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PHIX137 – Critical Thinking

2017 – S2 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, +61 2 9850 8826, or via 'Dialogues' in iLearn
By arrangement
Tutor
Andrés Vaccari
Contact via Email, or via "Dialogues" in iLearn
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. 

Extensions and Special Consideration

Requests for extensions must, normally, be made in writing before the due date. Extensions of up to 3 days can be granted by your convenor if reasonable grounds are given, and some written documentation can be produced. Work load from other units, or from employment, are not considered reasonable justification. 

Requests for extensions of more than 3 days should be submitted via a Disruption to Studies Request, which is available in the ask.mq.edu.au portal. Your request should be accompanied by appropriate documentation, such as a medical certificate. Please see the Disruption to Studies policy in the list of policies at the end of this document for further details. Read the policy closely as your request may be turned down if you have not followed procedure, or if you have not submitted a request in a timely manner. Work will not be accepted more than three weeks after the due date or extension date.

Academic Honesty

In Philosophy, academic honesty is taken very seriously. Misrepresenting someone else's work as your own may be grounds for referral to the Faculty Disciplinary Committee. If you have questions about how to properly cite work or how to credit sources, please talk to one of the teaching staff and see also the  Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

 

 

 

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

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
On Line Quiz 1 10% No Midnight Sunday, Week 4
Mid Session Assessment 25% No Midnight Sunday, Week 6
On Line Quiz 2 10% No Midnight Sunday Week 8
On Line Quiz 3 10% No Midnight Sunday Week 12
Participation 15% No Weeks 1-12 (IAT due Wk8)
Final Assessment 30% No 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 1-12 (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 with the unit resources. A rubric and full details of this assesment will be available in the Assessment block in iLearn.

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.

The criterion for participation assessment is engagement, as demonstrated by your making a serious attempt at the relevant tasks


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 - applies unless otherwise stated elsewhere in the unit guide

Unless a Special Consideration request has been submitted and approved, (a) a penalty for lateness will apply – two (2) marks out of 100 will be deducted per day for assignments submitted after the due date – and (b) no assignment will be accepted more than seven (7) days (incl. weekends) after the original submission deadline. No late submissions will be accepted for timed assessments – e.g. quizzes, online tests.

Extension Request

Special Consideration Policy and Procedure (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policies/special-consideration)

The University recognises that students may experience events or conditions that adversely affect their academic performance. If you experience serious and unavoidable difficulties at exam time or when assessment tasks are due, you can consider applying for Special Consideration.

You need to show that the circumstances:

  1. were serious, unexpected and unavoidable
  2. were beyond your control
  3. caused substantial disruption to your academic work
  4. substantially interfered with your otherwise satisfactory fulfilment of the unit requirements
  5. lasted at least three consecutive days or a total of 5 days within the teaching period and prevented completion of an assessment task scheduled for a specific date.

If you feel that your studies have been impacted submit an application as follows:

  1. Visit Ask MQ and use your OneID to log in
  2. 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

Outcome

Once your submission is assessed, an appropriate outcome will be organised.

OUA Specific Policies and Procedures

Withdrawal from a unit after the census date

You can withdraw from your subjects prior to the census date (last day to withdraw). If you successfully withdraw before the census date, you won’t need to apply for Special Circumstances. If you find yourself unable to withdraw from your subjects before the census date - you might be able to apply for Special Circumstances. If you’re eligible, we can refund your fees and overturn your fail grade.

If you’re studying Single Subjects using FEE-HELP or paying up front, you can apply online.

If you’re studying a degree using HECS-HELP, you’ll need to apply directly to Macquarie University.

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

  • 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