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Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving (CTPS)

Evaluate ideas and evidence rationally to produce and implement solutions.

CTPS Syllabus Statement

This course meets the Core Curriculum Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Essential Learning Outcome; it provides students with the opportunity to practice fundamental intellectual skills for approaching problems and evaluating evidence in order to develop solutions and draw informed conclusions.

Expectations for Student Learning

Courses approved for the Critical Thinking and Problem Solving ELO ask students to engage in activities or complete assignments that build competence in this area. They require students to demonstrate knowledge of and/or skill in at least three of the following areas:

  • Using evidence and data to explain academic or/and real-world problems.
  • Stating, and describing comprehensively, an issue or problem to be considered, delivering all relevant information necessary for full understanding.
  • Interpreting and evaluating information taken from sources in order to develop a comprehensive analysis or synthesis; thoroughly questioning viewpoints of experts.
  • Developing conclusions and related outcomes (consequences and implications) that are logical and reflect the student’s informed evaluation and ability to place evidence and perspectives discussed in priority order.
  • Proposing one or more solutions/ hypotheses that indicate a deep comprehension of the problem.
  • Evaluating a solution, considering the history of problem, logic/reasoning behind the solution, the feasibility of the solution, and the impacts of the solution.
  • Implementing a solution in a manner that addresses thoroughly and deeply multiple contextual factors of the problem.

Sample Activities or Assignments

  • Given a portfolio of information about a social problem, write a report recommending specific actions and clarifying costs, benefits and other implications. [Criteria 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]
  • Given a problem, develop and compare technical solutions. [Criteria 2, 5, 6]
  • Examine a case study for a clinical problem, and provide and compare a range of solutions. [Criteria 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]
  • Make the case for adding funds for public higher education. [Criteria 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]
  • Implement and evaluate a program that will address the needs of a social agency. [Criteria 1 - 7]

CTPS Course Listing