Teaching Critical Thinking Skills for Evidence-Based Reasoning Across the Curriculum Using COGENT


  • Mihai Boicu Information Sciences & Technology
  • Gheorghe Tecuci Computer Science
  • Dorin Marcu Learning Agents Center
  • Laura Lukes Center for Teaching and Faculty Excellence
  • Debra Sprague Graduate School of Education
  • James Trefil Physics & Astronomy






Evidence-based reasoning is at the core of many problem-solving and decision-making activities in a wide variety of domains, including all natural sciences and engineering (e.g., for experimental methods), law, intelligence analysis, forensics, medicine, history, archaeology, and many others. However, many students lack the skills to develop sound arguments based on evidence. This session will present a general systematic approach to evidence-based reasoning and a computer system called COGENT (Cognitive Assistant for Cogent Analysis) that are proposed to be used for teaching critical thinking skills for evidence-based reasoning in a variety of courses, through an effective hands-on approach. Examples of using COGENT in current or future courses in intelligence analysis, physics, geology, and other domains will be presented. The audience will have an opportunity to use COGENT in short, hands-on exercises. The main goal of this session is to encourage other professors to adopt these innovations in their courses as a step toward teaching of evidence-based reasoning across the curriculum.

Author Biography

Mihai Boicu, Information Sciences & Technology

**2005 GMU Teacher of Distinction**





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