Critical thinking, writing should be explicitly taught over long periods: HEQCO study

August 28, 2017

Students fare better in developing critical thinking and written communication skills when they are explicitly taught in class, according to a new study by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario. The study examined the effectiveness of a new skills-assessment tool pioneered at Humber College, and found that while students overall did not make significant gains in critical thinking and written communication during the course of the study, those enrolled in courses where these skills were explicitly taught had higher levels of achievement than those in courses where they were implicitly taught. The study’s authors also note that the skills need to be “taught consistently and over a longer period of time to see significant gains and these types of courses should be positioned strategically throughout each program of study.” HEQCO