Here’s some follow-up on the session I ran at the ALDinHE conference in Belfast on critical thinking for international students at Masters level which I wrote about in an earlier post.

First, here were the questions and issues which people brought to the session, which I’ve grouped into themes:

  • Nature of critical thinking
    • Common question: Critical Analytical Thought, what is it?
    • CT is the reason so many students come to see us. We have a model which is also based on a questioning approach, which we encourage students to use.
    • I find critical thinking difficult to conceptualise in a non-contextualised way
    • Because I teach groups of students who struggle with ‘critical thinking’ and I want to clarify my thinking about what it is and what steps they need to take.
  • Teaching
    • Is critical thinking/lesson prep possible without having a specific issue at hand, particularly for inductive, example driven teaching?
    • Interested in the approach/model.
    • Want to design critical thinking workshops
    • My HEA-accredited course is under development to convert to an M-level model
    • Pointers to help PG students – particularly overseas students.
    • How can we support students to structure longer arguments, such as research papers or dissertations?
  • Student problems
    • Our MA students struggle with critical thinking
    • How to help students gain confidence in critical thinking – need time to practice but don’t have the time on Masters courses
    • One year course means difficulties encountered in adopting appropriate discourse that students can understand it in relation to what they already know/existing ideas of academic writing
  • My area/CPD
    • Postgrad international is my area. Most challenging – 12-16.5 thousand word report or dissertation in one year, involvement and conversation with our learning development coordinator
    • Because it addresses Masters level – most learning development focuses on undergraduate.
    • New ideas, new approaches – am I missing something?
    • Because I’m keen to learn more about academic literacies beyond my ‘own’, out of curiosity and to help my communication with students in different disciplines

More to come…