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Enhance Critical Thinking Skills through Daily Engagement with Puzzles

In today’s fast-paced world, where information is readily available at our fingertips, it’s crucial to develop and enhance critical thinking skills. One effective way to achieve this is by engaging in daily puzzles. Whether it’s a crossword, Sudoku, or a brain teaser, puzzles of the day can provide a fun and challenging exercise for your mind. In this article, we will explore the benefits of daily puzzle engagement and how it can sharpen your critical thinking skills.

Mental Stimulation and Problem-Solving Abilities

Engaging in puzzles on a regular basis provides mental stimulation that keeps your brain active and alert. When you tackle puzzles of the day, you are presented with various problems that require logical reasoning and problem-solving abilities. These challenges push you to think creatively and find innovative solutions.

By consistently engaging in puzzle solving, you train your brain to approach problems from different angles, improving your ability to think critically. This skillset extends beyond puzzle-solving scenarios and becomes applicable in various real-life situations such as decision-making processes or analyzing complex issues.

Memory Retention and Cognitive Function

Puzzles not only stimulate critical thinking but also help improve memory retention and cognitive function. When solving puzzles of the day, you are required to remember patterns, rules, or clues provided within the puzzle itself.

This constant exercise of memory retrieval strengthens neural connections in the brain responsible for storing information. As a result, you will notice an improvement in your ability to recall information quickly and accurately.

Moreover, engaging in regular puzzle-solving activities has been linked to enhanced cognitive function. It has been shown that individuals who regularly engage in puzzles perform better on tasks related to memory, processing speed, and attention span compared to those who do not engage in such activities.

Increased Concentration and Focus

In today’s digital age where distractions are abundant, maintaining concentration and focus has become a challenge for many. Engaging in puzzles of the day can help combat this problem.

When solving a puzzle, you need to concentrate on the task at hand, blocking out any distractions. This focused attention allows you to delve deep into the problem and analyze it thoroughly. Over time, regular engagement with puzzles improves your ability to concentrate for longer periods and enhances your overall focus.

Stress Reduction and Mental Well-being

Puzzles provide a wonderful escape from the daily stressors of life. When you immerse yourself in solving puzzles, you enter a state of flow where time seems to fly by, and your mind is fully engaged in the task.

This state of flow promotes relaxation and reduces stress levels. As you solve each piece of the puzzle, you experience a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, boosting your mood and mental well-being.

Additionally, engaging in puzzles can serve as a form of meditation or mindfulness practice. It allows you to disconnect from technology and be present in the moment, focusing solely on the task at hand.

In conclusion, incorporating daily puzzles into your routine can have numerous benefits for enhancing critical thinking skills. From mental stimulation to improved memory retention, increased concentration to stress reduction – puzzles provide a holistic approach to sharpening your cognitive abilities while having fun along the way. So why not make “puzzle of the day” part of your daily routine? Start challenging yourself today.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.


critical thinking skills classes

  • Critical Thinking Skills

Learn critical thinking skills

What is critical thinking.

Critical thinking is the objective analysis of information to form a judgment. Some of the skills included in critical thinking include interpretation, inference, self-regulation, and problem-solving. These skills can help thinkers avoid logic traps. Critical thinking is a valuable skill because it allows individuals to evaluate information that could be biased or misleading and see problems in a new light. 

A fundamental part of decision-making lies in the ability to be a critical thinker. For example, the internet offers users a wealth of information, but not all of that information is high quality or true. A person’s point of view can be easily skewed without an understanding of how to thoughtfully assess veracity and bias. Who is presenting the information? Why might they be presenting this information with this frame? Are there contradictory opinions or facts on this subject? By learning critical thinking skills and learning to ask the right questions, individuals can make better judgments about the information that is presented before them in any format, which enables them to make more informed decisions about what to do with that information.

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Browse online Critical Thinking Skills courses

Stand out in your field, learn at your own pace, earn a valuable credential, related topics, critical thinking course curriculum.

edX offers many courses to help learners develop critical thinking skills. For example, a short course on the fundamentals of critical thinking may teach strategic analysis and problem-solving. Others could be more focused on specific applications, such as critical thinking for leaders or entrepreneurs. Explore all of the educational opportunities available for learners at every level. 

Careers that use critical thinking

Building critical thinking skills offers learners the chance to develop their leadership skills, higher order thinking skills, and problem-solving skills. The ability to think critically can be beneficial to both your personal and professional life, whether you are making decisions in a boardroom, a classroom or an emergency room. With the right background and training, individuals can elevate their decision-making to form rational, logical opinions and lead the way to a better civil society. Take advantage of the knowledge curated by edX and its partners, and explore how online critical thinking courses can help you achieve your goals.

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16 Best Free Online Critical Thinking Courses

critical thinking skills classes

Written by Argumentful

Critical thinking is one of the most fundamental skills you could focus on. In fact, these skills are so important that many educational institutions have listed them among their central goals. Critical thinking helps you sort the true from the false.

The bad news is that not many people own these skills. Einstein famously said:

“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.”

The good news though is that you can improve your thinking and you can do it without breaking the bank.

Below are listed 16 of the best free online critical thinking courses with details regarding their contents.

Go on, choose your preferred course and take action today! (You can thank me later😉!)

P.S. Apart from the general critical thinking courses, I’ve included 5 specific ones which focus on today’s burning issues- fake news and climate change , as well as correctly interpreting randomized clinical trials and screening trials. See numbers 12 to 16 below.

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Critical reasoning for beginners, critical thinking classes at fayetteville state university, logical and critical thinking, critical thinking: fundamentals of good reasoning, philosophy and critical thinking, critical thinking & problem solving, introduction to critical thinking and logic, teaching critical thinking through art with the national gallery of art.

  • Critical thinking: Reasoned Decision Making

The Science of Everyday Thinking

Critical thinking at university: an introduction, making sense of news, sorting truth from fiction: civic online reasoning, making sense of climate science denial, thinking critically: interpreting randomized clinical trials, thinking critically series: interpreting screening trials.

Offered by : University of Oxford

Description :

4 hours, 6 modules

1: The Nature of Arguments

How to recognise arguments and what the nature of an argument is

2: Different Types of Arguments

Different types of arguments, in particular deductive and inductive arguments

3: Setting Out Arguments Logic Book Style

How to identify and analyse arguments, and how to set arguments out logic book-style to make them easier to evaluate

4: What is a  Good Argument? Validity and Truth

How to evaluate arguments and how to tell whether an argument is good or bad, focusing specifically on inductive arguments

5: Evaluating Arguments Part One

Evaluation of arguments – this time deductive arguments – focusing in particular on the notion of validity

6: Evaluating Arguments Part Two

Fallacies: bad arguments that can easily be mistaken for good arguments

Also available on YouTube and iTunes

Offered by : Fayetteville State University

24 videos, 24 hours

Lectures from Spring 2011 Critical Thinking classes at Fayetteville State University held by Gregory B. Sadler. The textbook used was Moore And Parker’s Critical Thinking 9th edition .

  • Issues, claims, arguments
  • Arguments and non-arguments
  • Value Judgments
  • Complex arguments, unstated premises
  • Deductive and inductive arguments with implicit premises
  • Deductive and inductive arguments
  • Information sources
  • Experts and appeal to authority
  • Critical thinking and advertising
  • Rhetorical devices

Offered by : University Of Auckland

8 Weeks of study, 4 hours weekly

  • Identify common flaws in belief construction
  • Recognise and reconstruct arguments
  • Evaluate arguments as being good or bad
  • Analyse arguments using basic logical tools
  • Apply basic logical strategies in areas such as science, moral theories and law

Offered by : IsraelX

9 weeks, 4-6 hours per week

You can create a free account on edx.org and have access to the course for 2 months. After 2 months, you can pay £37 to get unlimited access to the course.

The objective of the course is to improve the student’s ability in the basic skills of critical thinking:

  • how to recognize arguments,
  • how to interpret them,
  • how to evaluate them,
  • how to construct them.

Lesson 1. What’s “Critical Thinking?” Lesson 2. What are Arguments Made Of? Lesson 3. From Premises to Conclusions Lesson 4. Recognizing Arguments: Introduction Lesson 5. Argument vs. The Text Containing It Lesson 6. Recognizing Conclusions Lesson 7. Arguments vs. Explanations Lesson 8. Argument Diagrams: Introduction Lesson 9. More about Argument Diagrams Lesson 10. Argument Diagrams: Examples Lesson 11. Hedges Lesson 12. Disclaimers Lesson 13. Examples Lesson 14. Rhetorical Language Lesson 15. Referential Attribution Lesson 16. Principles of Interpretation Lesson 17. Implicit Premises Lesson 18. What’s a Good Argument? Lesson 19. More Virtues of Arguments Lesson 20. Argument Ad Hominem Lesson 21. Argument Ad Verecundiam Lesson 22. Argument Ad Populum Lesson 23. Argument Ad Ignorantiam Lesson 24. Argument Ad Baculum and Ad Misericordiam Lesson 25. Venn Diagrams Lesson 26. Beyond Venn Lesson 27. Modus Ponens Lesson 28. Modus Tollens Lesson 29. Conditionals Lesson 30. Reductio Ad Absurdum Lesson 31. Process of Elimination Lesson 32. Separation of Cases Lesson 33. Truth Trees: An Example Lesson 34. How to Grow Truth Trees Lesson 35. Truth Trees: Another Example Lesson 36. Reflexive Relations Lesson 37. Symmetric Relations Lesson 38. Transitive Relations Lesson 39. Inductive Generalization Lesson 40. What’s a Good Sample? Lesson 41. The New Riddle of Induction Lesson 42. From Induction to Causation Lesson 43. Evaluating Causal Generalizations Lesson 44. Argument from Analogy: Basics Lesson 45. Argument from Analogy: Examples Lesson 46. Who Needs Analogues? Lesson 47. Inference to the Best Explanation Lesson 48. Experimentation Lesson 49. Building an Argument Lesson 50. Writing Up an Argument

Offered by : The University of Queensland

6 weeks, 1-4 hours per week

  • How to think with clarity and rigour
  • How to identify, analyse and construct cogent arguments
  • How to think of solutions to the central problems of philosophy
  • How to engage in philosophical conversations with others about topics that matter

Offered by : Rochester Institute of Technology

3 weeks, 4-6 hours per week

  • How to perform strategic analysis and assessment
  • How to perceive and assess a critical need and design a tailored solution
  • How to identify key stakeholders and ensure their needs are met
  • How to employ adaptive problem-solving
  • How to work through obstacles collaboratively
  • How to analyse failure to improve future performance

Offered by : Saylor.org Academy

This course will introduce you to critical thinking, informal logic, and a small amount of formal logic. Its purpose is to provide you with the basic tools of analytical reasoning, which will give you a distinctive edge in a wide variety of careers and courses of study. While many university courses focus on the presentation of content knowledge, the emphasis here is on learning how to think effectively. Although the techniques and concepts covered here are classified as philosophical, they are essential to the practice of nearly every major discipline, from the physical sciences and medicine to politics, law, and the humanities.

  • Unit 1: Introduction and Meaning Analysis
  • Unit 2: Argument Analysis
  • Unit 3: Basic Sentential Logic
  • Unit 4: Venn Diagrams
  • Unit 5: Fallacies
  • Unit 6: Scientific Reasoning
  • Unit 7: Strategic Reasoning and Creativity

Offered by : Smithsonian Institution

16 weeks, 3-4 hours per week

  • How to use Artful Thinking Routines to strengthen thinking.
  • How to facilitate meaningful conversations in your classroom using art for artful learning and artful teaching.
  • How to help learners of all levels develop more discerning descriptions, evidence-based reasoning, and meaningful questioning habits.
  • Key strategies for using content information to push original thinking deeper.
  • Exciting, immersive activities for any type of classroom.
  • How to use online teaching resources from the National Gallery of Art, including downloadable Artful Thinking lesson plans
  • Unit 0: Welcome (2 hours)
  • Unit 1: Diving into Thinking Routines (3-4 hours)
  • Unit 2: Observing and Describing (3-4 hours)
  • Unit 3: Reasoning with Evidence (3-4 hours)
  • Unit 4: Questioning and Investigating (3-4 hours)

Critical thinking: reasoned decision making

Offered by : Tecnológico de Monterrey

4 weeks, 5-8 hours per week

  • Identify the theories that support critical thinking
  • Employ a methodology for the application of critical thinking
  • Relate the elements that make up the stages of critical thinking
  • Analyse the standards of critical thinking practice
  • Assess the responsibility of perpetuating the intellectual values of the resolution analysis
  • Distinguish the vices of thought in decision making
  • Apply critical thinking to groups

1. Thinking according to our times

1.1 Why critical thinking?

1.2 The exciting world of thinking and criticism

2. Evaluating our modes of thought

2.1 Intellectual values of a good thinker

2.2 Evaluating our critical thinking skills. Avoiding vices and biased thinking

3. Elements and standards of critical thinking

3.1 Elements of a critical thinking process

3.2 Standards to apply to our thinking modes

4. Articulating our decisions making process

4.1 The logic of our decisions and the behaviour derived from them

4.2 How to improve our critical thinking skills and become a fair-minded thinker

12 weeks, 2-3 hours per week

The course explores the psychology of our everyday thinking: why people believe weird things, how we form and change our opinions, why our expectations skew our judgments, and how we can make better decisions. We’ll discuss and debate topics such as placebos, the paranormal, medicine, miracles, and more.

You will use the scientific method to evaluate claims, make sense of evidence, and understand why we so often make irrational choices. You will begin to rely on slow, effortful, deliberative, analytic, and logical thinking rather than fast, automatic, instinctive, emotional, and stereotypical thinking.

  • tools for how to think independently, how to be skeptical, and how to value data over personal experience.
  • examining the mental shortcuts that people use and misuse, and apply this knowledge to help make better decisions, and improve critical thinking.

Offered by : University of Leeds

2 weeks, 4 hours weekly

  • What is critical thinking?
  • A model for critical thinking
  • Why is critical thinking important at university?
  • Challenges to thinking critically at university
  • How can you improve your critical thinking?
  • How will critical thinking help you at university?

Offered by : University of Hong Kong

4 weeks, 2-3 hours per week

This course will help you identify reliable information in news reports and become better informed about the world we live in. A discussion on journalism from the viewpoint of the news audience.

  • What makes news? The blurred lines between news, promotion and entertainment.
  • Why does news matter? Social sharing and the dynamics of the news cycles.
  • Who provides information? How to evaluate sources in news reports.
  • Where is the evidence? The process of verification.
  • When should we act? Recognizing our own biases.
  • How do we know what we know? Becoming an active news audience.

You’ll learn to:

  • Distinguish news from opinion; media bias from audience bias; assertion from verification
  • Apply critical thinking skills to examine the validity of information
  • Contextualize the knowledge gained from news report
  • Respond quickly to daily news events and make an informed decision

Offered by : Massachusetts Institute of Technology

9 weeks, 2-4 hours per week

Course aimed at fighting fake news and misinformation

Educators—from teachers to librarians—will learn about:

  • New knowledge that can be applied in your lessons and resources for your own students.
  • How to shift from ineffective information literacy practices towards the kinds of strategies employed by professional fact-checkers.

Unit 1: Search Like a Fact Checker

Unit 2: The Two Big Fact Checker Moves: Lateral Reading & Click Restraint

Unit 3: Evaluating Different Types of Evidence

Unit 4: Adapting Civic Online Reasoning

7 weeks, 2-4 hours per week

WEEK 1: Understanding The Climate Controversy During the first week of the course, we introduce the course content, interact with each other and complete an introductory survey. The week continues with an exploration of political consensus, the drivers and psychology of climate science denial and an overview of the controversy surrounding this topic.

WEEK 2: Global Warming Is Happening In week two, we will look at the indicators of global warming and myths related to temperature and glaciers.

WEEK 3: We Are Causing Global Warming Week three focuses on the ways in which humans cause climate change and the myths associated with the greenhouse effect and the rise in carbon dioxide.

WEEK 4: The Past Tells Us About The Future This week looks at the history of climate change in order to model future climate change. We also address myths related to models.

WEEK 5: We Are Feeling The Impacts Of Climate Change Week five covers climate feedbacks and the impacts of climate change on the environment, society and the weather.

WEEK 6 and 7: Responding to Denial The final weeks of the course look more closely at the psychology of science denial and debunking techniques. We also complete a peer assessment that asks students to practice debunking strategies on real myths that can be found in today’s media.

Approach: mini-lectures, video interviews, quizzes, activities, a peer assessed writing assignment, and readings.

Offered by : Stanford University

1 week, 2-3 hours

This course seeks to fulfil the clinical community’s need to improve skills in the critical evaluation of clinical research papers. Competency in critical appraisal skills can have a significant impact by improving clinical practice, quality of research projects, and peer-review of manuscripts and grants. The course will utilize efficient and engaging videos with relevant clinical examples to cover essential research methodology principles.

  • Analyse the concepts of randomization and blinding in reducing bias.
  • Develop strategies to critically appraise randomized clinical trials and determine if study results are valid.
  • Analyse the key design features of screening studies.
  • Develop strategies to critically appraise screening studies and determine if study results are valid.

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Critical Thinking

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  • Playable 2.  Investigating Assumptions 5m 34s


Critical Thinking: Challenging Assumptions


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Online Courses in Critical Thinking

critical thinking skills classes

Registration for Spring 2024 Semester Open Now!

Online Critical Thinking Courses 

All course participants receive complimentary semester-long access to the Center for Critical Thinking Community Online !

Courses also count toward certification in our approach .

See below for course descriptions, registration links, instructor information, and a general FAQ...

  • January 22 , 2024: Last day to drop with a full registration refund.
  • January 23, 2024: Instruction begins.
  • February 4, 2024: Last day to register .
  • March 19, 2024: Last day to drop with a prorated registration refund ($25 minimum refund deduction once the course begins).
  • May 14, 2024: Semester ends.

Course Offerings

CT700: How to Infuse Critical Thinking Into Instruction 

critical thinking skills classes

This course  introduces a substantive conception of critical thinking and how to infuse this concept throughout your instruction. It fosters understanding of how to teach critical thinking skills to students through any subject or discipline, and at any level of instruction. In this course, you will be introduced to the elements of reasoning, universal intellectual standards, and intellectual traits through readings, discussions, and practical application activities. You will redesign lessons and strategies using the concepts and principles of critical thinking. You will practice strategies for Socratic discussions. You will help students learn to consciously use critical thinking concepts and strategies in learning, and in their lives. You will redesign and teach lessons you develop for your own classes - and receive course credit for doing so! 

  • Using the Elements of Reasoning and Intellectual Standards to create critical thinking lessons in your subject area. 
  • Designing instruction that fosters explicit critical thinking. 
  • Using the Elements of Reasoning and Intellectual Sta n dards to think through intellectual, academic, personal, social, and political problems. 
  • Providing your students with the intellectual tools they need to engage in fairminded critical reasoning. 
  • Designing and conducting Socratic discussions using the concepts of critical thinking. 
  • Helping students learn to think within the key concepts in subjects and disciplines.  

critical thinking skills classes

CT800: Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Learning and Your Life

Whatever you are doing right now is determined by the way you are thinking. Whatever emotions you feel are determined by your thinking. Whatever you want - all your desires - are determined by your thinking. If your thinking is unrealistic, it will lead you to many disappointments. If your thinking is overly pessimistic, it will deny you due recognition of the many things in which you should properly rejoice. 

Since few people realize the powerful role that thinking plays in their lives, few gain significant command of it. Most people are frequently victims of their thinking; that is, they are hurt  rather than helped   by it. Most people are their own worst enemies. Their thinking is a continual source of problems, preventing them from recognizing opportunities, keeping them from exerting energy where it will do the most good, poisoning relationships, and leading them down blind alleys.

critical thinking skills classes

  • The best thinkers think about their thinking.    They do not take thinking for granted. They do not trust to fate to make them good in thinking. They    notice  their thinking. They    reflect   on their thinking. They   act  upon their thinking. 
  • The best thinkers are highly purposeful.    They do not simply act. They know why they act. They know what they are about. They have clear goals and clear priorities. They continually check their activities for alignment with their goals. 
  • The best thinkers have intellectual “tools” that they use to raise the quality of their thinking.    They know how to express their thinking clearly. They know how to check it for accuracy and precision. They know how to keep focused on a question and make sure that it is relevant to their goals and purposes. They know how to think beneath the surface and how to expand their thinking to include insights from multiple perspectives. They know how to think logically about and significantly.
  • The best thinkers distinguish their thoughts from their feelings and desires.    They know that wanting something to be so does not make it so. They know that one can be unjustifiably angry, afraid, or insecure. They do not let unexamined emotions determine their decisions. They have “discovered” their minds, and they examine the way their minds operate as a result. They take deliberate charge of those operations.
  • The best thinkers routinely take thinking apart.    They “analyze” thinking. They do not trust the mind to analyze itself automatically. They realize that analyzing thinking is an art one must consciously learn. They realize that it takes knowledge of the parts of thinking, and practice in exercising control over them.
  • The best thinkers routinely evaluate thinking, determining its strengths and weaknesses.    They do not trust the mind to evaluate itself automatically. They realize that the automatic ways in which the mind evaluates itself are inherently flawed. They realize that evaluating thinking is an art one must consciously learn. They realize that it takes knowledge of the universal standards for thinking, and practice in exercising control over them. 

This course, as a whole, will introduce you to the tools of mind that will help you reason well through the problems and issues you face - whether in the classroom, in your personal life, or in your professional life. If you take these ideas seriously, and practice using them, you can take command of the thinking that ultimately will command the quality of your life. 

As an outcome of this course, you will develop skills in:

  • Demonstrating understanding of the importance of fairminded critical thinking in the cultivation of fairminded critical societies.
  • Demonstrating understanding of the parts of thinking, or 'Elements of Thought,' and how these parts work together in reasoning. 
  • Demonstrating understanding of universal Intellectual Standards and their importance in human reasoning. 
  • Demonstrating understanding of the barriers to critical thinking development, and of the ability to intervene in thinking to improve it. 
  • Articulating and exemplifying the primary concepts in critical thinking, and how they can be used as tools for understanding and improving human reasoning. 
  • Articulate understanding of the problem of media bias and propaganda as a barrier to critical thought in human societies. 
  • Demonstrating understanding of ethical reasoning, and showing comprehension of the differences between ethics and other modes of thought - including religion, social ideologies, politics, and law. 
  • Demonstrating abilities in close reading and substantive writing.

CT701: How to Infuse Critical Thinking Into Instruction, Part II - Advanced Course

critical thinking skills classes

In this course, we emphasize the importance of fostering a substantive conception of critical thinking. Such a conception not only highlights the qualities of the educated person, but also implies the proper design of the educational process. There are essential, minimal conditions for cultivating educated minds. These entail modes of instruction that foster development of the standards, abilities, and traits of the educated person.  

  • Developing effective strategies for fostering fairminded critical thinking in instruction.
  • Leading more advanced Socratic dialog.
  • Deepening your understanding of the foundations of critical thinking. 
  • Understanding the relationship between critical thinking and your own instruction
  • Beginning to outline a Thinker's Guide to Critical Thinking within your field of study (showing proficiency in understanding the relationship between critical thinking and your field of study).
  • Understanding more deeply the concepts of close reading and substantive writing, in order to better foster these understandings in student thought. 
  • Placing the concept of fairminded critical thinking at the heart of teaching and learning, including an explicit emphasis on the development of Intellectual Virtues. 
  • Understanding the roles played by native human pathologies of thought in impeding intellectual development. 
  • Redesigning lessons with critical thinking at the heart of teaching and learning processes.
  • Designing instructional assessment processes that dovetail with fostering critical thinking at every moment in teaching and learning. 

CT701 Registration is Closed


critical thinking skills classes

What People Say About Our Courses

  • 'I told my boss this week during a faculty meeting that this has been the best university course I've ever taken.'
  • 'The instruction and course content was phenomenal. . . . this course has added significant value to my life.'
  • 'I have really enjoyed this course. . . meetings were engaging and very informative. I plan to attend additional offerings this academic year.'
  • 'It was a pleasure for me to attend and complete the CT800: Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Learning and Your Life. The course is well structured and . . . gradually takes the students from studying the basics of the critical thinking elements and standards up to the more demanding exercises . . . I noticed that now the Foundation gives all online course participants a semester-long free admission to the Center for Critical Thinking Community Online. I find this access to be very useful to foster critical thinking comprehension . . . . . . the teacher. Dr Brian Barnes, has been very proactive in providing students with all the necessary clarifications along the different live Socratic Discussions and written comments. Overall, I am very satisfied with the CT800 class. I would definitely recommend it to friends and acquaintances.'
  • "I took the on-line course [CT700] and found it very helpful.  I am teaching English . . . Guided by the concept of critical thinking and the suggested methods introduced in the course and the books, we have reconstructed our curriculum and written teaching materials. We have made critical thinking one of the objectives for our courses (e.g. reading, speaking, writing) and designed activities that promote critical thinking in almost every class (e.g. activities that require analysis, evaluation, etc.) We have been doing this for more than three years and I can see positive effects from my observation and students' feedback. Grade 2016 students are more aware of being logical and supporting their ideas with evidence, compared to students from previous years. They are also aware of looking at things from multiple perspectives. More students have intellectual pursuit and better prepared for academic study. These give me confidence in continue the critical thinking infused language instruction and I would try to find ways to do better."
  • "I would like to express my deepest appreciation to you [Dr. Linda Elder] and Richard Paul. You both created a system for life guidance through your very arduous work on critical thinking. Thank you for adding the intellectual virtues to critical thinking. Critical thinking without the intellectual virtues is still narrow-minded thinking. Thanks to [instructor] Paul Bankes [CT700], we could get familiar with fairminded critical thinking this semester in the class. Since I have also attended a couple of courses in psychology, I could better understand what majestic guidance you have created to help us have better lives by improving our way of thinking. I just wanted to say "THANK YOU" for each second you have devoted in this way. I will try to internalize fairminded critical thinking in my life and help to develop this idea as much as I possibly can. I hope one day I can claim that I am from the community of Fairminded Critical Thinking."
  • "I would like to extend my sincere gratitude for allowing me to complete the CT700 Course. It has been the most humbling and enlightening experience of my academic life. . . . I will now embark on my vision to make a difference in the South African Education System. Once, again, my gratitude goes out to you . . . "
  • "CT700 was an excellent course that changed my thinking and life. It was painful at times and I found it took time for me to meaningfully complete the assignments. As I worked through the first few weeks, I also wondered if I would be able to change my thinking process. By the end of the course, I grew personally and professionally in ways that I wasn’t sure were possible."

Frequently Asked Questions

How do the courses work.

Before the course begins, we email each registrant with the web address of the course and his or her login information. Everything is done through the web: viewing and submitting assignments, communication with the instructor and classmates, etc.

The course is broken down into individual modules, with each module lasting between one and three weeks. By the first day of each module, new assignments are posted for students to complete. These typically consist of reading, writing, watching video footage, and providing feedback on other participants' work from the prior week. Coursework is done on your own time, but each module's assignments are due on the final day of the module.

How long do the courses last?

Each course runs for 15 weeks (one semester).

How much time do the courses require each week?

The assignments, if done well, will take an average of 3-4 hours per week for most participants.

Who teaches the courses?

critical thinking skills classes

Our registration fee covers the cost of tuition and all course materials. This fee is $942.

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A certificate of completion will be provided upon request.

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The course materials will be available online in a digital format.

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Please see the 'Important Dates' section at the top of this page.



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Critical Thinking (Short Course)

  • Course Overview
  • Learning Outcomes
  • Certification

Why Study Critical Thinking?

Critical thinking means adopting an objective approach to the decisions you make, wherein logic, reason and rationale take the place of bias, manipulation and emotion.  Effectively, critical thinking is a mindset that enables you to reach opinions and make informed decisions through balanced and objective analysis of the available facts.  To become a critical thinker is to benefit from the ability to better express your thoughts, your beliefs and your ideas.  It can also help you become a better communicator, making it easier for others to understand you and for you to understand them.  In a nutshell, critical thinking could be described as the classic ‘out-of-the-box’ approach to thinking - closely connected with creative thinking.  Critical thinking skills come naturally to some, but for others must be studied and practiced to perfect.

By the end of this course the learner will be able to:

  • Define critical and non-critical thinking
  • Identify your critical thinking style(s), including areas of strength and improvement  

All free online certificate courses at Oxford Home Study Centre are 100% free of charge from start to finish.  There is no enrolment fee, all study aids are provided via our online learning platform and all of our courses are self-paced for total flexibility.

Our exclusive free courses provide the perfect opportunity to expand your knowledge, develop new skills and explore new professions.  Upon completion of your free online certificate course, you will have the option of claiming one of three different types of certificates for a small fee:

  • An official Course Completion Certificate from Oxford Home Study Centre
  • A CPD Accredited Certificate to boost your CPD profile
  • An Endorsed Certificate issued by the Quality Licence Scheme

Each of these certificates could prove helpful in supporting future job applications, or helping you climb the career ladder with your current employer. All certificates are 100% optional upon successful completion of your course - available to purchase with your preferred postage option.

For more information on certificate costs, head over to our pricing page or contact a member of the team at Oxford Home Study Centre anytime.


Topics covered in the course.

Critical Thinking short course covers the following key topics:

  • Defining Critical Thinking
  • Characteristics of a Critical Thinker
  • Common Critical Thinking Styles
  • Left- and Right-Brain Thinking
  • Whole-Brain Thinking


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critical thinking skills classes

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The University of Sydney

Critical Thinking Skills for University Success

This course is part of Academic Skills for University Success Specialization

Taught in English

Some content may not be translated

Katherine Olston

Instructors: Katherine Olston +1 more


Instructor ratings.

We asked all learners to give feedback on our instructors based on the quality of their teaching style.

Financial aid available

76,989 already enrolled

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(1,046 reviews)

Details to know

critical thinking skills classes

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There are 6 modules in this course

In this course, you will learn how to develop your Critical Thinking Skills to help you achieve success in your university studies. After completing this course, you will be able to:

1. Use critical thinking and argumentation in university contexts to improve academic results 2. Understand the importance and function of critical thinking in academic culture 3. Use a variety of thinking tools to improve critical thinking 4. Identify types of argument, and bias within arguments, in order to better evaluate the strength of arguments 5. Use evidence to support claims in arguments 6. Apply critical thinking and argumentation to real world problems and issues

Introduction to Critical Thinking in Academic Culture

What's included.

7 videos 7 readings 6 quizzes 2 discussion prompts

7 videos • Total 47 minutes

  • Welcome to the Academic Skills for University Success Specialization! • 1 minute • Preview module
  • 1.1a Introduction to the Course • 3 minutes
  • 1.2a Introduction to Academic Culture • 10 minutes
  • 1.2b Introduction to Critical Thinking • 9 minutes
  • 1.3a Survival Skills at University part 1 • 5 minutes
  • 1.3b Survival Skills for University part 2 • 7 minutes
  • 1.4a Academic Integrity • 9 minutes

7 readings • Total 70 minutes

  • Critical Thinking Weekly Topics • 10 minutes
  • Critical Thinking Assessment Overview • 10 minutes
  • Summative Peer Assessment • 10 minutes
  • Learning Outcomes • 10 minutes

6 quizzes • Total 160 minutes

  • 1.1 Practice quiz • 30 minutes
  • 1.2 Practice Quiz • 30 minutes
  • 1.3 Practice Quiz • 30 minutes
  • 1.4 Practice Quiz • 30 minutes
  • Summative Quiz - Module 1 • 30 minutes
  • Discussion Board Self Assessment - Module 1 • 10 minutes

2 discussion prompts • Total 20 minutes

  • 1.1 Introduction Forum • 10 minutes
  • 1.4 Academic Integrity • 10 minutes

Critical Thinking in Academic Contexts

7 videos 4 readings 6 quizzes 2 discussion prompts

7 videos • Total 45 minutes

  • 2.1a Dispositions & Habits of Mind for Critical Thinking • 7 minutes • Preview module
  • 2.1b Dispositions & Habits of Mind for Critical Thinking Expert Video • 6 minutes
  • 2.2a Argument Spheres • 7 minutes
  • 2.3a Argument Fields • 7 minutes
  • 2.4a Questioning in Critical Thinking • 6 minutes
  • 2.4b Questioning a Text • 6 minutes
  • 2.4c Questioning in Critical Thinking Expert Video • 4 minutes

4 readings • Total 40 minutes

6 quizzes • total 155 minutes.

  • 2.1 Practice Quiz • 30 minutes
  • 2.2 Practice Quiz • 30 minutes
  • 2.3 Practice Quiz • 30 minutes
  • 2.4 Practice Quiz • 30 minutes
  • 2.5 Summative Quiz - Module 2 • 25 minutes
  • Discussion Board Self Assessment - Module 2 • 10 minutes
  • 2.1 Dispositions for Critical Thinking • 10 minutes
  • 2.4 Questioning in Critical Thinking • 10 minutes

Logic & Reasoning

6 videos 4 readings 6 quizzes 2 discussion prompts

6 videos • Total 46 minutes

  • 3.1a Premises and Conclusions • 7 minutes • Preview module
  • 3.1b Formal Logic Structures • 9 minutes
  • 3.2a Common Fallacies • 7 minutes
  • 3.3a Forms of Reasoning • 9 minutes
  • 3.4a Applying Systems Thinking • 7 minutes
  • 3.4b Applying Systems Thinking Expert Video • 4 minutes
  • 3.1 Practice Quiz • 30 minutes
  • 3.2 Practice Quiz • 30 minutes
  • 3.3 Practice Quiz • 30 minutes
  • 3.4 Practice Quiz • 30 minutes
  • Summative Quiz - Module 3 • 25 minutes
  • Discussion Board Self Assessment - Module 3 • 10 minutes
  • 3.2 Common Fallacies • 10 minutes
  • 3.4 Systems Thinking • 10 minutes


10 videos 4 readings 6 quizzes 3 discussion prompts

10 videos • Total 66 minutes

  • 4.1a Claims and Evidence • 5 minutes • Preview module
  • 4.1b Claims and Evidence Expert Video • 3 minutes
  • 4.2a Identifying Biases and Assumptions 1 • 5 minutes
  • 4.2b Identifying Biases and Assumptions 2 • 8 minutes
  • 4.2c Identifying Biases and Assumptions 3 • 6 minutes
  • 4.3a Using Critical Thinking to Evaluate Arguments 1 • 6 minutes
  • 4.3b Using Criteria to Evaluate Arguments 2 • 5 minutes
  • 4.4a Types of Argument 1 • 11 minutes
  • 4.4b Types of Argument 2 • 6 minutes
  • 4.4c Types of Arguments Expert Video • 5 minutes
  • 4.1 Practice Quiz • 30 minutes
  • 4.2 Practice Quiz • 30 minutes
  • 4.3 Practice Quiz • 30 minutes
  • 4.4 Practice Quiz • 30 minutes
  • Summative Quiz - Module 4 • 25 minutes
  • Discussion Board Self Assessment - Module 4 • 10 minutes

3 discussion prompts • Total 30 minutes

  • 4.1 Claims and Evidence • 10 minutes
  • 4.2 Biases and Assumptions • 10 minutes
  • 4.4 Types of Argument • 10 minutes

Demonstrating Critical Thinking

6 videos • total 42 minutes.

  • 5.1a Argument Structures • 5 minutes • Preview module
  • 5.1b Argument Chains • 5 minutes
  • 5.1c Argument Chains - Slippery Slope • 5 minutes
  • 5.2a Models for Academic Argumentation • 9 minutes
  • 5.3a Critical Thinking and Critique • 7 minutes
  • 5.4a Critical Thinking and Reflective Writing • 9 minutes
  • Learning Resources • 10 minutes
  • 5.1 Practice Quiz • 30 minutes
  • 5.2 Practice Quiz • 30 minutes
  • 5.3 Practice Quiz • 30 minutes
  • 5.4 Practice Quiz • 30 minutes
  • Summative Quiz - Module 5 • 25 minutes
  • Discussion Board Self Assessment - Module 5 • 10 minutes
  • 5.2 Models of Academic Argumentation • 10 minutes
  • 5.4a Critical Thinking and Reflective Writing • 10 minutes

Summative Assignment

critical thinking skills classes

Our excellence in research and teaching makes the University of Sydney one of the top universities in Australia and highly ranked among the best universities in the world. In 2020, we were ranked second in the Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Rankings, and first in Australia in the QS Graduate Employability Rankings.

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Learner reviews

Showing 3 of 1046

1,046 reviews

Reviewed on Aug 6, 2020

Good Course. Helped me to understand the basic principles of Critical thinking and arguments.

Reviewed on Jun 25, 2021

Thank you for the course. I have improved my critical thinking skill very much

Reviewed on Aug 3, 2020

Its great Platforms to learn and grow digital, Aspects so thanks to Caursera.


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Frequently asked questions

When will i have access to the lectures and assignments.

Access to lectures and assignments depends on your type of enrollment. If you take a course in audit mode, you will be able to see most course materials for free. To access graded assignments and to earn a Certificate, you will need to purchase the Certificate experience, during or after your audit. If you don't see the audit option:

The course may not offer an audit option. You can try a Free Trial instead, or apply for Financial Aid.

The course may offer 'Full Course, No Certificate' instead. This option lets you see all course materials, submit required assessments, and get a final grade. This also means that you will not be able to purchase a Certificate experience.

What will I get if I subscribe to this Specialization?

When you enroll in the course, you get access to all of the courses in the Specialization, and you earn a certificate when you complete the work. Your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

What is the refund policy?

If you subscribed, you get a 7-day free trial during which you can cancel at no penalty. After that, we don’t give refunds, but you can cancel your subscription at any time. See our full refund policy Opens in a new tab .

Is financial aid available?

Yes. In select learning programs, you can apply for financial aid or a scholarship if you can’t afford the enrollment fee. If fin aid or scholarship is available for your learning program selection, you’ll find a link to apply on the description page.

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