Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Development of Critical Thinking Skills in Distance Education

Hello Community Members and Dr. Powley,

Thank you for your patience and support regarding some unexcepted circumstances last week and this week. I have embeded my video below for your comments and recommendations. Again,thank you.

Michele Baylor


  1. Hi Michele,
    I love your originality in displaying critical thinking. I have no idea how to adjust the narration from going up and down. The narration in mine also screwed up by going faster than where I set it. Not sure how to fix these things in Windows Movie Maker.

  2. Hi Michelle,
    Very good examples of critical thinking skills. While watching your video, I wondered about how much we as individuals take for granted that involve using critical thinking skills to perform daily tasks: football, playing a musical instrument and moving shopping carts. Nice job.

  3. Hi Lynette,

    It took me several times to get different shots for showing examples of critical thinking. I believe my narration dragged a little in a couple of places because of my battery on my labtop. I believe the next time, I will not record on my labtop, I will record on my new desktop. I suppose to invest in a new one for Christmas. Thanks so much for taking time to view my video and provide me with positive feedback. :)


  4. Hi Keith,

    Thanks Keith. I never really thought about it until I starting shooting my shots. We tend to take everything for granted. It seems as if everything that we do to a certain degree requires critical thinking skills. Do you agree? Why or Why not? :)


  5. Hello Michelle,
    The question I am struggling with is how to create an environment online that encourages critical thinking and how to assess? Even though we are mostly asynchronous at Walden, I think we are practicing critical thinking in our forum discussions. In education, I think of critical thinking skills as requiring analyzing, comparing, contrasting, graphic organizers, finding connections, debate, summarizing - all higher level thinking. The Socratic Method works great in f2f, but how do we do that online? I am thinking that DE should be more than just asynchronous forum discussions. We should be more project-based, collaborative, team-based, and checking into a chat room or Eluminate once a week for team discussions. That to me would be more realistic, more real world, and more real time practice with critical thinking in an educational environment. Any ideas?
    Just thinking.............
    BTW, nice job on your video!!!

  6. Hello Michelle,
    Thank you for sharing your video on critical thinking. You mention web 2.0, turnitin, etc. are strategies for critical thinking, could you explain this further. I tend to think of these as electronic tools. I guess I am looking for a more direct connection between these and critical thinking? Thanks.

  7. Hello Marlene and Rayaray,

    This class is an excellent example of how we have been using our critical thinking skills. For example, I mentioned at the end of my presentation the following:

    1. Create a reliable evidence checklist for the students – Reliable evidence assists in the development of stronger arguments, and is in line with standard scholarly expectations.
    2. Develop narrated mini-lectures for the weekly topics – Brief narrated presentations are better than non-narrated PowerPoints because students find it challenging to derive meaning from bullet lists sans narration.

    3. Revised all rubrics to included critical thinking skills; revisions were made to reflect instructions about writing mechanics, proper organization and accurate use of APA style. – Rubrics clarify expectations and encourage critical thinking. It also demonstrates that critical thinking skills are valued in terms of grading purposes (Marcisz and Wolen 2010).

    Whitely (2006) argued that the Socratic Method is an approach that is designed to engage the student in critical thinking and in the process of reflective thinking (p. 67). For example, weekly discussion forums use the Socratic Method because the forums allow for robust dialectical interaction among the students and the instructor. As a result, the instructor can use the Socratic Method to ask engaging questions that can enhance critical thinking and that can lead to greater conceptual clarity. Moreover the students can see the Socratic Method modeled by the instructor, and can emulate this behavior in their responses to their peers (Marcisz and Wolen 2010).

    Through the use of Web 2.0 tools and other technologies students can increase their critical thinking skills. For example, Turnitin works as a deterrent to plagiarism and encourages students to do their own work, which hones critical thinking skills.


    Marcisz, N. a., & Wolen , S. (2010/June). A case study: Enhancing critical thinking skills in an online health care ethics course. Merlot Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 6(2), 466-474.


  8. Hi Dr. Powley,

    I did it!! I am so happy that I was able to embed my video. I researched again the information on the Internet.

    Thank you. :)


  9. Hi Michele,
    It is so nice to actually see the people we are involved with in our discussions. I enjoyed your video. I wish that I could post mine on my blog, however have been not able to figure it out. I liked your use of critical thinking to every day activities and jobs that we do not even think about. Well done.
    Joy. P.S. I sent you my video e-mail and hope you have had the chance to review it. Let me know if you have not.

  10. Good job Michele! You have put together a very nice presentation. I especially liked video snippets of different ways critical thinking is used in our day to day life. I am not sure about your showing the trees as a symbol of critical thinking. Perhaps I missed the analogy. Nonetheless, the message is clear concise and to the point. Great job!