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Define, describe, and explain the principles of critical thinking.

Prepare: In preparation for discussing the importance of critical thinking skills, please read Chapters 1 through 3 of Think Smarter: Critical Thinking to Improve Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Skills, as well as the following articles: “Critical Thinking and the Challenges of Internet,” “Common Misconceptions of Critical Thinking,” and “Making Decisions in an Uncertain World.”

Reflect: Critical thinking gets you involved in a dialogue with the ideas you read from others in this class. To be a critical thinker, you need to be able to summarize, analyze, hypothesize, and evaluate the new information that you encounter.
Write: For this discussion
• Define, describe, and explain the principles of critical thinking.
• Search the Internet, media, or the Ashford University Library, and find an example of good, careful (critical) thinking, and explain why you think it exemplifies strong critical thinking skills. Post a link or reference information for that source, describe the content, and explain how it is a good example of critical thinking.
• Search the Internet, media, or the Ashford University Library and find an example that lacks good, careful (critical thinking). Post a link or reference information for that source, describe the content, and explain why you think it demonstrates poor critical thinking skills.
• Support your claims with examples from required material(s) and/or other scholarly sources, and properly cite any references.
• Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length.
Respond to Peers: Review your classmates’ posts, and respond to at least two of your peers by Day 7. When responding to your classmates, please provide feedback on their examples of good and poor critical thinking skills. Discuss additional ways one can think more critically. Each participation post should be a minimum of 75 words.
Discussion 2: Final Research Project Progress
Prepare: At this point in the course, you should have a rough draft of your Final Research Project. In preparation for this discussion, make a list of what you learned most throughout this process, as well as difficulties you may have encountered along the way.
Reflect: This is the moment in which you can think about what you have learned in the development of your research and share with the class.
Write: Share your progress on the Final Research Project, including the following:
• Identify the Final Research Project topic. What influenced you to make this choice?
• Describe your rationale for selecting that topic in relation to your academic and career pursuits.
• Provide your thesis statement.
• Discuss interesting finds and/or frustrations that you have encountered in your research.
• Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length.
Respond to Peers: Review your classmates’ posts, and respond to at least two peers by Day 7. In response to your classmates, offer some suggestions to help them with their research, and/or suggest resources that you believe would aid them with problems they may be encountering. Participation responses to peers must be a minimum of 75 words.
Discussion 3: Reflecting on General Education
Prepare: Start by reviewing General Education Curriculum found in “Section Five: General Academic Information and Policies” in the Ashford University Academic Catalog, which addresses the core competencies that the general education courses must cover: Applied Ethics, Communication, Information Technology, Critical Thinking, and Quantitative Reasoning.
Reflect: Think about the core competencies as previously mentioned and ponder on your time taking general education courses. Reflect on the specific courses not associated with your college major and determine the level of new information you have acquired that relates to the core competencies.
Write: Explain what you have learned about the principles guiding general education from this course and the courses you have taken in the past:
• What are the most important concepts you have learned (a) from this course and (b) throughout your time as a university student?
• Why do you think obtaining knowledge from general education courses is important?
• What are your plans for putting your education to use within your community?
• How might your newly acquired knowledge and skills shape your personal and professional development?
• Support your claims with examples from required material(s) or at least two scholarly sources, and properly cite any references.
• Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length.
Respond to Peers: Review your classmates’ posts, and respond to at least two of your peers by Day 7. In your responses, provided feedback on the value of general education and comment on your own unique experiences in relation to the more memorable lessons learned through general education courses. Each participation post should be a minimum of 75 words.


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