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IDEA Objective 11

IDEA Objective 11: Learning to analyze and critically evaluate ideas, arguments, and points of view

What is this objective?

  • This learning objective addresses the activities at the upper levels of cognitive taxonomies. This objective is focused on the development of critical evaluation skills and autonomous thinking among students in their respective disciplines.

How can one teach this objective?

  • Organize the course around questions and problems that a professional in your field would be interested in exploring.
  • Engage students in activities that require complex and critical thinking, rather than just presenting them with information.
  • Encourage study groups not only to solve a particular problem but also to share the reasoning behind the approach. Ask students to use their critical thinking skills outside the classroom.
  • Help students cultivate methods to efficiently gather data and assess the quality and relevance of the data.
  • Help students develop sound and well-informed arguments.

How can one assess this objective?

  • Assessment of problem solving, critical evaluations and related skills is defined by the discipline being thought. Angelo and Cross have listed many techniques that can used for assessments.
  • Design writing assignments that put the students in a debater’s shoes or writing assignments that require the student to critique others’ ideas or opinions.
  • Ask the student to read a scientific paper and assess the conclusions the authors made based on the results.
  • Construct a rubric to lay down the guidelines for critical analysis and evaluation so the students know what to expect when they are assessed.


Reference and resource:


Author:                             Praveena KanchupatiPhD. Candidate & GTA Consultant

                                          Center for Enhancement of Teaching and Learning


Contact:                            Kevin Sackreiter, Ed.D., Director

                                          Center for the Enhancement of Teaching & Learning


Contributions:                   Shelly Bayer, Ed.D.