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Critical Thinking & Online Teaching

An Introduction

Online Discussions

Supports Outcomes

demonstrates knowledge and understanding of course content

develops community

provides practice in conventions of academic dialogue 


Teaching Critical Thinking through Online Discussions by Carol B. MacKnight, EDUCAUSE Quarterly

Critical Thinking in Asynchronous Discussions by Greg Walker,  International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning


Supports Outcomes

promotes application and creation of content 

develops community

strengthens ownership of learning 

Sample Assignment: Chemistry

Improving Information Literacy Skills through Learning To Use and Edit Wikipedia: A Chemistry Perspective - by Martin Walker & Ye Li, Journal of Chemical Education, 2015, DOI: 10.1021/acs.jchemed.5b00525

According to Walker and Li (2015)

Compared to other types of writing assignments such as a traditional course paper, Wikipedia editing provides the following benefits:

(1) Having a real audience, the general public, and a defined writing style, encyclopedia style;

(2) Doing public good by converting subject knowledge learned in class into articles more approachable by nonexperts;

(3) Interacting with classmates and peer editors on Wikipedia around the world during the information creation process;

(4) Presenting an opportunity to make information they created available to the world instantly. (p. 512)


Instructor Basics, How to use Wikipedia as a teaching tool (Wiki Education Foundation).pdf from Wiki Education Foundation

Wikis - Center for Teaching, Vanderbilt University

Editing Wikipedia Entries Is Becoming A Class Assignment In Colleges Across The U.S. - Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post

Digital Creation

Media Creation - Sample Assignment: Psychology

  • Select a chapter from the text & read the original study.  
  • You will then prepare a 15 min oral presentation for the class (a slideshow with voiceover, recorded with Jing).
  • These presentations will become part of course content: other students will have to learn the information for quizzes/exams. Therefore, you are responsible for presenting the study accurately and clearly. (Note: If you fail to present necessary information clearly, I will step in on the class’s behalf, but that will seriously damage your grade.)
  • In addition to content, you will be graded on style: how well-organized, interesting, and polished the presentation is.
  • You will be required to submit a 1-2 page outline of the study at least two days prior to the presentation due date (the outline should include all points on the back of this sheet), and also to submit a Jing practice presentation at least 1 day prior. These preliminary steps are required for you to proceed with your scheduled presentation. I will provide comments on both the outline and practice Jing to help you improve your final presentation.
  • Additional resource:


5 Tech Friendly Lessons to Encourage Higher-Order Thinking by Susan Brooks-Young, THE Journal

Social Bookmarking

Supports Outcomes

facilitate collaboration

strengthen information literacy skills (identifying, evaluating, & categorize information)

enable life-long learning


Using Social Bookmarking in Schools with Students -- Part 1   Part 2 -- Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano, Langwitches

Classroom Collaboration Using Social Bookmarking Service Diigo -- Michael Ruffini, EDUCAUSE Review

The Best Post Wiki: A Tool for Promoting Collaborative Learning and Higher-Order Thinking -- Stacy E. Greathouse PhD and Lisa H. Rosen PhD, Faculty Focus