Students

PHIL1037 – Critical Thinking

2021 – Session 2, Fully online/virtual

Session 2 Learning and Teaching Update

The decision has been made to conduct study online for the remainder of Session 2 for all units WITHOUT mandatory on-campus learning activities. Exams for Session 2 will also be online where possible to do so.

This is due to the extension of the lockdown orders and to provide certainty around arrangements for the remainder of Session 2. We hope to return to campus beyond Session 2 as soon as it is safe and appropriate to do so.

Some classes/teaching activities cannot be moved online and must be taught on campus. You should already know if you are in one of these classes/teaching activities and your unit convenor will provide you with more information via iLearn. If you want to confirm, see the list of units with mandatory on-campus classes/teaching activities.

Visit the MQ COVID-19 information page for more detail.

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Convenor
Jennifer Duke-Yonge
Consultation by arrangement
Convenor
Alexander Gillett
Consultation by arrangement
Contact details and consultation times for other teaching staff will be available in iLearn
Credit points Credit points
10
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 https://students.mq.edu.au/important-dates

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: Recognise the structure of arguments, and represent that structure in a clear standardised form.
  • ULO2: Differentiate between types of reasoning and the methods of evaluation appropriate to each.
  • ULO3: Appraise the arguments of others and represent them in a clear and standardised form.
  • ULO4: Construct well-reasoned arguments of your own.
  • ULO5: Apply the skills of critical analysis to arguments from a variety of contexts and disciplines.

General Assessment Information

Detailed assessment information and rubrics

Detailed information about each of the assessments, including rubrics and submission instructions will be available in the Assessment block in  iLearn. Please make sure you read the assessment information carefully, watch the Guide to Assessment video, and post a message in the relevant Assessment forum if you have any questions. 

Special Consideration

Requests for extensions should be submitted via a Special Consideration request, which is available in the http://ask.mq.edu.au portal. Your request should be submitted no later than five days after the due date and should be accompanied by appropriate documentation. Please see the Special Consideration 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.

Late Submission Penalty

Unless a Special Consideration request has been submitted and approved, (a) a penalty for lateness will apply – 10 marks out of 100 credit will be deducted per day for assignments submitted after the due date – and (b) no assignment will be accepted more than seven days (incl. weekends) after the original submission date.

Academic Integrity

In Philosophy, academic honesty is taken very seriously, and a range of methods, including but not restricted to the use of Turnitin, are used to detect plagiarism. 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 ask the convenor for help and see also the  Academic Integrity Policy https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policies/academic-integrity

Note: All assignments in this unit are individual assignments. Collusion (unauthorised collaboration on individual assignments) is a breach of the Academic Integrity Policy. If in doubt, contact a member of teaching staff. 

A helpful resource if you would like to know more about referencing and avoiding plagiarism is  Macquarie's Academic Integrity Module, available here: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/skills-development. You will need to complete this Module before accessing the unit content, if you have not already done so. More information is available in iLearn. 

Academic Writing and Study Support

Macquarie University offers a number of services to help with academic writing, referencing and study skills. For details, see: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/skills/assignments

For information about policies related to Assessment, see Policies and Procedures section below.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Online Engagement 10% No Ongoing
Online Quizzes 20% No 23:59, 22/08/2021; 23:59, 31/10/2021
Personal Argument 25% No 23:59, 12/09/2021
Peer Review 10% No 23:59, 03/10/2021
Final Scenario Report 35% No 23:59, 05/11/2021

Online Engagement

Assessment Type 1: Participatory task
Indicative Time on Task 2: 18 hours
Due: Ongoing
Weighting: 10%

 

Students will review their understanding of particular topics by participating in short online “self assessment” and engagement tasks.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Recognise the structure of arguments, and 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 and standardised form.
  • Construct well-reasoned arguments of your own.
  • Apply the skills of critical analysis to arguments from a variety of contexts and disciplines.

Online Quizzes

Assessment Type 1: Quiz/Test
Indicative Time on Task 2: 30 hours
Due: 23:59, 22/08/2021; 23:59, 31/10/2021
Weighting: 20%

 

Online multiple-choice quizzes which you will take through the unit website.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Differentiate between types of reasoning and the methods of evaluation appropriate to each.
  • Construct well-reasoned arguments of your own.

Personal Argument

Assessment Type 1: Reflective Writing
Indicative Time on Task 2: 10 hours
Due: 23:59, 12/09/2021
Weighting: 25%

 

A short reflective task in which you will represent and reflect on a short argument on a socially significant issue.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Recognise the structure of arguments, and represent that structure in a clear standardised form.
  • Differentiate between types of reasoning and the methods of evaluation appropriate to each.
  • Construct well-reasoned arguments of your own.
  • Apply the skills of critical analysis to arguments from a variety of contexts and disciplines.

Peer Review

Assessment Type 1: Participatory task
Indicative Time on Task 2: 4 hours
Due: 23:59, 03/10/2021
Weighting: 10%

 

You will review the anonymised arguments (from the Personal Argument assignment) of some of your fellow students. You will answer a series of multiple choice questions about each of these arguments, and give a short comment on each paper. Your mark will be determined by how well you review fits with those of your peers and online tutors.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Appraise the arguments of others and represent them in a clear and standardised form.
  • Apply the skills of critical analysis to arguments from a variety of contexts and disciplines.

Final Scenario Report

Assessment Type 1: Report
Indicative Time on Task 2: 40 hours
Due: 23:59, 05/11/2021
Weighting: 35%

 

The Final Scenario Report assignment requires you use all the skills you have acquired throughout the course from Topics 1-12 to write a report analysing an argument and providing guidance and material for a counter-response.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Recognise the structure of arguments, and 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 and standardised form.
  • Construct well-reasoned arguments of your own.
  • Apply the skills of critical analysis to arguments from a variety of contexts and disciplines.

1 If you need help with your assignment, please contact:

  • the academic teaching staff in your unit for guidance in understanding or completing this type of assessment
  • the Learning Skills Unit for academic skills support.

2 Indicative time-on-task is an estimate of the time required for completion of the assessment task and is subject to individual variation

Delivery and Resources

Lectures 

Lectures in this unit will be delivered online. Two one-hour lecture videos will be released each Monday through the Echo 360 block in iLearn. You should watch these videos before joining the weekly forums.

Online  Participation

At the beginning of semester, you will be assigned to an online participation group with a member of the teaching staff as an On-line Engagement Group leader. You will be expected to use self-assessments for understanding and contribute to your online group about assigned material. This will all be made available to you through the course web-site. See the Online Engagement information in iLearn for information about the assessment of Online Engagement in this unit. 

Course Texts

The Course Notes available through the PHIL/PHIX 1037 ilearn site constitute a text for the course. No other text is required. If you would like advice on supplementary texts, contact the convenors.

Teaching staff consultation times

Teaching staff will be available for regular consultation times throughout the week. See iLearn for details. You are strongly encouraged to make use of these consultation times, if you are having any trouble or if you would like to discuss the unit content. 

Unit Webpages and E-Resources

This unit is delivered online through iLearn (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. 

 

Unit Schedule

Week 1

(week beginning 26/7)

Introduction to Critical Thinking

 

Week 2

(w/b 2/8)

Building and Representing Arguments

 

Week 3

(w/b 9/8)

Deconstructing Arguments

 

Week 4

(w/b 16/8)

Deductive Arguments

Online Quiz 1 due Sunday 22/8

Week 5

(w/b 23/8)

Inductive Arguments

 

Week 6

(w/b 30/8)

Critical Thinking and the Human Mind

 

Week 7

(w/b 6/9)

The Impact of Cognitive Biases

Reflective Writing Task due Sunday 12/9

                                                 Mid-semester break: 13/9 – 26/9

Week 8

(w/b 27/9)

The Language We Use: the power to persuade

Peer Review Task due

Sunday 3/10

Week 9

(w/b 4/10)

The Language We Use: When words lead us astray

 

Week 10

(w/b 11/10)

The Rules of Engagement

 

Week 11

(w/b 18/10)

When the Rules are Abandoned: Pseudo-reasoning and fallacies

 

Week 12

(w/b 25/10)

Putting it all together: An extended example

Online Quiz 2 due Sunday 31/10

Week 13

(w/b 1/11)

No lectures: assignment writing week

Final Scenario Report due Friday 5/11

 

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Students seeking more policy resources can visit the Student Policy Gateway (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/student-policy-gateway). It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

If you would like to see all the policies relevant to Learning and Teaching visit Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/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/admin/other-resources/student-conduct

Results

Results published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) 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 or if you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@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 help you improve your marks and take control of your study.

The Library provides online and face to face support to help you find and use relevant information resources. 

Student Enquiry Service

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

If you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@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.