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Alternative Instructional Strategies: Part II Critical Thinking and Cooperative Learning. Dr. Curtis J. Bonk Associate Professor, Indiana University, Pedagogical Strategies: B. Critical Thinking. 1. Graphic Orgs: Venn Diagrams, Flowcharts

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alternative instructional strategies part ii critical thinking and cooperative learning

Alternative Instructional Strategies: Part II Critical Thinking and Cooperative Learning

Dr. Curtis J. Bonk

Associate Professor, Indiana University,

pedagogical strategies b critical thinking
Pedagogical Strategies: B. Critical Thinking

1. Graphic Orgs: Venn Diagrams, Flowcharts

2. Voting, Ranking, Nominal Group Process

3. PMI, Pros and Cons, Force Field Analysis

4. Minute/Muddiest Point Papers

5. K-W-L and K-W-H-L

6. Compare/Contrasts, Timelines, Taxonomies

7. Critiques, Replies, Reflections, Rebuttals

8. Case-Based Reasoning*

9. Working Backwards, Pruning the Tree

10. Summing Up, Abstracts, Nutshells

sample of critical thinking skills
Sample of Critical Thinking Skills
  • Distinguish relevant from irrelevant
  • Recognize bias
  • Evaluate sources
  • Recognize and evaluate inferences
  • Uses evidence skillfully and impartially
  • Organizes thoughts and articulates them concisely and coherently
8 ways to fail at teaching ct robert sternberg yale university
8 Ways to Fail at Teaching CT(Robert Sternberg, Yale University)
  • Teacher is teacher; student is student.
  • Critical thinking is the students’ job.
  • Need to find the best program.
  • Program decisions are either or.
  • Right answer over rationale.
  • Discussion a means to an ends.
  • Mastery learning applies to CT.
  • Need to “teach” critical thinking.
1 venn diagram
1. Venn Diagram
  • Draw two or more circles with overlapping parts to represent different topics, theories, or concepts.
  • Name features, components, principles, or ideas that make each concept or topic unique and put in parts that do not overlap.
  • Name overlapping features, principles, or ideas that link each concept or topic and put in parts that do overlap.
2 evaluative questions
2. Evaluative Questions
  • Give students a think sheet or list of evaluative questions to pose for their readings, projects, etc.
  • Perhaps have them check off questions use as they go through their lists.
3 cost benefit analysis cba
3. Cost/Benefit Analysis (CBA)
  • In effect, CBA asks how does the sum of the benefits compare to the sum of the costs.
  • Yet, it often leads to or supports ROI and other more quantitatively-oriented calculations.
  • Reddy, A. (2002, January). E-learning ROI calculations: Is a cost/benefit analysis a better approach? e-learning. 3(1), 30-32.
4 fat and skinny questions
4. Fat and Skinny Questions
  • Have students write down fat (big, deep, controversial, etc.) and skinny (factual, surface level, etc.) questions while completing their readings, watching a video, completing group projects.
  • Share with partner or class and discuss.
  • Or-give your students the fat or skinny questions before watch a video and then share answers (this helps to focus them).
5 pmi
5. PMI
  • After completing a lecture, unit, video, expert presentation, etc. ask students what where the pluses, minuses, and interesting aspects of that activity.
6 apc alternatives possibilities choices
6. APC: Alternatives, Possibilities, & Choices

a. Rush hour traffic problems in large cities.

b. Packaging of chocolate bars.

c. Competitor cuts the price of toilet paper.

d. A young man is seen pouring beer in his car's gas tank. What happened?

7 fip first important priorities
7. FIP: First Important Priorities

a. What should the priorities be in spending money on faculty development?

b. If you were organizing the next workshop like this, what would your priorities be?

c. How should a career as a college instructor be chosen?

8 ago aims goals objectives
8. AGO: Aims, Goals, Objectives

a. What are your objectives when sign up for a workshop like this?

b. What are your objectives when teaching your most recent classes?

c. If you were close to getting tenure, what would you be doing this summer?

9 opv other people s views
9. OPV: Other People's Views

a. If there was a teaching strike at this college, how many points of view are involved?

b. When you choose speakers like me, what points of view are involved?

c. Success of your classes will come from what points of view?

10 c s consequence sequel of an action or decision
10. C&S: Consequence & Sequel (of an action or decision)

(immediate; ST (1-5 yrs), medium (5-20 yrs), LT (over 20 yrs) (e.g., this class)

a. A boy is on vacation and his best friend steals his girlfriend.

b. The invention of a harmless happiness pill.

c. All office work can be done at home via a computer.

11 force field analysis on problem
11. Force Field Analysis on Problem
  • Driving Forces: list on left side of a paper, the forces that might help them solve a problem (the allies!).
  • Restraining Forced: list on the right, the forces that are working against them. What are the forces operating against the solution of the problem?
  • Perhaps assign some value related to difficulty or importance and compare columns and make decisions (e.g., 0 (low) to 5 (high).
12 exploring situations with questions
12. Exploring Situations with Questions
  • Have students analyze situations according to all six levels of Bloom’s taxonomy
    • Factual
    • Interpretive or comprehension
    • Analysis
    • Synthesis
    • Evaluation
    • Application

Or assign people to different levels of the taxonomy.

13 socratic questioning
13. Socratic Questioning
  • Select both positive and negative examples to illustrate a point.
  • Vary cases to help focus on facts or issues.
  • Employ counter examples.
  • Generate hypothetical cases or examples to encourage what if reasoning.
  • Promote identification of alternative predictions or the nonobvious
  • Employ entrapment strategies.
  • Encourage the questioning of answers provided by authorities.
13 summing up nutshell review
13. Summing Up/Nutshell/Review
  • Have students write for 3-5 minutes what learned for a class, presentation, or chapter.
  • Optional: Share with a peer before sharing with instructor or a class.
14 one minute papers or muddiest point papers
14. One minute papers or muddiest point papers
  • Have students write for 3-5 minutes what was the most difficult concept from a class, presentation, or chapter. What could the instructor clarify better.
  • Perhaps send to the instructor via email.
  • Optional: Share with a peer before sharing with instructor or a class.
15 k w l or k w h l
15. K-W-L or K-W-H-L

At the end of a unit, student presentation, videotape, expert presentation, etc., have student write down:

  • What did you know?
  • What do you want to know?
  • What did you learn?
  • H = How will we learn it?
16 visual thinking exercises graphic organizers
16. Visual Thinking Exercises: Graphic Organizers

Have students organize information in sequences, chains, cause and effect, main ideas, similarities and differences, story maps, etc.

17 visual thinking exercises semantic feature analysis
17. Visual Thinking Exercises: Semantic Feature Analysis

Have students note if an element or feature is present or absent. (evaluate with a + or – or ? on a grid)

18 visual thinking exercises classification schemes
18. Visual Thinking Exercises: Classification Schemes

Have students create taxonomies, timelines, comparisons and contrasts, advance organizers, epitomies, etc.

19 visual thinking exercises mnemonics
19. Visual Thinking Exercises: Mnemonics

Have students create mnemonics based on stories, acronyms, acrostics, links, rhymes, or bizarre images.

20 nominal group process
20. Nominal Group Process
  • Give statement of the problem.
  • Silent generation of ideas to solve it.
  • Round robin sharing of ideas and piggy backing of them.
  • Classification & grouping of ideas.
  • Straw vote ranking of ideas. Secret ballots.
  • Further clarification of ideas and emerging concepts. Can change wording.
  • Final priority weighting. Public vote.
21 swot
21. SWOT
  • Strengths (what group does well)
  • Weaknesses (what do not do well)
  • Opportunities (situations, events, etc., outside the group that provide unique growth opportunities, change, etc.)
  • Threats (changes or competitors who may adversely impact the group)
    • Perhaps give everyone 12 pts or dots and have them allocate 3 to each category; or perhaps allow 9 points total to allocate as they wish
web writing tasks
Web Writing Tasks
  • Freewriting or Wet Inking
  • Reflections and Journaling
  • Chapter Role Play
  • Minute Papers on E-mail
  • Case Creations
  • Article Discussions
  • Cafes and Coffee Shops
  • Personal Portfolios
  • Summarizations
pedagogical strategies c cooperative learning
Pedagogical Strategies:C. Cooperative Learning

1. Starter-Wrapper Discussions (with roles)

2. Turn to Your Partner: Quizzes, Top Tens

3. Value Line and Graphs

4. Roundrobins and Roundtables

5. Synchronous Guest Conferencing

6. Structured Controversy

7. Jigsaw, Group Investigation, PBL

8. Gallery Tours of Student Work

9. Panel Discussions/Symposia

10. Case Creation and Replies

cooperative learning principles
Cooperative Learning Principles
  • Positive Interdependence
  • Individual Accountability
  • Group Processing
  • Social Skills and Trust
  • Face-to-Face Interaction
1 structured controversy task
1. Structured Controversy Task
  • Assign 2 to pro side and 2 to con side
  • Read, research, and produce different materials
  • Hold debate (present conflicting positions)
  • Argue strengths and weaknesses
  • Switch sides and continue debate
  • Come to compromise
2 reciprocal teaching scripts
2. Reciprocal Teaching Scripts
  • Instructor gives purpose of the method (e.g., summarization, prediction, clarification, and questioning skills)
  • He/she models the method
  • Student takes over as the teacher
  • Student teacher models skills requested
3 cooperative learning scripts
3. Cooperative Learning Scripts
  • Read same passage
  • Put out of sight
  • One person is summarizes and the other tries to correct any errors
  • Both work together to learn the information
  • Read 2nd passage and change roles
4 cooperative teaching scripts
4. Cooperative Teaching Scripts
  • Read different passages
  • Put out of sight
  • One person summarizes the content of first passage and the other asks clarifying questions
  • Work together to develop analogies, images, etc. to learn
  • Repeat steps for other article
  • Read passage that did not read
5 readers
  • Review why you are about to read.
  • Explore passage for main ideas.
  • Ask questions about the main ideas.
  • Draw conclusions.
  • Evaluate your responses.
  • Read for answers and summarize main ideas.
    • Other similar strategies include paired repeated reading, paired reading, Cooperative Integrated Reading and Composition (CIRC) Program, reciprocal teaching, cooperative scripts.
6 numbered heads together
6. Numbered Heads Together
  • Count off 1, 2, 3, 4 in each group.
  • Instructor can call on a number within a group to respond or all people with a certain number to respond.
  • Increases accountability.
7 human graph
7. Human Graph
  • Class lines up:


1 = Strongly agree,

3 = neutral,

5 = strongly disagree

  • e.g., this workshop is great!
8 value lines
8. Value Lines
  • Pose question or issue
  • Students mark down their feelings or votes
  • Share votes and rationale with class
  • Recast votes
9 think pair share or turn to your partner and share
9. Think-Pair-Share or Turn To Your Partner and Share
  • Pose a question, issue, activity, etc.
  • Students reflect on it.
  • Then they share views with assigned partner.
  • Share with class.
10 phillips 66
10. Phillips 66
  • Assign topic (e.g., review readings for this week).
  • Students work in groups of 6 for 6 minutes on a particular problem.
  • After 6 minutes, stop discussion.
  • Share with class.
11 buzz groups
11. Buzz Groups
  • Meet in small groups for a set period of time followed by group discussion.
    • (perhaps discuss assigned readings)
12 stand and share
12. Stand and Share
  • Present a question.
  • When know the answer, stand up to indicate to the instructor that you have an answer.
  • Wait until all are standing.
  • Call on one at a time.
  • When you give an answer or hear you answer given, you can sit down (unless you have an additional answer).
13 inside and outside or fishbowl
13. Inside and Outside or Fishbowl
  • Situate students in two circles; an outer & inner circle.
  • Present a problem, situation, or discussion topic.
  • Have students immediately behind each other discuss their solutions, ideas, or answers.
13 inside and outside or fishbowl continued
13. Inside and Outside or Fishbowl Continued…
  • Only those on the inner circle can talk or discuss. Those behind have to listen.
  • After 5-10-15 minutes, have them share with person behind them what they did not get a chance to say and discuss the conversation so far.
13 inside and outside or fishbowl continued1
13. Inside and Outside or Fishbowl Continued…
  • Change seats between inner and outer circles.
  • Now discussion resumes with those on the inside.
  • After 5-10-15 minutes, continue with rotation or come to compromise.
  • Alternative version: Outer circle people can tap inner circle person on shoulder as replacement.
14 role play or debate panel or symposia
14. Role Play or Debate Panel or Symposia
  • Find controversial topic(s) in the readings.
  • Hand students slips of paper with different persona or roles (i.e., authors) that form into 2-3 different groups or factions.
  • Have students meet in their respective groups to form a plan of action.
14 role play or debate panel or symposia continued
14. Role Play or Debate Panel or Symposia Continued
  • Role play perhaps with alternating views being presented with 4-6 students.
  • Tap students in the audience on the shoulder to take the place of someone on panel or have them decide when to replace someone.
15a one stray three stay
15a. One Stray-Three Stay
  • Give a task to small groups of students.
  • Assign one person as spy or pirate to see the answers of other students (one stray-three stay method) and share with group.
15b one stay three stray
15b. One Stay-Three Stray
  • Group assigns one person from their group to stay behind and share product or ideas with others who visit their poster or station (one stay-three stray method).
16 group investigation or coop coop
16. Group Investigation or Coop-Coop
  • Divide a general topic into sub-topics.
  • Groups divide sub-topics into mini-topics.
  • Each student investigates their mini-topic.
  • Students present findings within groups.
  • Integration is made of all the material in each group.
  • Presentation is made to the class.
  • Evaluation is made of team as well as individual efforts.
17 student teams achievement divisions stad
17. Student Teams Achievement Divisions (STAD)
  • Students are divided up into heterogeneous groups of four-5 student groups.
  • Lesson is presented by instructor.
  • Students help each other learn the material.
17 student teams achievement divisions stad continued
17. Student Teams Achievement Divisions (STAD) Continued
  • Students take a test or quiz or perform some other task.
  • Team scores are determined based on improvement scores of all students.
  • Teams with highest scores are recognized.
18 teams games tournaments divisions tgt
18. Teams-Games Tournaments Divisions (TGT)
  • Same basic idea as STAD except that quizzes or tests are replaced by competitions between groups.
19a jigsaw i
19a. Jigsaw I
  • Form home or base groups of 4-6 students.
  • Student move to expert groups.
  • Share knowledge in expert groups and help each other master the material.
  • Come back to base group to share or teach teammates.
  • Students are individually tested; there are no group grades.
19b jigsaw ii
19b. Jigsaw II
  • Same as Jigsaw I except that total team scores on the quizzes or assignments are published or used in grading purposes.
20 problem based learning savery duffy 1996
20. Problem-Based Learning (Savery & Duffy, 1996)
  • Instructor lays out the problem situation.
  • Students work on a major problem for a unit, semester, or year.
  • Presentation is made at the end of the unit or semester.
  • Evaluation is made by experts and/or the instructor
21 open space technology harrison owen 1997
21. Open Space Technology (Harrison Owen, 1997)
  • Create a matrix of time and spaces
  • Bring markers and paper.
  • Hold big meeting & explain rules.
  • Individuals announce topic of interest or invitation.
  • Place in time slot.
  • Hold discussion forum.
21 open space technology harrison owen 19971
21. Open Space Technology (Harrison Owen, 1997)

The Four Principles:

  • Whoever comes is the right people.
  • Whatever happens is the only thing that could have.
  • Whenever it starts is the right time.
  • When it’s over, it’s over.
21 open space technology harrison owen 19972
21. Open Space Technology (Harrison Owen, 1997)
  • The law of 2 feet.
  • Bumblebees: they cross pollinate ideas and move from room to room.
  • Butterflies: they do not attend mtgs but attract attention and additional discussions.
21 open space technology
21. Open Space Technology


  • Masking tape—5 rolls
  • Ink Markers—50/100 participants, primarily dark ones
  • Flip Charts—1/breakout room plus 5 more
  • Post-its (3 X5)—2 packages of 100 per package
  • Microphone—cordless preferred
21 open space technology1
21. Open Space Technology

Authentic Presence:

  • Show up
  • Be Present
  • Tell the Truth
  • Let It All Go
what have you learned so far
What have you learned so far?
  • Solid and Fuzzy in groups of four
  • One Stray-Three Stay--Buzz Groups--Roundtable.
low risk high risk strategy continuum
Phillips 66

Turn to Your Partner &



Ranking, Categorizing

Muddy/Minute Papers


Summing Up

Brainstorming, Rev BS

Wet Inks

Mock trials

6 Hats

Metaphorical Thinking

Creative Dramatics

Human Graphs


Concept Maps, Timelines

Jigsaw, # Heads Together

Electronic Conferences


Low Risk <-------> High RiskStrategy Continuum
low time high time strategy continuum
Voting, Polling

Web Links/Comments

Case Discuss/Create

Starter-Wrapper, Q&A

Summing Up

Pros & Cons

Ranking, Categorizing

E-mail Pal, Critical Friend

Brainstorming, Rev BS

Minute Papers

Mock Trials, Role Play

Guest Experts & Lectures

Debates, Controversies

Symposia, Panel Discuss

Electronic Roundtables

Concept Maps, Webs

Taxonomies, Timelines

Thoughtful Exams


Problem-Based Learning

Low Time <-------> High TimeStrategy Continuum

Low Time/Risk Idea: ______________________

High Time/Risk Idea: ______________________

my concerns
My Concerns
  • Time, time, time...
  • Coverage
  • Feedback: Timely and complete
  • Student responsiveness
  • Evaluation and grading
  • Institutional expectations & politics
  • Costs vs. pragmatic benefits
  • What learning models???
  • Time, time, time
planning advice
Planning Advice
  • Make an action plan.
  • Write a paper.
  • Do some rapid prototyping.
  • Share, share, share!
  • Present to dept. colleagues.