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PHIX137 – Critical Thinking

2017 – SP1 OUA

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff OUA Convenor
Jennifer Duke-Yonge
Contact via jennifer.duke-yonge@mq.edu.au, or 9850 8826
W6A 722
Monday 1-2pm, or by arrangement
Tutor
TBA See iLearn
Contact via via "Dialogues" in iLearn
Jennifer Duke-Yonge
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 will 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 you in academic contexts and in life beyond university. All enrolment queries should be directed to Open Universities Australia (OUA): see www.open.edu.au

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://www.open.edu.au/student-admin-and-support/key-dates/

Learning Outcomes

  1. To learn how to recognise the structure of arguments, and how to represent that structure in a clear, standardised form.
  2. Differentiate between types of reasoning and the methods of evaluation appropriate to each.
  3. Appraise the arguments of others and represent them in a clear standardised 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

The reflection and final assessment are to be submitted through Turnitin, and will be marked and returned via Grademark. For information about these tools, see:

http://www.mq.edu.au/iLearn/student_info/assignments.htm

There is no need for a coversheet - the iLearn assignment submission (Turnitin) involves declaring your details and honesty in submitting your work. Please note, we do not accept submission by email attachment. 

 

Penalties for Late Submission

Late submissions of assignments will attract a penalty of 10% per week or part-week late. All work must be submitted within 3 weeks of the assessment due date. 

See the "Policies and Procedures" section below for more detail about relevant policies.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Due
On Line Quiz 1 10% Midnight Sunday, Week 4
Mid Session Assessment 25% Midnight Sunday, Week 6
On Line Quiz 2 10% Midnight Sunday Week 8
On Line Quiz 3 10% Midnight Sunday Week 12
Participation 15% Weeks 2-11 (IAT due Wk8)
Final Assessment 30% Midnight Sunday, Week 13

On Line Quiz 1

Due: Midnight Sunday, Week 4
Weighting: 10%

 

The first quiz is a 30 minute multiple-choice quiz which you will take through the unit website. 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 to 3. It will provide you with early feedback on your progress. It is available from 9am Monday to Midnight Sunday in week 4.

The criterion for assessment will be understanding of the unit content, as demonstrated by the correct selection of answers in a multiple choice quiz.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • To learn how to recognise the structure of arguments, and how to represent that structure in a clear, standardised form.
  • Appraise the arguments of others and represent them in a clear standardised form.
  • Apply your critical analysis skills to arguments from a variety of contexts and disciplines.

Mid Session Assessment

Due: Midnight Sunday, Week 6
Weighting: 25%

A mid session assessment that requires you to construct an argument of your own on a set topic. You must use what you have learned in the course give a 500-750 word argument/reflection on the topic, by answering a set of questions, and present your argument in standardised form.

Criteria for assessment include accuracy of standardisation, clarity of analysis, and strength of argumentation. A specific and detailed rubric is available in iLearn. 

Resources for this task are available in iLearn.

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • To learn how to recognise the structure of arguments, and how to represent that structure in a clear, standardised form.
  • Differentiate between types of reasoning and the methods of evaluation appropriate to each.
  • Appraise the arguments of others and represent them in a clear standardised 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: Midnight Sunday Week 8
Weighting: 10%

The second quiz is a 30 minute multiple choice quiz run through the unit website. It tests your understanding of important concepts introduced in weeks 4 to 7. It is available from 9am Monday to Midnight Sunday in week 8.

The criterion for assessment will be understanding of the unit content, as demonstrated by the correct selection of answers in a multiple choice quiz.


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 represent them in a clear standardised form.
  • Apply your critical analysis skills to arguments from a variety of contexts and disciplines.

On Line Quiz 3

Due: Midnight Sunday Week 12
Weighting: 10%

The third quiz is a 30 minute multiple choice quiz run through the unit website. It tests your understanding of important concepts introduced in weeks 8 to 11. It is available from 9am Monday to Midnight Sunday in week 12.

The criterion for assessment will be understanding of the unit content, as demonstrated by the correct selection of answers in a multiple choice quiz.


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 represent them in a clear standardised form.
  • Apply your critical analysis skills to arguments from a variety of contexts and disciplines.

Participation

Due: Weeks 2-11 (IAT due Wk8)
Weighting: 15%

The website for this unit contains a lot of resources designed to help you get the most out of the course material. The skills you will be developing in this unit require practice, so the exercises and activities provided are an important component on your work in this unit. To get the most out of the unit, you are expected to engage with these resources on a regular basis.

The marks for the participation component of your assessment in this unit will be made up of two components:

10% will be based on your engagement in the Critical Thinking Reading Game. Each week, you'll play the game by writing and answering multiple choice questions. More information about the Game is available in iLearn, with links from each week's content.

The Game will run from week 2 to week 11.

 

5% will be awarded for your completion of and reflection on a Harvard Implicit Association test (You'll learn more about these in Week 5). You will need to complete a simple online test designed to measure implicit biases and then answer some short questions reflecting on the findings of your test. These are to be submitted through an Assignment tool in iLearn by 5pm on Sunday of Week 8. If you make a serious attempt at this task and submit it on time, you will be awarded the 5 marks available for this part of the assessment.

Discussion forum participation, while encouraged, is not assessed in this unit.


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 represent them in a clear standardised form.
  • Apply your critical analysis skills to arguments from a variety of contexts and disciplines.

Final Assessment

Due: Midnight Sunday, Week 13
Weighting: 30%

The written assignment requires you evaluate and respond to a piece of written text, using all the skills you have been developing in the unit. It will require a broad standardisation and a1500-2000 words response. Resources will be made available in iLearn.

Criteria for assessment include accuracy of standardisation, clarity of analysis, and strength of argumentation. A specific and detailed rubric will be available in iLearn. 


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

Delivery and Resources

PHIX137 is delivered through the unit iLearn site, which contains a wide range of resources including lectures, course notes, a quiz game, exercises with solutions, online discussion facilities and so on. You are expected to keep up with the unit material on a weekly basis, making use of the facilities available, and are strongly encouraged to seek help from your tutor or convenor if you are having any problems. Many of you will be taking this as one of your first units, and we are keen to support you to make it as useful and enjoyable an experience as possible.

 

All students are encouraged to make use of the discussion facilities within the iLearn site to discuss course material. The discussion forum will be monitored by your tutor, who will try to answer questions as needed, but we encourage you all to help each other out on the board as well.

 You are expected to complete all assessment tasks, as detailed above.

Unit Schedule

Important schedule information: Please note that OUA units offered by Macquarie University now follow Macquarie Sessions rather than OUA Study Periods. This will include a mid-session break of two weeks. You will find the Session dates here:

https://www.open.edu.au/student-admin-and-support/key-dates-2017/

Week 1

 

 

 

 

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

 

Week 2

 

 

Standardisation and Reconstruction of Arguments

 

Week 3

 

 

Deductive Arguments

 

Week 4

 

 

Inductive Arguments

 

Week 5

 

 

Critical Thinking and The Human Mind

 

Week 6

 

 

"Schematic Thinking" - Correlation and Cause

 

Week 7

 

 

"Ego-Centric" thinking - Argument from analogy

 

Week 8

 

 

The Power of Language and Rhetoric I

 

Week 9

 

 

The Power of Language and Rhetoric II

 

Week 10

 

 

Pseudo-Reasoning: Rhetorical fallacies

 

Week 11

 

 

Pseudo-Reasoning: Fallacies as a language game

 

Week 12

 

 

Putting it all together

 

 

 

Policies and Procedures

Late Submission

Unless otherwise stated, late submission of written work will result in a deduction of 10% of the mark awarded for each week or part of a week beyond the due date, or date to which an extension has been granted.

Extension Request

Disruption to Studies Procedure (http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/procedure.html)

The University recognises that students may experience disruptions that adversely affect their academic performance in assessment activities.

The disruption to studies policy (http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html) applies only to serious and unavoidable disruptions that arise after a study period has commenced.

Serious and unavoidable disruption

The University classifies a disruption as serious and unavoidable if it:

  • could not have reasonably been anticipated, avoided or guarded against by the student; and
  • was beyond the student's control; and
  • caused substantial disruption to the student's capacity for effective study and/or completion of required work; and
  • occurred during an event critical study period and was at least three (3) consecutive days duration, and/or
  • prevented completion of a final examination.

If you feel that you've been impacted by a serious and unavoidable disruption to study situation, submit an application as follows:

  1. Visit Ask MQ (https://ask.mq.edu.au) and use your OneID to log in via 'Current student domestic and international'
  2. Under 'Forms' select 'disruptions' and fill in your relevant details.
  3. Attach supporting documents by clicking 'Add a reply', click 'browse' and navigating to the files you want to attach, then click 'submit form' to send your notification and supporting documents
  4. Please keep copies of your original documents, as they may be requested in the future as part of the assessment process

Review

Once your submission is assessed, recommendations are sent to your unit convenor to ensure an appropriate solution for affected assessment(s) is organised.

OUA Specific Policies and Procedures

OUA Special Circumstances Process

Special Circumstances refers to late withdrawal from a unit and your request to have your circumstances taken into account for a possible refund of fees and removal of a "fail" result.

Applications for Special Circumstances are to be submitted to Open Universities Australia directly:

https://www.open.edu.au/public/student-admin-and-support/student-support-services/special-circumstances

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 http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html The Disruption to Studies Policy is effective from March 3 2014 and replaces the Special Consideration Policy.

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

  • To learn how to recognise the structure of arguments, and how to represent that structure in a clear, standardised form.
  • Differentiate between types of reasoning and the methods of evaluation appropriate to each.
  • Appraise the arguments of others and represent them in a clear standardised 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
  • Mid Session Assessment
  • On Line Quiz 2
  • On Line Quiz 3
  • Participation
  • 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

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

Assessment tasks

  • Mid Session Assessment
  • On Line Quiz 2
  • On Line Quiz 3
  • 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

  • To learn how to recognise the structure of arguments, and how to represent that structure in a clear, standardised form.
  • Differentiate between types of reasoning and the methods of evaluation appropriate to each.
  • Appraise the arguments of others and represent them in a clear standardised form.
  • Construct your own well-reasoned arguments.

Assessment tasks

  • On Line Quiz 1
  • Mid Session Assessment
  • On Line Quiz 2
  • On Line Quiz 3
  • Participation
  • 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

  • To learn how to recognise the structure of arguments, and how to represent that structure in a clear, standardised form.
  • Appraise the arguments of others and represent them in a clear standardised form.
  • Apply your critical analysis skills to arguments from a variety of contexts and disciplines.

Assessment tasks

  • On Line Quiz 2
  • On Line Quiz 3
  • Participation
  • 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

  • To learn how to recognise the structure of arguments, and how to represent that structure in a clear, standardised form.
  • Appraise the arguments of others and represent them in a clear standardised form.
  • Apply your critical analysis skills to arguments from a variety of contexts and disciplines.

Assessment tasks

  • On Line Quiz 2
  • On Line Quiz 3
  • Participation
  • 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

  • To learn how to recognise the structure of arguments, and how to represent that structure in a clear, standardised form.
  • Differentiate between types of reasoning and the methods of evaluation appropriate to each.
  • Appraise the arguments of others and represent them in a clear standardised form.
  • Apply your critical analysis skills to arguments from a variety of contexts and disciplines.

Assessment tasks

  • On Line Quiz 1
  • Mid Session Assessment
  • On Line Quiz 2
  • On Line Quiz 3
  • Participation
  • 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

  • To learn how to recognise the structure of arguments, and how to represent that structure in a clear, standardised form.
  • Differentiate between types of reasoning and the methods of evaluation appropriate to each.
  • Appraise the arguments of others and represent them in a clear standardised 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
  • Mid Session Assessment
  • On Line Quiz 2
  • On Line Quiz 3
  • Participation
  • 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

  • To learn how to recognise the structure of arguments, and how to represent that structure in a clear, standardised form.
  • Differentiate between types of reasoning and the methods of evaluation appropriate to each.
  • Appraise the arguments of others and represent them in a clear standardised form.
  • Construct your own well-reasoned arguments.

Assessment tasks

  • On Line Quiz 1
  • On Line Quiz 3
  • 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

  • To learn how to recognise the structure of arguments, and how to represent that structure in a clear, standardised form.
  • Differentiate between types of reasoning and the methods of evaluation appropriate to each.
  • Appraise the arguments of others and represent them in a clear standardised 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
  • Mid Session Assessment
  • On Line Quiz 2
  • On Line Quiz 3
  • Final Assessment