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PHL 137 – Critical Thinking

2017 – S1 External

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit Convenor
Albert Atkin
Contact via albert.atkin@mq.edu.au
Tutor
Wilson Cooper
Tutor
Ali Navabi
Tutor
Alison Harwood
Tutor
James Norton
Tutor
Richard Weir
External Student Tutor
Frances Massey
Credit points Credit points
3
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
This unit aims to teach the fundamentals of critical thinking and reasoning. Students learn how to construct, analyse and critically evaluate arguments; how to detect common fallacies in reasoning; and how to think logically and creatively. We teach these skills by developing practical techniques for the evaluation of reasoning, and applying them to arguments from business, law, science, politics, philosophy and the media. Critical thinking skills are invaluable across all disciplines, and will benefit students in academic contexts and in life beyond university.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at http://students.mq.edu.au/student_admin/enrolmentguide/academicdates/

Learning Outcomes

  1. Recognise the structure of arguments, and how to represent that structure in a clear standardise form.
  2. Differentiate between types of reasoning and the methods of evaluation appropriate to each.
  3. Appraise the arguments of others and how to represent it in a clear and standardise form.
  4. Construct your own well-reasoned arguments.
  5. Apply your critical analysis skills to arguments from a variety of contexts and disciplines.

General Assessment Information

All quizzes, participation 2, and the final assessment will be submitted through iLearn.

There will be no extensions granted for Quiz 1 - 3. These are short quizzes which should take only 40 minutes, and can be completed at any time during a five day window.

There will be no extensions granted for Participation 2. This is a short assignment which should take only 30 minutes, and can be completed at any time during a twenty-one day window.

Extensions on the final assessment will only be granted under serious circumstances, and students applying must accept that any lengthy extension granted may result in their assessment being entered as "incomplete" while convenors find appropriate markers for their work. Students must request extensions through the special considerations system.

Late Penalties are 5% of the assessment's value for the first day, and 1% for each subsequent late day. 

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
On Line Quiz 1 15% From 20/03/17 to 24/03/17
On Line Quiz 2 15% From 01/05/17 to 05/05/17
On Line Quiz 3 15% From 29/05/17 - 02/06/17
Participation 1 10% On-going
Participation 2 10% 14/04/17 - 05/05/17
Final Assessment 35% 09/06/2017

On Line Quiz 1

Due: From 20/03/17 to 24/03/17
Weighting: 15%

Available from 9am on Monday 20/03/2017, for one teaching week. It will close at Midnight on Friday 24/03/17. This gives you a week in which to find one hour of your choice in which to take the quiz.

The first quiz is a 15 question multiple-choice quiz which you will take through the unit website. You should be able to complete the quiz in around 40 minutes, but an hour is allocated to accommodate those who may need extra time for whatever reason.

You can make one attempt only. It is a timed quiz which cannot be paused once you start.

It will test your understanding of important concepts introduced in Topics 1, 2, and 3, and it will provide you with early feedback on your progress.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Recognise the structure of arguments, and how to represent that structure in a clear standardise form.
  • Differentiate between types of reasoning and the methods of evaluation appropriate to each.
  • Appraise the arguments of others and how to represent it in a clear and standardise form.
  • Construct your own well-reasoned arguments.
  • Apply your critical analysis skills to arguments from a variety of contexts and disciplines.

On Line Quiz 2

Due: From 01/05/17 to 05/05/17
Weighting: 15%

Available from 9am on Monday 01/05/2017, for one teaching week. It will close at Midnight on Friday 05/05/17. This gives you a whole week in which to find one hour of your choice in which to take the quiz.

The second quiz is a 15 question multiple-choice quiz which you will take through the unit website. You should be able to complete the quiz in 40 minutes, but an hour is allocated to accommodate those who may need extra time for whatever reason.

You can make one attempt only. It is a timed quiz which cannot be paused once you start.

It will test your understanding of important concepts introduced in Topics 4, 5, 6, and 7, and provide you with feedback on your progress in the second section of the course.

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Differentiate between types of reasoning and the methods of evaluation appropriate to each.
  • Appraise the arguments of others and how to represent it in a clear and standardise form.
  • Construct your own well-reasoned arguments.
  • Apply your critical analysis skills to arguments from a variety of contexts and disciplines.

On Line Quiz 3

Due: From 29/05/17 - 02/06/17
Weighting: 15%

Available from 9am on Monday 29/05/2017, for one teaching week. It will close at Midnight on Friday 02/05/17. This gives you a whole week in which to find one hour of your choice in which to take the quiz.

The third quiz is a 15 question multiple-choice quiz which you will take through the unit website. You should be able to complete the quiz in 40 minutes, but an hour is allocated to accommodate those who may need extra time for whatever reason.

You can make one attempt only. It is a timed quiz which cannot be paused once you start.

It will test your understanding of important concepts introduced in Topics 8, 9, 10, and 11, and provide you with feedback on your progress in the final section of the course.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Differentiate between types of reasoning and the methods of evaluation appropriate to each.
  • Appraise the arguments of others and how to represent it in a clear and standardise form.
  • Construct your own well-reasoned arguments.
  • Apply your critical analysis skills to arguments from a variety of contexts and disciplines.

Participation 1

Due: On-going
Weighting: 10%

You will be required to contribute to weekly online forums. Your mark will be determined by the extent of your contribution and a short solitary comment every now and then is not sufficient to obtain a passing grade.

You will be provided with question sets which are relevant to the weekly topic which you can use as a basis for comments and questions, and which your external student tutor may select from to prompt online discussion.

The assessment of your participation is on-going.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Recognise the structure of arguments, and how to represent that structure in a clear standardise form.
  • Differentiate between types of reasoning and the methods of evaluation appropriate to each.
  • Appraise the arguments of others and how to represent it in a clear and standardise form.
  • Construct your own well-reasoned arguments.
  • Apply your critical analysis skills to arguments from a variety of contexts and disciplines.

Participation 2

Due: 14/04/17 - 05/05/17
Weighting: 10%

You will take a Harvard Implicit Association test. You will take a short "IAT Quiz" through the iLearn site which will require you to submit a screen shot of your result, along with a short reflection of around 50 words. You will also answer five further questions on the "IAT Quiz" relating to a brief fact sheet about IATs made available at the end of week seven.

Links to the IAT test, the fact sheet, and the IAT Quiz on iLearn will all be made available on April 14th. You must complete the IAT Quiz by the end of Week 8 - 05/05/2017.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Appraise the arguments of others and how to represent it in a clear and standardise form.
  • Construct your own well-reasoned arguments.
  • Apply your critical analysis skills to arguments from a variety of contexts and disciplines.

Final Assessment

Due: 09/06/2017
Weighting: 35%

The written assignment requires you use all the skills you have acquired throughout the course from Topics 1-11 to write a report analysing an argument and providing guidance and material for a counter-response.

The full assignment, a scenario, and an information resource file, will be made available through the unit website no later than 27/03/17 and must be submitted no later than Midnight on Friday 9th June.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Recognise the structure of arguments, and how to represent that structure in a clear standardise form.
  • Differentiate between types of reasoning and the methods of evaluation appropriate to each.
  • Appraise the arguments of others and how to represent it in a clear and standardise form.
  • Construct your own well-reasoned arguments.
  • Apply your critical analysis skills to arguments from a variety of contexts and disciplines.

Delivery and Resources

Lectures and Lecture Recordings

For lecture times and classrooms please consult the MQ Timetable website: http://www.timetables.mq.edu.au. These will be live streamed and made available as recordings which you can access at any point after the lecture has been given.

Unit Webpages and E-Resources

This course has many resources including notes, practice quizes, your tests, submission boxes, recordings of lectures for download, all available and accessed at: http://ilearn.mq.edu.au/.

PC and Internet access are required. Basic computer skills (e.g., internet browsing) and skills in word processing are also a requirement. Please consult teaching staff for any further, more specific requirements. 

Course Texts

The Course Notes available through the PHL 137 ilearn site constitute a text for the course. No other text is required. If you simply must have a copy of a book for support, ask your tutor for advice.

Changes Since Last Offering

Content and assessment has been altered and updated.

Unit Schedule

Topic 1

WC 27/02

 

Introduction - What is critical thinking and why do we need it?; What are arguments?

 

Topic 2

WC 06/03

 

Standardisation and Reconstruction of Arguments

 

Topic 3

WC 13/03

 

Deductive Arguments

 

Topic 4

WC 20/03

 

Inductive Arguments

 

Topic 5

WC 27/03

 

Critical Thinking and The Human Mind

 

Topic 6

WC 03/04

 

"Automatic" Thinking and Critical Reasoning

 

 

Topic 7

WC 10/04

 

 

"Social" Thinking and Critical Reasoning

 

 

Semester Break

Topic 8

WC 1/05

 

The Power of Language and Image I

 

Topic 9

WC 08/05

 

The Power of Language and Image II

 

Topic 10

WC 15/05

 

Fallacies and Pseudo-Reasoning

 

Topic 11

WC 22/05

 

Fallacies and Pseudo Reasoning

 

Topic 12

WC 29/06

 

Putting it all together

 

 

 

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central. Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

Assessment Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy_2016.html

Grade Appeal Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html

Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/complaint_management/procedure.html​

Disruption to Studies Policy (in effect until Dec 4th, 2017): http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html

Special Consideration Policy (in effect from Dec 4th, 2017): https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policies/special-consideration

In addition, a number of other policies can be found in the Learning and Teaching Category of Policy Central.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/student_conduct/

Results

Results shown in iLearn, or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au.

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Graduate Capabilities

Problem Solving and Research Capability

Our graduates should be capable of researching; of analysing, and interpreting and assessing data and information in various forms; of drawing connections across fields of knowledge; and they should be able to relate their knowledge to complex situations at work or in the world, in order to diagnose and solve problems. We want them to have the confidence to take the initiative in doing so, within an awareness of their own limitations.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Recognise the structure of arguments, and how to represent that structure in a clear standardise form.
  • Differentiate between types of reasoning and the methods of evaluation appropriate to each.
  • Appraise the arguments of others and how to represent it in a clear and standardise form.
  • Construct your own well-reasoned arguments.
  • Apply your critical analysis skills to arguments from a variety of contexts and disciplines.

Assessment tasks

  • On Line Quiz 1
  • On Line Quiz 2
  • On Line Quiz 3
  • Participation 1
  • Participation 2
  • Final Assessment

Creative and Innovative

Our graduates will also be capable of creative thinking and of creating knowledge. They will be imaginative and open to experience and capable of innovation at work and in the community. We want them to be engaged in applying their critical, creative thinking.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Recognise the structure of arguments, and how to represent that structure in a clear standardise form.
  • Differentiate between types of reasoning and the methods of evaluation appropriate to each.
  • Appraise the arguments of others and how to represent it in a clear and standardise form.
  • Construct your own well-reasoned arguments.
  • Apply your critical analysis skills to arguments from a variety of contexts and disciplines.

Assessment tasks

  • On Line Quiz 1
  • On Line Quiz 2
  • On Line Quiz 3
  • Participation 1
  • Participation 2
  • Final Assessment

Effective Communication

We want to develop in our students the ability to communicate and convey their views in forms effective with different audiences. We want our graduates to take with them the capability to read, listen, question, gather and evaluate information resources in a variety of formats, assess, write clearly, speak effectively, and to use visual communication and communication technologies as appropriate.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Recognise the structure of arguments, and how to represent that structure in a clear standardise form.
  • Differentiate between types of reasoning and the methods of evaluation appropriate to each.
  • Appraise the arguments of others and how to represent it in a clear and standardise form.
  • Construct your own well-reasoned arguments.
  • Apply your critical analysis skills to arguments from a variety of contexts and disciplines.

Assessment tasks

  • On Line Quiz 1
  • On Line Quiz 2
  • On Line Quiz 3
  • Participation 1
  • Participation 2
  • Final Assessment

Engaged and Ethical Local and Global citizens

As local citizens our graduates will be aware of indigenous perspectives and of the nation's historical context. They will be engaged with the challenges of contemporary society and with knowledge and ideas. We want our graduates to have respect for diversity, to be open-minded, sensitive to others and inclusive, and to be open to other cultures and perspectives: they should have a level of cultural literacy. Our graduates should be aware of disadvantage and social justice, and be willing to participate to help create a wiser and better society.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Construct your own well-reasoned arguments.
  • Apply your critical analysis skills to arguments from a variety of contexts and disciplines.

Assessment tasks

  • On Line Quiz 1
  • On Line Quiz 2
  • On Line Quiz 3
  • Participation 1
  • Participation 2
  • Final Assessment

Socially and Environmentally Active and Responsible

We want our graduates to be aware of and have respect for self and others; to be able to work with others as a leader and a team player; to have a sense of connectedness with others and country; and to have a sense of mutual obligation. Our graduates should be informed and active participants in moving society towards sustainability.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Construct your own well-reasoned arguments.
  • Apply your critical analysis skills to arguments from a variety of contexts and disciplines.

Assessment tasks

  • On Line Quiz 1
  • On Line Quiz 2
  • On Line Quiz 3
  • Participation 1
  • Participation 2
  • Final Assessment

Commitment to Continuous Learning

Our graduates will have enquiring minds and a literate curiosity which will lead them to pursue knowledge for its own sake. They will continue to pursue learning in their careers and as they participate in the world. They will be capable of reflecting on their experiences and relationships with others and the environment, learning from them, and growing - personally, professionally and socially.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Construct your own well-reasoned arguments.
  • Apply your critical analysis skills to arguments from a variety of contexts and disciplines.

Assessment tasks

  • On Line Quiz 1
  • On Line Quiz 2
  • On Line Quiz 3
  • Participation 1
  • Participation 2
  • Final Assessment

Capable of Professional and Personal Judgement and Initiative

We want our graduates to have emotional intelligence and sound interpersonal skills and to demonstrate discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgement. They will exercise initiative as needed. They will be capable of risk assessment, and be able to handle ambiguity and complexity, enabling them to be adaptable in diverse and changing environments.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Recognise the structure of arguments, and how to represent that structure in a clear standardise form.
  • Differentiate between types of reasoning and the methods of evaluation appropriate to each.
  • Construct your own well-reasoned arguments.
  • Apply your critical analysis skills to arguments from a variety of contexts and disciplines.

Assessment tasks

  • On Line Quiz 1
  • On Line Quiz 2
  • On Line Quiz 3
  • Participation 1
  • Participation 2
  • Final Assessment

Discipline Specific Knowledge and Skills

Our graduates will take with them the intellectual development, depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content in their chosen fields to make them competent and confident in their subject or profession. They will be able to demonstrate, where relevant, professional technical competence and meet professional standards. They will be able to articulate the structure of knowledge of their discipline, be able to adapt discipline-specific knowledge to novel situations, and be able to contribute from their discipline to inter-disciplinary solutions to problems.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Recognise the structure of arguments, and how to represent that structure in a clear standardise form.
  • Differentiate between types of reasoning and the methods of evaluation appropriate to each.
  • Appraise the arguments of others and how to represent it in a clear and standardise form.
  • Construct your own well-reasoned arguments.
  • Apply your critical analysis skills to arguments from a variety of contexts and disciplines.

Assessment tasks

  • On Line Quiz 1
  • On Line Quiz 2
  • On Line Quiz 3
  • Participation 1
  • Participation 2
  • Final Assessment

Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

We want our graduates to be capable of reasoning, questioning and analysing, and to integrate and synthesise learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments; to be able to critique constraints, assumptions and limitations; to be able to think independently and systemically in relation to scholarly activity, in the workplace, and in the world. We want them to have a level of scientific and information technology literacy.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Recognise the structure of arguments, and how to represent that structure in a clear standardise form.
  • Differentiate between types of reasoning and the methods of evaluation appropriate to each.
  • Appraise the arguments of others and how to represent it in a clear and standardise form.
  • Construct your own well-reasoned arguments.
  • Apply your critical analysis skills to arguments from a variety of contexts and disciplines.

Assessment tasks

  • On Line Quiz 1
  • On Line Quiz 2
  • On Line Quiz 3
  • Participation 1
  • Participation 2
  • Final Assessment

Changes from Previous Offering

Changes in assessment

Changes since First Published

Date Description
27/02/2017 change to external tutor contact email