In this blog post from Higher Ed Teaching Strategies, Rob Kelly discusses how teachers can impact discussions and promote critical thinking. I appreciated how he gives specific examples of how an instructor can be an effective moderator. Of particular interest to me were the different levels of feedback. Some students need more coaching than others, and when a teacher develops capacity to understand this, it enables more learners to be successful and provides a very personalized approach.
An online coach and instructional designer applies critical thinking theory and practice to asynchronous online discussions. He explains the importance of writing, vocabulary, and reflection, and activities such as questioning and role play. He also explores the facilitator role and how this differs in asynchronous online as compared to traditional classroom activities. I liked the specific examples that he uses to show how theory becomes practice.
In this online pedagogical repository, an online college instructor shares his guided approach strategy. I like the fact that he shares three artifacts from an actual discussion that he facilitated. Included are the discussion rubric, the student instructions, and a student response sample. These artifacts provide great insight into how students can develop critical thinking skills in online discussion forums.
In this blog post, a professor from Ashford University defines critical thinking and shares his experiences with teaching this skill using asynchronous online discussions. He shares specific suggestions for question prompts that are sustainable and highly effective. I found this post to be very helpful. It shows how easily one can upgrade discussion questions to empower students to grow their critical thinking skills.
In this article, written by an instructional technologist from the University of Massechusetts, the author discusses how online tools and collaboration contribute to effective teaching practices that stimulate critical thinking in learners. I like the insight that this author provides. She gives examples of effective and not so effective practices that she has witnessed. She provides specific lists of possible discussion activities and question prompts that encourage critical thinking.