Argumentation and Critical Thinking Tutorial
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Micheal Pelt (Faculty)
Introducing the basic concepts of critical thinking to undergraduate students can be a trying experience. The level of abstract reasoning is sometimes presented in a way that actually hinders student learning. The organization of the concepts and materials in this tutorial should help students identify, learn, and use the tools of critical reasoning. The tutorial introduces basic concepts in an easily understandable language without invoking too many of the formal, technical terms in a way that will confuse students as to their meanings and usage.
There were a handful of misspellings that need to be cleaned up.
This site and tutorial would be a worthwhile addition to a course on critical thinking or an introduction to logic and reasoning.
The site is easily navigable and provides an easy means for students to review materials at their convenience. Although the site is fairly simple, that is a positive aspect. The technology does not interfere with the learning process. The page that lists external sources was also fairly good, although there are some additional websites and pages that could be added. The list needs to be updated on a regular basis in order to stay current.
Veronika D. Bown (Faculty)
Anne Canale Stalnecker (Staff)
helpful tool to use for assessment of student knowledge of subject matter. The
Links to other
resources is helpful.
Linda Record (Faculty)
author of this site (Jay VerLinden) acknowledges those difficulties in a
?Limitations? page. He explains that the site is not a ?substitute for a good
text,? may not adequately correlate concepts that are tested with the concepts
in a particular textbook, may present concepts by names that are different from
those with which students are familiar, and that the tutorials are ?not meant to
help you directly improve your higher order critical thinking and argumentative
Given the author?s stated limitations, the site contains a great deal of
terminology review information that is readily accessible to students. Exposure
to concepts or names beyond the scope of their coursework may be somewhat
confusing, but it may also afford students an opportunity to make connections to
a broader range of language used in argumentation.
load quickly because they do not contain graphics. The ?Links to Other
Resources? page provides a categorized list of linked resources, only one of
which was a dead end. However, there were quite a few links to paranormal sites,
and it wasn?t clear how these were expected to fit in with the others.
Dan Barnett (Faculty)
on formal logic and infomal fallacies. The test questions range from true/false
to "short answer"; for the latter the student is asked to think of the answer
before clicking to see the correct answer. True/false questions give the correct
answer when either true or false is clicked. For multiple choice questions
students are not told what the correct answer is until it is clicked. The
questions and answers are quite straightforward and reinforce basic logical
concepts, such as validity, induction, deduction, and the like. The reason I
selected three stars is for a reason recognized by the author, who states on a
page giving the limitations of the tutorial that many of the subjects covered in
the multitude of tests (dozens and dozens) may not be covered in the student's
text but, more importantly, subjects that are covered may not have the same name
as that given in the tutorial. In order for a given instructor to adapt the
materials a large effort would be requried to rewrite the questions. Some of the
questions would fit any logic or critical thinking text, but others, with
different names, might well be confusing for students. The content is certainly
the core curriculum within an introduction to logic or critical thinking course
and the tutorial may be helpful as a teaching tool, emphasizing repetition as
the author notes. The tutorial would work best, it seems to me, after the basic
concepts have been learned and the instructor is looking for ways to reinforce
learned concepts. Answer pages provide positive and immediate feedback to
even with a slow modem connection. The page for questions and answers might be
made more elegant but the questions and answers are easy to read on the screen.
Each page provides a link back to the test selection area so the student would
not get "trapped" by the software. There is no tracking of answers.
Netty Provost (Faculty)
I have linked my students in both critical thinking and introductory philosophy courses to this site as a way for them to have extra practice in logic and fallacies. I especially appreciate the sections on fallacies as nearly every student I have needs more practice in identifying fallacies in arguments. I and my students have found the site easy to navigate and access and find that the comments that show up for incorrect answers are helpful for students to identify why they got a partular question incorrect. I'll be reccomending that my adjuncts who are teaching logic and critical thinking also make use of this site.
The site is easy to navigate and access. A few students have commented that they found the yellow/green color combination of the site a little bothersome.