Real-Life Problem Solving Using Critical Thinking Discussions

  • Sanja Avramovic George Mason University


Location: Dewberry Hall


There is a huge market for distance education programs and fully on-line or hybrid courses,  but we still face challenges encouraging students to develop critical thinking skills (Allen at al, 2013). 

In the Advance Health Information Systems course, which is offered as an on-line and hybrid course, we developed a “Critical thinking discussion,” which exposes students to real-life problems. A short video explains a problem given to, for example, a consultant in a company, and challenges students to come up with their own solutions. Students use facts that they have learned during the lectures to devise a solution, which they post on the class Discussion Board for consideration. They are expected to provide responses with a clear, well-formulated thesis; and support posts with appropriate rationale and citations from readings. Also, they are expected to provide responses to at least two classmates' postings. Those responses should be thoughtful, substantial, polite and more extensive than a simple "well done"  or "I agree" phrase. They should consider points of agreement, disagreement, assumptions, and value judgments. They can respond to others after they submit the initial post. Also, after the initial post, they will be able to see the instructor’s solution for the same problem. There is no “correct” or “incorrect” answer, and it is their activity itself which is graded.  Participants will learn how to apply similar strategies to their courses using Blackboard.

Author Biography

4:15pm-5:30pm POSTER SESSION (Group B- 4:45-5:15pm)