to an Extraterrestrial



When we become deeply immersed in a topic, it can be easy to overlook basic principles that are nevertheless important. This activity encourages students to think in detail about the basic processes and assumptions underlying your course content.

Evaluating Assumptions


This activity challenges students to evaluate assumptions they may have made about the solution they have developed to a problem. What assumptions might not be true? What are the possible flaws in their plans?

Debate Dialogue


It can be easy to argue our own side in a controversy, but it can build our critical thinking skills to see the other side. This activity guides students through developing a dialogue between two characters with opposing views.

Evaluating Evidence


The world – and especially the internet – is full of answers to our questions. But how do we identify reputable sources of evidence? This activity will help students evaluate the strength of evidence from multiple sources.

Expert Testimony


What information would you be sure to share with the jury if you were called as an expert witness in a trial? Use this activity to help students compare and contrast evidence and arguments to determine what will make the strongest case.

Fact vs. Opinion


It can sometimes be easy to confuse our opinions or the opinions of others as facts. This activity guides students through deciding what statements are facts and which are opinions.

KWL Charts


How far have we come and where are we going? Use KWL charts to help your students track what they already know, want to know, and have learned throughout your course.

Learning Journal


What works for one student may not necessarily work for others. Use Learning Journals to help students track their learning approaches and progress to identify the techniques that work best for them.

Driving Forces


What is the current status of a problem in your field and what would the ideal state look like? Use this activity to help students identify the forces that facilitate and delay progress toward that ideal state.

Walker Center for Teaching and Learning

Walker Center for Teaching and Learning

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