Written Assignments to Improve Critical Thinking

Presenters: Bok Sowell* and Jan Bowman, Montana State University

Email: bok@montana.edu

Email: jbowman@montana.edu

Abstract: This paper presentation described two types of problem-based learning assignments to improve critical thinking. The first assignment mimicked the most common problems presented to livestock extension specialists in Montana. Students are given a scenario and asked to find a plausible solution. These assignments were repeated bi-weekly and solutions were discussed in class. The second set of writing assignments recreated common range management questions and asked students to formulate solutions. Both assignments stressed using the scientific literature to solve problems. Information sources were reviewed and format was discussed initially. Feedback was provided on an individual and group basis when students selected materials and prepared drafts. Most of the subsequent class time was spent discussing how students can use critical thinking skills and research to solve problems.

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Contact Information: 
Bok Sowell
Department of Animal and Range Sciences
Montana State University-Bozeman
PO Box 172900
Bozeman, MT 59717
Voice: 406-994-5582
Fax: 406-994-5589