Analysis and Critical Thinking

This KB document is part of a larger collection of documents on active learning.
More Active Learning documents

Analysis and critical thinking active learning approaches that can be used in the classroom. Use the links below to see documents on how to implement each approach.

ApproachDescriptionOutcome
Analytic MemoStudents write a one- or two-page analysis of a problem or issue.
Analyzing assigned problems using discipline-specific methods.
Categorizing GridStudents sort subordinate terms into the correct categories on a grid.Determining whether, how, and to what extent students understand what information goes together with other information, revealing the implicit rules students are using to categorize information.
Content, Form, and FunctionStudents analyze the what(content), how (form), and why(function) of a particular message.Separating and analyzing the informational message, form, and communicative function of a piece of course content.
Defining FeaturesStudents categorize concepts according to the presence of (+) or absence of (–) critical defining features.Developing skills in categorizing information based on a given set of critical defining features.
Pro and Con GridStudents follow a decision-making process by reviewing an issue, creating a list of pro and con arguments, and making a decision based on analysis of those points.Helping students move beyond their first reactions to an issue by looking at it from different perspectives and weighing the value of competing claims.
Student-Defined QuestionsStudents write questions and model answers for each other, exchange questions, and compare their answers to the model answer.Identifying the essential features of a learning activity while also formulating and answering questions about that activity.

Source/Citation

Angelo, Thomas A., and K. Patricia Cross. Classroom Assessment Techniques: a Handbook for College Teachers. Jossey-Bass, 1993. pp. 159-180.

See Also: