Unit 3- Elements of Thought


The purpose of this unit is to help you begin to realize your own understanding of the Elements of Thought (reasoning).


The primary focus of this practice is to to realize your own understanding of the the final pillar of Paulian critical thinking – the elements of reasoning. This is the analysis of reasoning.

Essential Idea: There are eight structures that define thinking. Learning to analyze thinking requires practice in identifying these structures in use.

Guidelines for Providing Feedback to Others

  1. Improving Your Assessment of Others
    1. What is allowed- Reasoning
      1. How could this post be improved?
      2. What exactly needs to be done to improve it?
    2. What is not allowed-
      1. No general statements of like or dislike.
      2. No sweeping comments. “Nice post, insightful and interesting”, type statements are not helpful. These type of statements only tell how you, and your ego, emotionally reacted to the post.
    3. Course instructor will model the assessment process to provide examples for learners to follow.
  2. Assessment of Feedback to Others
    1. Is your own feedback reasoning deficient?
    2. Course facilitator will model and comment on how you give feedback, using the intellectual standards, to help you improve your  reasoning skills.
  3. Improving Your Writing
    1. Revise and improve your posts based on feedback given, or
    2.  Challenge part of the assessment and explain with reasoning, why it is not necessary.

Note: Receiving evaluative feedback using the standards should not be taken personally when the feedback captures a potential weakness. We can always improve our reasoning and should be willing to accept feedback – this shows intellectual humility.

Unit 3- Practice

  1. Watch the following two videos

2. Read the following resources to help guide your thinking

3. Complete the following practice: Elements of Thought Practice.

Practice being mindful to provide as much clarify, accuracy, depth, and breadth as you reasonably can. Write out your understanding of each element using your own words. Don’t copy and paste or parrot back information. As much as you can, without looking at the material, write your understanding of each element. To the extent that you can do this on your own is the extent to which you have command of the concept.

The extent to which you have to use the material to create your wording demonstrates the degree to which you do not have command of the concept. If you find it difficult to write out an accurate and substantive description of each element, go back and review the material, then try again. Your goal is to get to a place where the concept is clear and accessible to you at all times.

  •  4. Beginning in this unit you will provide feedback to 2 different learners posts form the previous unit. Go here to the Unit Forum discussion comment on posts from last week.
    • Provide feedback to two different learners posts.
      • When a standard was not well met: I am questioning the _INSERT THE INTELLECTUAL STANDARD_ of your statement ____________ because _______.
      • When a standard was well met:  Your statement had _INSERT THE INTELLECTUAL STANDARD_ when you said….
      • Give this your best shot. If you are the one receiving the feedback, please don’t take it personally. This is about getting practice in providing feedback.

Unit 3- Reflection & Badge

Complete the following: Unit 3- Reflection & Badge

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