D1 - A Critical Thinking Toolbox to assist in the integration of this skill set into Researcher Development

Day Day 2
Code D1
Start time 11:10
Developing doctoral researchers
Developing supervisors and principal investigators

Dr Laurence Orlando, Senior Lecturer, Monash University

Dr Keely Bumsted O'Brien, Head, Scientific Education Office, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Dr Nicki Cranna, Scientific Education Officer, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Workshop overview: 

In research, critical thinking is essential, but in general, it is not widely, explicitly, nor efficiently taught. Literature about critical thinking that directly translates into applicable teaching interventions and activities in research is quite scarce. We have created a simple and practical critical thinking toolbox based on the compilation of the work of several CT experts, that provides a foundation for researcher development in this important skill. This tool provides a framework for identifying a problem, integrating a set of actions (Explain, Analyse, Evaluate, Interpret, Infer/Conclude, Self-regulate) and applying a set of standards (Clarity, Logic, Precision, Accuracy, Relevance, Significance, Depth and Breadth).  In order for the students to get acquainted to these words, icons and short videos explaining the concept of the word have been developed for each word. This workshop will provide guidance to help teach researchers about how to perform these actions to foster critical thinking.

Themes covered: 

  • Innovative and practical approaches to the professional and career development of researchers across all career stages and institutional contexts

Workshop aims: 

The purpose of this workshop is to present the toolbox, and provide an opportunity for the participants to create learning activities that explicitly elicit critical thinking. The aim is to then help early career researchers to develop their critical thinking skills and to clearly articulate them in a professional environment.

Value for delegates:

Delegates will be able to experience and provide feedback on the critical thinking toolbox, which is designed to assist researcher developers to create a common language around critical thinking. The toolbox will help researcher developers to unfold the scientific inquiry process and build it again by incorporating the actions and standards proposed in the toolbox. They will be able to start designing learning activities that will help the students to explicitly embed critical thinking in their research.  Delegates who are interested in trying the tool and further develop it will be invited to participate in our research project.