I’ve written previously on my difficulties and dilemmas about organising sessions for doctoral students on the notion of critical thinking. Over the past few months I have been thinking about critical thinking as a skill which once acquired can be suspended at will. I am even going as far to think this might be a key leadership skill.
Times of turbulence and change provide personal opportunities for those who suspend critical thinking. If we choose not to think, we don’t have to care. Success in most areas of life (including academia I hope) requires the acquisition and use of critical thinking. Part of becoming a successful leader is turning the critical thinking faculty on and off, at will. Critical thinking is needed, but those who can choose when not to think and go along with what is happening, especially when it suits them personally, will thrive.
I think there is nasty “off switch” in all of us. I’ve seen much, thought little and passed by on the other side so many times. When we think critically we might need to do something or say something. By not thinking critically we can act as though our naivety, prejudice and instinct are means to the truth.
This is quick demonstration of the WordPress WP-Pro-Quiz Plugin. I used it in my previous job for the Getting More out of Feedback quiz. I find it it to be a very intuitive plugin for wordpress.org. Media can easily be added in and material from other sites embedded. A full range of question and answer types is available).
Click "Start Quiz" to see a quick multiple choice demo here.
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Watch the following video about the University of Brighton PASS scheme
I have put many of my teaching resources in the humbox where anyone is welcome to download and reuse them. They are primarily used as handouts in face-to-face contexts, so most would probably need adapting to turn them into materials suitable for purely online context. Most are available under creative commons licenses, but please check first.
Further resources I have produced for sharing are on other project websites such as SPEAQ (Relating to quality assurance and enhancement) and Getting the Most Out of Feedback which has resources for students and staff on feedback and student evaluation.
I had an unexpected surprise when I 'won' some Taylor and Francis vouchers on Twitter. One of the books I chose was Henry R Neave's Statistics Tables: For Mathematicians, Engineers, Economists and the Behavioural and Management Science. In the preface to this second edition the compiler writes:
[Teaching statistics In the 1970s] I was unable to find any tables suitable for the course. So there really was no alternative but to develop a set myself (p.3).
One of the challenges of writing Statistics for Humanities was actually finding statistical tables which did not have a copyright on them or which were otherwise non-ambiguous in terms of intellectual property. Requests for information on twitter and mailing lists of copyright experts were inconclusive-- some stating that the tables belong to the persons who complied them and other citing 'fair use' or the view that ideas or numbers cannot be copyrighted.
Either way I'm now in possession of Neave's tables. This doesn't clear up the issue in any way, but I'm pleased to have a copy to hand.