Convenient access to information is now commonplace with portable internet-capable devices like laptops, tablets, and cell phones. The revolution continues as smart technologies like internet-capable wristwatches meet the market. The result is an abundance of information, available at any time with the click of a button or tap of a screen. When a question arises, the default reaction is to “Google it,” rather than attempt to recall an answer, solve the problem, or find information from any other source. While this is a valuable way of accessing information, students should be cautioned against accepting the information at face value, and encouraged to evaluate that information for accuracy, validity, bias, and so on (Weiler, 2004). At a time when critical thinking skills are more necessary than ever, these skills are not being explicitly developed. The convention of teaching large classes in the sciences usually leads to information being received passively, without much room for questioning or challenging the content. Science students are given content rather than the tools for seeking and evaluating scientific information themselves (Pithers & Soden, 2000). Given the continuously evolving nature of scientific theory and the abundance of information available on the Internet, instructors must equip students with tools for finding and analyzing information; these tools can be applied to both classroom and life-long learning. This workshop provides instructors with strategies for active learning that promote development of critical thinking skills in students.
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Ali, S. Amanda
"Critical Thinking in the Information Age: Helping Students Find and Evaluate Scientific Information,"
Teaching Innovation Projects: Vol. 6
, Article 3.
Available at: http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/tips/vol6/iss1/3