Critical thinking, reading and writing for students

(Formerly: Problem solving and Critical thinking - are my students on top of their game?)


Problem solving and critical thinking are important elements in all professional fields and academic disciplines. We often say to our students, "Think!" But what do we mean by thinking and how do we encourage it? Equally, the ability to solve problems is a basic life skill and is essential to understanding technical subjects; yet you cannot teach students about problem solving and expect them to solve problems; WHY? you must engage and help them to solve a variety of problems. Indeed problem-solving is a subset of critical thinking and employs the same strategies. The purpose of this workshop is to introduce participants to a variety of problem solving and critical thinking strategies and demonstrate how to plan for both in courses.

Learning outcomes

As a result of this workshop participants will:

  • be introduced to what is meant by critical thinking [the basic vocabulary of critical thinking] and problem solving
  • explore the barriers to problem solving and critical thinking
  • form a basic concept of cognitive development including understanding why critical thinking is essential to the mastery of content and effective day-to-day problem solving
  • be able to use a range of teaching and learning strategies for higher order learning including socratice questioning, critical reading and writing, problem solving
  • know how to design assignments, activities and tests that require critical thinking and problem solving
  • be able to access resources for critical thinking and problem solving
DIT Institutional Objectives

This workshop is considered to support the following DIT institutional objectives:

  • Develop the curriculum
  • Develop and support teaching excellence
  • Develop key skills & competencies in students 
Who is this workshop suitable for?

All academic staff who as part of their course, teach students to problem solve and think critically: we will use a range of techniques including group discussion, group activities and targeted exercises to develop participants' own creative thinking and problem solving skills.


There are no pre-requisites for this workshop.

Facilitated by?

This interactive workshop is facilitated by Roisin Donnelly of the DIT Learning, Teaching and Technology Centre..