Search our site
Search our site

Learning to Think Critically Short Course (online distance learning)

Please contact us for future course dates.

Course information

Why do this course?

Critical thinking is a core life skill and the primary purpose of higher education. This course provides teachers and educators at any level a great opportunity to challenge your ideas about:

  • what constitutes knowledge;
  • how to identify and evaluate information; and
  • using that information to present and critique a position or argument.

The course is timely because people are being continuously bombarded with ever increasing amounts of information through the media, online and advertising. This course will develop your abilities to critically evaluate information to make informed decisions for the family and employer.

Course description

Learning to think critically provides a unique experience for participants to go beyond the hype of information we are bombarded with in this digital age.

Critical thinking is an increasing important ability for us all in a world where we can be overwhelmed with information. Using a bespoke application called Critica, and other online tools, you will be guided to appraise information in different ways using Facione's critical thinking framework to support your enquiries.

A core feature of critical thinking is the ability to use evidence. After considering what constitutes knowledge you will learn how to interpret problems, identify and then evaluate information. Your learning will take place in an online community where you will work together to develop your abilities and solve increasingly complex problems. Each task or problem will be authentic in that it will relate to real world problems.

The course uses a combination of readings (including information you find), online discussions and group activities, to examine/evaluate information. Weekly live and interactive sessions provide opportunities for participants to discuss and present their work. A critical aspect of this course is the giving and receiving of constructive feedback, and supporting you to think about your evaluations in a manner that facilitates continual development of these important skills (known as reflective practice).

Course structure

  1. Introduction to critical thinking
  2. Facts, information and knowledge
  3. Critical thinking model (Clarke & Eales-Reynolds)
  4. Problem solving
  5. Authentic problem 1
  6. Authentic problem 2

What will you take away?

  • Worked examples of answering authentic problems with evidence
  • Evidence of working in a group to undertake problem solving
  • A good understanding of Facione's model of critical thinking
  • Course book on developing critical thinking skills
  • The ability to think critically


  • No prior knowledge of teaching is required
  • English – ability to read and write in English proficiently
  • Willingness to use and participate in an online learning environment
  • Regular access to a computer (desktop, laptop, tablet) – high-speed due to synchronous

Course tutors

  • Dr Colin Clarke

What to bring

The computer that you use to take part in this course should not be more than five years old. A good internet connection is imperative, ideally a wired broadband or fast Wi-Fi connection. You will also find that a set of headphones with microphone attached and a webcam are really helpful for synchronous sessions. Ensure your computer software has all recent software updates installed, and Java. If you use a computer supplied by your place of work, liaise with your IT department to ensure these updates are applied, and that the software can be accessed through any security measures (firewalls) put in place by your employer.

You need to decide where you can study as flexibility is the key here. For synchronous online sessions you really need somewhere quiet with access to a wired broadband connection or a strong Wi-Fi connection. Whereas when reading, viewing videos or undertaking different writing activities, you will need somewhere that you feel comfortable and can work without distractions.


Discounts are available for early bird bookings. No further discounts apply.

Booking information

Dates for open courses currently available will be listed in the table at the top of this page with a "Book now" link that will direct you to our payment website. If no dates are shown and you would like to register your interest for future dates for this course please contact us.

For group bookings to be paid via invoice, please download and return our Education Short Courses Group Booking Form (PDF).

View the terms and conditions for booking a short course.


The standard course fee is indicated at the top of this page. If a course has any discounted fees available (eg for early-bird booking, alumni or students) these will be clearly outlined on the booking website.

As an educational institution fees for our open short courses do not attract VAT.

Contact us

Short courses team
Business and Enterprise Centre

Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 3045
Contact us

Contact us

Short courses team
Business and Enterprise Centre

Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 3045
Contact us

Related courses

Find a short course

Short course finder


Contact us

Short courses team
Business and Enterprise Centre

Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 3045
Contact us

Short courses
Site menu