2U/edX Begins New Year with Wave of Layoffs

critical thinking and problem solving linkedin

2U/edX’s Disastrous Q3: Split with USC, Layoffs, and Pearson’s OPM Portfolio Takeover

2U’s 2023 Q3 results triggered a 50% stock drop. The company is currently valued at below $80 million.

  • 7 Best PMP Exam Prep Courses for 2024: Your Path to Certification
  • 9 Best Groovy Courses for 2024: The Python of Java
  • 8 Best Visual Basic (.NET) Courses for 2024: Build GUI Applications
  • 23 Most Popular Online Courses Starting in March 2024
  • 10 Best C Courses for 2024: Code at the Core

600 Free Google Certifications

Most common

Popular subjects.

Artificial Intelligence

Design & Creativity

Computer Networking

Popular courses

Financing Innovative Ventures

Comprendere la filosofia

How to Write Your First Song

Organize and share your learning with Class Central Lists.

View our Lists Showcase

Class Central is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Problem Solving Techniques

via LinkedIn Learning Help

  • Introduction
  • What's causing the problem
  • Asking the five whys
  • The Kepner-Tregoe process
  • Pareto analysis
  • Look at the whole system
  • Fast and slow thinking
  • Brainstorming
  • Decision trees
  • Boost your creativity
  • Intuition and logic
  • How to view the options
  • Rating charts
  • Don't settle for second best
  • Risk analysis
  • Team decisions
  • Sensitivity
  • The sunk cost paradox
  • Framing – subconscious and deliberate
  • Four simple rules for decision making
  • Consider implementation

Chris Croft

Related Courses

Excellence in problem solving and critical thinking skills, effective problem-solving and decision-making, solving problems with creative and critical thinking, lean problem-solving for team members and leaders, problem solving: the complete guide, decision making - how to choose the right problem to solve, related articles.

4.6 rating at LinkedIn Learning based on 2922 ratings

Select rating

Start your review of Problem Solving Techniques

Never Stop Learning.

Get personalized course recommendations, track subjects and courses with reminders, and more.

More From Forbes

The power of critical thinking: enhancing decision-making and problem-solving.

Forbes Coaches Council

  • Share to Facebook
  • Share to Twitter
  • Share to Linkedin

Dr. Ron Young, Founder and Board Chair of Trove, Inc . Ron specializes in psychological coaching & transition consulting.

Critical thinking is a fundamental cognitive process that enables individuals to objectively analyze, evaluate and interpret information to make informed decisions and solve complex problems. It involves employing reasoning and logic, questioning assumptions, recognizing biases and considering multiple perspectives. It requires self-monitored, self-directed, self-disciplined and self-corrective thinking. Critical thinking is essential in a world of information and diverse opinions. It helps us see things more clearly and avoid being misled or deceived.

Importance Of Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is crucial in various aspects of life, including education, professional endeavors and personal decision-making. In academic settings, it allows students to comprehend and engage with complex subjects while discerning valid arguments from fallacious ones. In the workplace, critical thinking empowers individuals to analyze problems, devise creative solutions and make informed judgments. In everyday life, it helps individuals navigate an increasingly complex world by making sound choices and avoiding cognitive biases. It is our primary defense against misleading or "spun" information.

Benefits Of Critical Thinking

There are many benefits of critical thinking.

Enhanced Decision-Making

Critical thinking helps us trust our gut feelings and think independently. It enables individuals to make logical and well-reasoned decisions based on evidence and objective analysis. It encourages the consideration of all relevant factors and the evaluation of potential consequences, leading to more informed choices.

Best High-Yield Savings Accounts Of 2024

Best 5% interest savings accounts of 2024, effective problem-solving.

Critical thinking facilitates the identification of underlying issues, the generation of innovative solutions and the evaluation of their viability. It encourages individuals to approach problems from different angles and consider various perspectives, increasing the likelihood of finding effective resolutions.

Reduction Of Cognitive Biases

Critical thinking supports self-reflection. It helps individuals recognize and challenge cognitive biases that hinder clear judgment. Individuals can better overcome confirmation bias, groupthink and the availability heuristic (judging the likelihood of an event based on recall of similar events) by understanding and questioning their assumptions and beliefs. It requires a commitment to overcoming the tendency to see the world from a narrow, self-centered perspective.

Enhanced Communication Skills

Practicing critical thinking fosters effective communication by enabling individuals to articulate and defend their ideas with logical reasoning and evidence. It encourages active listening, empathy and the ability to evaluate and respond to counterarguments, leading to more constructive and meaningful discussions.

More United Citizens

Using critical thinking enables citizens to see the whole picture by better protecting against biases and propaganda. It reduces partisanship and a “we/they” mentality.

Cultivating Critical Thinking

How can you cultivate critical thinking?

Be curious and inquisitive.

Foster a mindset of curiosity and an eagerness to explore and understand the world. Talk with people from different backgrounds, cultures, political affiliations or religions. Ask probing questions, seek new perspectives and engage in active learning. Learn from people who hold different viewpoints.

Develop analytical skills.

You can do this by learning to break down complex problems into manageable parts, recognize patterns and identify cause-and-effect relationships. Remember, not all opinions are equal, and some are flat-out wrong.

Evaluate information.

Develop skills to evaluate the credibility and reliability of information sources. Be aware of bias, assess evidence and differentiate between fact and opinion. Guard against "swallowing information whole" or believing that "If it's on the internet, it must be true."

Practice reflection.

Engage in reflective thinking by evaluating your thoughts, beliefs and assumptions. Consider alternative viewpoints, and be open to changing your perspective based on new information.

Embrace intellectual humility.

Be humble and aware that you could be wrong. Knowledge is an ongoing process; be open to admitting mistakes or gaps in understanding. Embrace a growth mindset that values continuous learning and improvement.

Develop your sense of belonging.

The third tier in Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a sense of belonging. One aspect of belonging is connection. All humans have this need. Without critical thinking, we are vulnerable to making our group's beliefs our own rather than evaluating which beliefs align with our values.

Align your view and your values.

Rather than defining yourself by a particular view, ask whether a different view aligns with your values. When we identify ourselves by the beliefs of our reference group (religious, political, etc.), we look for ways to justify our ideas. In doing so, we deny ourselves access to critical thinking.

Evidence Of Critical Thinking

When you practice critical thinking, it will be evident in several areas:

Evidence-Based Decision-Making

Rely on facts rather than emotions or personal biases. Follow five distinct steps, called the five A’s : ask, access, appraise, apply and audit. Gather relevant information, evaluate the evidence objectively and consider different perspectives before making decisions. Then reevaluate them as you learn new information.


Approach problems systematically by defining the issue, gathering relevant data, brainstorming potential solutions and evaluating feasibility. Engage in collaborative problem-solving to benefit from diverse perspectives. Open-mindedly consider alternative systems of thought. Recognize assumptions, implications and practical consequences, then adjust as needed.

Effective Communication

Solve complex problems by clearly and effectively communicating with others. Utilize critical thinking skills to articulate your thoughts clearly, listen actively and engage in respectful and constructive dialogue. Challenge ideas through logical arguments and evidence rather than resorting to personal attacks. Respecting people with different views does not mean you agree with their opinions. Evaluate, formulate and communicate questions with clarity and precision.

Continuous Learning

Apply critical thinking to ongoing personal and professional development. Seek opportunities for further education, engage in intellectual discourse and actively challenge your beliefs and assumptions.

Using Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is a powerful cognitive tool that empowers individuals to navigate the complexities of the modern world. Critical thinking enhances decision-making, problem-solving and communication abilities by fostering logical reasoning, analytical skills and an open mindset. It enables individuals to overcome cognitive biases, evaluate information effectively and make informed choices. Cultivating and applying critical thinking skills benefits individuals and contributes to a more thoughtful and rational society. Embracing critical thinking is essential for fostering intellectual growth, facilitating progress and addressing the challenges of the 21st century.

Forbes Coaches Council is an invitation-only community for leading business and career coaches. Do I qualify?

Ron Young

  • Editorial Standards
  • Reprints & Permissions
  • Master’s Students
  • Asian American
  • First Generation
  • International
  • Native Americans
  • Students With Disabilities
  • Faculty & Staff
  • Business and Finance
  • Consulting and Entrepreneurship
  • Data Science and Analytics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Government, Politics and Law
  • Healthcare and Health Sciences
  • Humanities, Language and Social Sciences
  • Natural Resources, Sustainability, and Environmental Science
  • Non-profit, National Service, and Human Service
  • Pharma, BioTech, and Life Sciences
  • Career Exploration
  • Build Relationships
  • Resume / Cover Letter
  • Offers and Negotiation
  • Interview Prep
  • Professional Development Fund
  • Job / Internship
  • Online Presence

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

  • Share This: Share Critical Thinking and Problem Solving on Facebook Share Critical Thinking and Problem Solving on LinkedIn Share Critical Thinking and Problem Solving on X

Instructor: Madecraft

As a leader, your team and organization rely on you to have good judgement and make the right decision with the information you have. Good decisions are the product of strong critical thinking skills and thoughtful problem solving. And like all skills, you can learn, practice, and get better at them. In this course, Dr. Eric Zackrison helps you do just that. He shows how to critically assess the source of information and how to determine the right approach to take. Eric also demonstrates strategies for approaching both simple and complex problems, and details taking your team through the entire life cycle of a challenging decision. He also imparts an understanding of common traps people fall into when solving problems, both individually and as a team. After this course, you’ll have the tools to approach your next problem more critically and solve it more effectively.

This course was created by Madecraft . We are pleased to host this training in our library.

critical thinking and problem solving linkedin

Compatibility Mode

Graduate College of Drexel University

Critical thinking versus problem solving.

Dark teal colored background with two talking heads facing each other one has question marks floating up and out of their brain, the other light bulbs

Many people lump critical thinking and problem-solving together into one basket, and while there are similarities, there are also distinct differences. Critical thinking utilizes analysis, reflection, evaluation, interpretation, and inference to synthesize information that is obtained through reading, observing, communicating, or experience to answer the following questions:

  • Is this information credible?
  • Is the purveyor of the information credible?
  • What is the issue?
  • How do I feel about this information and how will it inform my decisions?
  • Where does this information lead me?

Problem-solving uses many of the same skills, such as observing, analyzing, evaluating, and interpreting, but it takes the process a step further to identify obstacles and then to strategically map out a set of solutions to solve the problem.

So, how can you develop these skills to be a better critical thinker and a better problem solver? You cannot train yourself to be a critical thinker or a problem solver overnight; you should start slow. Work on one sub-skill at a time. Let’s look at each of these sub-skills:

Regardless of position, you can develop analytical skills by analyzing issues, programs, experiences, etc. to break them down into easier to digest chunks to gain a better or deeper understanding. To do this:

  • Be more observant
  • Ask questions such as who, what, where, when, how, and why
  • Learn as much as possible about the given topic
  • Map out the topic or issue to gain a visual understanding
  • Figure out the difference between fact and opinion

Learning to be reflective is something you can do with nearly every aspect of your professional and personal life. Start a journal and continually ask yourself questions and explore the answers honestly. This experience will open your mind to reflection, which is the process by which you look at your role in a given situation or experience. The best part of journaling – you can go back and re-read and see your progress over time. To begin the process:

  • Ask yourself why you did something or reacted in a certain way
  • Be open to look at yourself through an honest and critical lens
  • Explore your experience through writing
  • Ask trusted colleagues for feedback on your findings

We evaluate things all the time without realizing it – products, services, etc. Begin by being aware of this act. Similar to deepening your analysis skills, you can evaluate any issue, topic, program, procedure, policy, etc. through the means listed below to enhance your evaluation skills.

  • Compare different issues, topics, programs, etc. – how are they similar, different?
  • Look for trends
  • Look for conflicts or barriers
  • Don’t make assumptions, ask questions to gather information


The act of interpreting something is using a combination of analytical and evaluation skills, but it is a little more difficult to learn on your own. It is best to partner with someone to hone these skills – a trusted colleague or even a mentor, with whom you can put the following into practice.

  • Understand your own biases or opinions
  • Understand any cultural input, barriers, etc.
  • Look at the situation, experience, issue, topic, etc. through different lenses
  • Educate yourself about the situation, experience, issue, topic, etc.
  • Synthesize the information, data, etc. to develop a deeper understanding

One of the best ways to begin to develop strategic thinking skills is to do some long-range planning. You can start with your own professional goals, think about short-term goals and how those will help you get from point A to point B, and more importantly, how they lay the groundwork for longer-range goals. Keep practicing by employing these tactics.

  • Obtain the perspective of others & brainstorm
  • Educate yourself about the situation, experience, issue, topic, etc. 
  • Be forward-thinking in both the short-term and the long-term
  • Think about all parties involved and how decisions, etc. will impact them 
  • Be creative and innovative

We utilize many of these skills each day, even multiple times a day; however, often we do it without realizing it. The first step to enhancing your critical thinking and problem solving skills is to think about them, become aware of them, then you can actively practice to improve them. Critical thinking and problem-solving are two important “soft” or essential skills hiring managers are looking for. According to a Linkedin survey, 57% of business leaders say soft skills are now more important than hard skills. Abby Guthrie, a communications team leader at Findcourses.com argues, “Every soft skill that you develop will be something you will eventually draw on in your career.” These skills are anything but soft, they are essential to your career.

Anne Converse Willkomm Assistant Clinical Professor Department Head of Graduate Studies Goodwin College Drexel University Sources:

Skills You Need

  • Online Degree Explore Bachelor’s & Master’s degrees
  • MasterTrack™ Earn credit towards a Master’s degree
  • University Certificates Advance your career with graduate-level learning
  • Top Courses
  • Join for Free

What Are Critical Thinking Skills and Why Are They Important?

Learn what critical thinking skills are, why they’re important, and how to develop and apply them in your workplace and everyday life.

[Featured Image]:  Project Manager, approaching  and analyzing the latest project with a team member,

We often use critical thinking skills without even realizing it. When you make a decision, such as which cereal to eat for breakfast, you're using critical thinking to determine the best option for you that day.

Critical thinking is like a muscle that can be exercised and built over time. It is a skill that can help propel your career to new heights. You'll be able to solve workplace issues, use trial and error to troubleshoot ideas, and more.

We'll take you through what it is and some examples so you can begin your journey in mastering this skill.

What is critical thinking?

Critical thinking is the ability to interpret, evaluate, and analyze facts and information that are available, to form a judgment or decide if something is right or wrong.

More than just being curious about the world around you, critical thinkers make connections between logical ideas to see the bigger picture. Building your critical thinking skills means being able to advocate your ideas and opinions, present them in a logical fashion, and make decisions for improvement.

Coursera Plus

Build job-ready skills with a Coursera Plus subscription

  • Get access to 7,000+ learning programs from world-class universities and companies, including Google, Yale, Salesforce, and more
  • Try different courses and find your best fit at no additional cost
  • Earn certificates for learning programs you complete
  • A subscription price of $59/month, cancel anytime

Why is critical thinking important?

Critical thinking is useful in many areas of your life, including your career. It makes you a well-rounded individual, one who has looked at all of their options and possible solutions before making a choice.

According to the University of the People in California, having critical thinking skills is important because they are [ 1 ]:

Crucial for the economy

Essential for improving language and presentation skills

Very helpful in promoting creativity

Important for self-reflection

The basis of science and democracy 

Critical thinking skills are used every day in a myriad of ways and can be applied to situations such as a CEO approaching a group project or a nurse deciding in which order to treat their patients.

Examples of common critical thinking skills

Critical thinking skills differ from individual to individual and are utilized in various ways. Examples of common critical thinking skills include:

Identification of biases: Identifying biases means knowing there are certain people or things that may have an unfair prejudice or influence on the situation at hand. Pointing out these biases helps to remove them from contention when it comes to solving the problem and allows you to see things from a different perspective.

Research: Researching details and facts allows you to be prepared when presenting your information to people. You’ll know exactly what you’re talking about due to the time you’ve spent with the subject material, and you’ll be well-spoken and know what questions to ask to gain more knowledge. When researching, always use credible sources and factual information.

Open-mindedness: Being open-minded when having a conversation or participating in a group activity is crucial to success. Dismissing someone else’s ideas before you’ve heard them will inhibit you from progressing to a solution, and will often create animosity. If you truly want to solve a problem, you need to be willing to hear everyone’s opinions and ideas if you want them to hear yours.

Analysis: Analyzing your research will lead to you having a better understanding of the things you’ve heard and read. As a true critical thinker, you’ll want to seek out the truth and get to the source of issues. It’s important to avoid taking things at face value and always dig deeper.

Problem-solving: Problem-solving is perhaps the most important skill that critical thinkers can possess. The ability to solve issues and bounce back from conflict is what helps you succeed, be a leader, and effect change. One way to properly solve problems is to first recognize there’s a problem that needs solving. By determining the issue at hand, you can then analyze it and come up with several potential solutions.

How to develop critical thinking skills

You can develop critical thinking skills every day if you approach problems in a logical manner. Here are a few ways you can start your path to improvement:

1. Ask questions.

Be inquisitive about everything. Maintain a neutral perspective and develop a natural curiosity, so you can ask questions that develop your understanding of the situation or task at hand. The more details, facts, and information you have, the better informed you are to make decisions.

2. Practice active listening.

Utilize active listening techniques, which are founded in empathy, to really listen to what the other person is saying. Critical thinking, in part, is the cognitive process of reading the situation: the words coming out of their mouth, their body language, their reactions to your own words. Then, you might paraphrase to clarify what they're saying, so both of you agree you're on the same page.

3. Develop your logic and reasoning.

This is perhaps a more abstract task that requires practice and long-term development. However, think of a schoolteacher assessing the classroom to determine how to energize the lesson. There's options such as playing a game, watching a video, or challenging the students with a reward system. Using logic, you might decide that the reward system will take up too much time and is not an immediate fix. A video is not exactly relevant at this time. So, the teacher decides to play a simple word association game.

Scenarios like this happen every day, so next time, you can be more aware of what will work and what won't. Over time, developing your logic and reasoning will strengthen your critical thinking skills.

Learn tips and tricks on how to become a better critical thinker and problem solver through online courses from notable educational institutions on Coursera. Start with Introduction to Logic and Critical Thinking from Duke University or Mindware: Critical Thinking for the Information Age from the University of Michigan.

Article sources

University of the People, “ Why is Critical Thinking Important?: A Survival Guide , https://www.uopeople.edu/blog/why-is-critical-thinking-important/.” Accessed May 18, 2023.

Keep reading

Coursera staff.

Editorial Team

Coursera’s editorial team is comprised of highly experienced professional editors, writers, and fact...

This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.

U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

The .gov means it’s official. Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.

The site is secure. The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

  • Publications
  • Account settings
  • Advanced Search
  • Journal List
  • Am J Pharm Educ
  • v.74(10); 2010 Dec 15

An Environmental Scan on the Status of Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills in Colleges/ Schools of Pharmacy: Report of the 2009-2010 Academic Affairs Standing Committee

Gary m. oderda.

a College of Pharmacy, The University of Utah, Chair

Robin M. Zavod

b College of Pharmacy, Midwestern University Chicago

Jean T. Carter

c Skaggs School of Pharmacy, The University of Montana

Johnnie L. Early

d College of Pharmacy, The University of Toledo

Pamela U. Joyner

e UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Harold Kirschenbaum

f Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Long Island University

Eric J. Mack

g School of Pharmacy, Loma Linda University

Andrew P. Traynor

h College of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota - Duluth

Cecilia M. Plaza

i American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy

According to the Bylaws of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), the Academic Affairs Committee shall consider

the intellectual, social, and personal aspects of pharmaceutical education. It is expected to identify practices, procedures, and guidelines that will aid faculties in developing students to their maximum potential. It will also be concerned with curriculum analysis, development, and evaluation beginning with the pre-professional level and extending through professional and graduate education. The Committee shall seek to identify issues and problems affecting the administrative and financial aspects of member institutions. The Academic Affairs Committee shall extend its attention beyond intra-institutional matters of colleges of pharmacy to include interdisciplinary concerns with the communities of higher education and especially with those elements concerned with health education.

Consistent with a theme of exploring the way in which AACP might foster organizational improvement and success among its institutional members, President Jeffrey Baldwin charged the 2009-10 AACP Academic Affairs Standing Committee to consider the outcomes of the 2009 AACP Curricular Change Summit and the recommendations contained in the 5 background white papers. 1 - 5 The Committee was charged to synthesize recommendations for AACP and its member institutions with regard to curricular issues that need further development, study or implementation.

The Committee reviewed and discussed some of the key outcomes from the AACP Curricular Change Summit. Summit participants were asked to identify the 1 or 2 key outcomes that each graduate should possess upon graduation. The Summit participants concluded that the most essential components were critical thinking and problem solving skills. Another of the major findings from the September 2009 AACP Curricular Change Summit was that the generation of students currently entering undergraduate education and trickling into colleges/schools of pharmacy learn differently from previous student cohorts. Summit participants suggested that it is not as much what is being taught that is the issue with this generation of learners, but rather the manner in which it is taught; specifically the way critical thinking and problem solving skills are learned.

The Changing Learner

The ability to educate students is an increasingly complicated task that is impacted by a number of factors including the changing learner. It has become apparent that today's students communicate and may even learn in ways unlike previous generations. 6 These students are more comfortable with technology, having used computers, played videogames, and utilized other interactive technologies throughout most of their lives. They are more adept than previous generations at multi-tasking with media and technology; they listen to music, talk or text and use the computer simultaneously. 7 Some categorize these students as the Net generation, while others refer to them as the Millennial generation. 8 This group, typically born between 1982 and 1991, is the first generation to be raised with Internet availability. 8 Prensky refers to these learners as digital natives, as they are “native speakers” of the digital language of computers and the Internet. 7 Computers, the Internet, online resources, and the desire for instantaneous access are fundamental to these students’ lives. 8 They are constantly connected and in communication with others through the use of email, social network sites, instant messages (IM), and text messages. 9

Socialization is very important to this new generation of learners. They are especially attracted to activities that include interaction with their peer group. 6 They like to learn and work in teams, however, their interaction need not be face-to-face. For them, technologies such as email, blogs, and online social networking sites can be just as effective as face-to-face interaction. 8 Despite the fact that this generation frequently uses technology, they want their learning to include more than just technology. They value their teachers’ knowledge and expertise and want to have the opportunity to communicate with faculty when assistance is needed. 6

This new generation of learners has less tolerance for passive instruction and prefer to learn by doing. 9 Just as they rarely read newspapers, they also tend not to read lengthy instructions or assignments. 8 They like learning environments that are rich in multimedia, especially those that are visual and/or audio in nature. Those individuals raised in an environment with ready access to computers have less linear thought processes and struggle with traditional approaches that are substantially more linear. These students prefer random access. 7

These new learners are achievement oriented. 8 , 10 They prefer structure and want clear learning outcomes. 8 They seem to work well under pressure 11 and flourish with immediate gratification and frequent rewards. 7

What we are currently experiencing in higher education with these new learners is just the tip of the iceberg. A 2009 study by the Kaiser Family Foundation surveyed over 2,000 young people between the ages of 8 and 18 years and reported that this population spends on average approximately 7.6 hours each day using media. This represents an increase from 6.5 hours in a similar survey conducted in 2005. On a typical day, an average 8- to 18-year-old spends approximately three hours evenly divided between playing video games and other recreational computer use. Compare this to the average amount of computer time daily (16 minutes) devoted to homework. Comparison of the 2009 survey results with those from the 2005 study shows an increase in overall time that young people spend using more than one media at a time (29% versus 26%). 12 It is interesting to note that heavy media users were more likely to earn fair or poor grades (respondent self-identified categorization: 47% heavy users, 31% moderate users, 23% light users), to be bored, to get into trouble, or to be often sad or unhappy, and are less likely to get along with their parents. 12 Another important change is the increase in access to and use of computers and the Internet. The number of young people with computers in the home increased from 86% in 2005 to 93% in 2009, and access to the Internet in the home increased from 74% to 84% during this five-year period. 12

The extensive exposure of the millennial generation to video games led to a movement toward incorporation of video games in education and training. 13 PriceWaterhouseCoopers estimates that the global video game market will grow to $48.9 billion in 2011 and that many corporations use games to recruit and train employees from the digital native workforce. 9 , 14 Oblinger suggests that games have attributes associated with learning including problem solving and the use of research skills (e.g., testing hypotheses). 8 , 15

Given the unique characteristics of the changing learner, what are the implications for pharmacy educators? There are at least 4 key suggestions to consider: 1) lectures may not provide an optimal learning environment. 8 , 9 This generation has different expectations of faculty and the delivery of course content. The teacher needs to become a facilitator of learning and less of a provider of information. 6 2) The relevance of assignments must be transparent to the learner. These students detest busy work. 16 3) Interaction should be an important component of the educational process, as these students value group work and collaborative learning. 6 , 9 4) The new generation of learner appreciates faculty who respond quickly, provide constructive feedback, and are familiar with and effectively use digital tools in the classroom. 17

The characteristics of the changing learner have curricular implications as it relates to the structure, as well as the methods used in both the pre-professional and professional curricula. The purpose of this Report was to provide an environmental scan on the curricular considerations associated with both critical thinking and problem solving. While this is certainly not a new skill set, it behooves us to re-evaluate the methods and tools that we use going forward for skill development and application given the characteristics of the changing learner.

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

The AACP Commission to Implement Change in Pharmaceutical Education identified six general outcomes/competencies that serve as the foundation of the education of a professional. The ability to think, including logical thinking, analytical thinking, problem solving and decision making, was identified as an important outcome for pharmacy education. 18 The use of critical thinking, identified by the commission as a competency of the thinking ability outcome, is assumed to result in pharmacy practitioners that are better able to solve problems and think as experts. 19 In describing their rationale, the commission stated:

Entry-level graduates must be able to examine issues rationally, logically and coherently. Although critical thinking is a universally desired educational outcome, professionals particularly need a repertoire of thinking strategies that will enable them to acquire, evaluate and synthesize information and knowledge. Since much of professional practice is problem solving, students need to develop analytical skills to make decisions in both familiar and unfamiliar circumstances. Critical thinking fosters a questioning attitude among professionals; and it is a prerequisite skill in making judgments. 18

Critical thinking and problem solving, as indicated above, are often mentioned together. However, multiple authors have expressed the relationship between critical thinking and problem solving in different ways. Some authors state that critical thinking encompasses problem solving. 20 , 21 Others suggest that problem solving may be one of the purposes for which we engage in critical thinking. 22 Taking this purpose to another level of specificity, some authors suggest that while problem solving is an often performed action, it may not always be performed by thinking in a critical manner. 23 Based on the work of the AACP Commission to Implement Change in Pharmaceutical Education, this final view appears to be most applicable to goals in pharmacy education.

While it is important to consider that critical thinking and problem solving are linked, situations arise where one skill may exist separately from the other. Individuals may engage in critical thinking, but not use the resulting thought to solve a problem. Thus, consideration of these terms separately is warranted in order to proceed with instructional design and assessment. Thus, a clear operational definition of each is required. 24

Critical Thinking Debates

The definition of critical thinking has opened the door to multiple debates of the term. The broadest debate among both experts and popular culture involves the separation of critical thinking from good thinking. Critical thinking may be assumed to be good thinking that solves problems, which is the opposite of illogical or irrational thinking that is more likely to cause problems. 23 The majority of experts agree that critical thinking is not the only kind of good thinking. Broad in scope, good thinking may include creative or innovative thinking. Creative or innovative thinking results in new insights, novel approaches, fresh perspectives, and whole new ways of understanding and conceiving concepts or processes. Experts have concluded that what critical thinking means, why it is of value, and ethics of its use are 3 separate concerns. 25

Three debates exist with regard to the definition of critical thinking as it relates to teaching strategies. The first debate centers on the view that critical thinking is either a general skill set that spans disciplines or is a specific skill set that varies across disciplines. Most experts suggest that general principles apply across disciplines and support learning critical thinking skills in concert with specific subject matter. The second debate addresses the exclusion of evidence such as experience, emotion, feeling, care and commitment in definitions of critical thinking. It is suggested that relativism may be stimulated by focusing only on valid arguments developed through rational and logical reasoning. Experts argue that dispositions related to critical thinking must balance reason. 26 This is an especially important debate for health care professionals because critical thinking is often employed in the care of individual patients. The final debate considers the degree to which social context is a part of critical thinking. Experts make a case that the political and social justice impacts of argumentation and reasoning should be considered in teaching critical thinking. 26

Critical Thinking Defined

The American Philosophical Association (APA), through an expert consensus statement, supports the value of critical thinking by stating, “Critical thinking is essential as a tool of inquiry. As such, critical thinking is a liberating force in education and a powerful resource in one's personal and civic life.” 25 Such emphasis can lead to ambiguity and the proliferation of a variety of definitions. Multiple articles in the pharmacy education literature have articulated the wide variety of definitions of critical thinking. 19 , 27 - 29 Despite the diversity there are clear trends that are identifiable in the definitions. 19 , 27 - 29 In Table ​ Table1 1 there are a variety of critical thinking definitions that speak to the different sides of the previously mentioned debates. It should be noted that the most rigorously defined version of critical thinking comes from the APA Expert Consensus Statement for Purposes of Educational Assessment and Instruction. 25 The definitions in Table ​ Table1 1 support Halpern's claim that there is enough overlap in the definitions of critical thinking to take the next steps in preparing learners to think critically. 24 Because the definitions consist of similar skills, actions, and dispositions, a reasonable next step is to extrapolate and explain these skills and dispositions. It is important in this step to describe examples from pharmacy that help to identify when and where these skills and dispositions can be assessed. Table ​ Table2 2 summarizes the skills associated with critical thinking that have been identified by the APA, associated definitions and selected pharmacy examples. Table ​ Table3 3 summarizes those dispositions mentioned by the APA that encompass approaches to life and living as well as specific issues, questions or problems.

Definitions of Critical Thinking

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is ajpeS6tbl1.jpg

Critical Thinking Skills 27

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is ajpeS6tbl2.jpg

Critical Thinking Dispositions 25

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is ajpeS6tbl3.jpg

Problem Solving Defined

Problem solving is considered a high-order thinking skill that represents the ability achieved by mastery of each level of Bloom's taxonomy. 37 Though problem solving is a high-order thinking skill with a close connection to critical thinking, it has a definition distinct from critical thinking. While also a highly debated topic, most debate related to problem solving revolves around the techniques and methods of problem solving rather than the definition. Problem solving can be broadly defined as the process of designing, evaluating and implementing a strategy to answer an open-ended question or achieve a desired goal. 38

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) VALUE (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education) program was an attempt to create and disseminate rubrics to assess learning through the measurement of outcomes. 36 , 38 The rubrics delineate expected criteria and information to determine individual standards to match growth. The Critical Thinking VALUE Rubric and Problem Solving VALUE Rubric are excellent instruments that can be molded to meet the needs of pharmacy education. Defining the expectation of mastery of each area at benchmark, milestone, and capstone levels allows the evaluator to measure student attainment. The fact that separate rubrics were developed to allow for independent measurement of these skills provides ample support for separate consideration of these terms.

The Critical Thinking VALUE rubric 36 provides the expectation that mastery of critical thinking includes explanation of an issue, selection and use of evidence to investigate a point of view or a drawn conclusion, the influence of context and assumptions, the position on the issue taken by the student/learner, and the conclusions drawn by the student/learner. The Problem Solving VALUE rubric 38 provides the expectation that mastery of problem solving includes definition of the problem, identification of strategies to solve the problem, solutions or hypotheses proposed, evaluation of potential solutions, solution implementation, and outcome evaluation.

Implementation of these rubrics requires evaluator training and education of the student/learner. The evaluator must understand expectations and terms and be able to use them to “rank” the student/learner's performance. The student/learner should be exposed to the rubric to gain an understanding of the expectations for mastery at each level.

If the academy faculty agree that critical thinking and problem solving skills are fundamental to the successful practice of pharmacy and that our graduates should achieve an appropriate level of competency prior to graduation, then every effort should be made to establish consistent goals and definitions related to this skill set. Though not the focus of this Report, faculty development opportunities should be available to establish and/or supplement the faculties’ ability to teach and apply principles of critical thinking and problem solving.

Recommendation 1 : Pharmacy education should support the development and use of clear and distinct definitions for critical thinking and problem solving to guide instructional development and assessment of each.

Suggestion 1 : Colleges/schools of pharmacy must recognize critical thinking as a general skill set that can be further developed for use in the practice of pharmacy through instruction and assessment within the professional pharmacy curriculum.

Suggestion 2 : Colleges/schools of pharmacy must link learning experiences to specific critical thinking skills that can be assessed.

Suggestion 3 : Colleges/schools of pharmacy must foster critical thinking skills in all areas of a student's present and future life, including, but not limited to clinical issues specific to pharmacy.

Curricular Considerations

Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) Standards and Guidelines 2007 require that colleges and schools of pharmacy ensure that graduates possess critical thinking and problem solving skills. 39 Although the Standards and Guidelines go on to describe that the development of these skills should be supported through the application of computerized and other instructional technologies, laboratory experiences, and experiential education, ACPE does not provide reasons for this requirement nor do they provide specific examples of the way in which this outcome should be achieved and demonstrated.

As noted elsewhere in this report, we believe that this requirement is in place, in part, because all health care professionals (e.g., pharmacists, physicians, nurses, dentists) need to make numerous decisions that affect patient care on a daily basis. Frequently, the information needed to make a therapeutic decision is incomplete and therefore requires the health care professional to look beyond established data to identify a course of action. The ability to evaluate the data available, identify missing information, think outside established norms, contemplate logical scenarios should different strategies be implemented, and deal with inferences, may be termed critical thinking.

As just a couple of the many components of the practice of pharmacy, patient safety and treatment effectiveness, should certainly be a significant component of the rationale for teaching and developing critical thinking skills in student pharmacists. Pharmacists must instinctively and consistently question prescribers to ensure reconciliation of medications across the continuum of care. Similarly, discharged patients and/or caregivers must be knowledgeable of the therapy plan, including the role of the pharmacist. It is the pharmacist that will evaluate relevant cultural, educational and cognitive traits and their impact on development of a learning plan for a specific patient.

It is certainly a challenge to teach critical thinking 23 or to enhance a student's ability to think critically, nevertheless we do so in a variety of ways across pharmacy and other health care profession curricula. Table ​ Table4 4 provides some examples of the ways that this issue has been addressed by colleges/schools of pharmacy. Even a cursory review of these (and other) references suggests that little has been published on teaching critical thinking throughout the curriculum. It is difficult to know whether this is simply an indication that little has actually been published or a reflection of the fact that few institutions ensure that critical thinking (and perhaps problem solving) is a component of the professional curriculum.

Examples of Publications Dealing with Teaching/Evaluating Critical Thinking in the Pharmacy Curriculum

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is ajpeS6tbl4.jpg

One issue that faces colleges/schools of pharmacy is how and when development of critical thinking and problem solving skills should start from a curricular perspective. Should this be a component of the pre-pharmacy curriculum or limited to the entry-level PharmD curriculum? Should this skill set be addressed in a specific course or two in the professional curriculum or does this skill set need to be disseminated across the curriculum – similar to the way in which experiential education is distributed? Both approaches have been addressed to some extent in the literature, however, it appears to the Committee that the latter approach is optimal to ensure that today's student pharmacist develops the critical thinking skills needed to be a successful professional.

Suggestion 4 : Colleges/schools of pharmacy should ensure that the development of critical thinking skills becomes the backbone of the curriculum, and that courses throughout the curriculum are designed specifically to provide students with the opportunity to obtain and use these skills, that the skills are assessed appropriately, and that the attainment of these skills are documented before the student is permitted to graduate. Assessment of this skill should be a formal component of preceptor evaluation of P4 students.

Recommendation 2 : AACP should issue a call for school posters to be presented at the AACP Annual Meeting that describe the methods by which critical thinking is taught and/or evaluated in the didactic and experiential curricula at colleges/schools of pharmacy.

Recommendation 3 : AACP should issue a call for submissions to Pharmacy Education Assessment Services (PEAS) for assessment methodologies including rubrics that are used by colleges and schools of pharmacy to assess the critical thinking and problem solving skills of their students.

Recommendation 4 : AACP should plan an Institute that provides hands-on application of evidence-based active learning strategies for the new generation of learners. (prior to final publication of this report this recommendation was accomplished at the May 2010 AACP Institute in Lansdowne, Virginia.)

When to Teach Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills

As mentioned in the previous section, the first question to reflect on is whether critical thinking skills must be taught by content area or if they can be taught as a skill set that can be transferred across multiple disciplines. In other words, can these skills be taught in general pre-pharmacy courses or should this type of development be delayed until students are enrolled in professional program courses that are specifically focused on pharmacy topics? In cognitive psychology, there is support for the idea that an explicit effort to teach critical thinking skills that are transferable across several disciplines can be successful. If the value of this skill set across disciplines is not made obvious, then it is likely that the learner will limit his/her skill development to the course(s) in which it is used. 43 This supports the idea of development of critical thinking and problem solving skills in pre-pharmacy curricula, although the variation among pre-pharmacy curricula is notable. The second question to consider is how to influence students to apply critical thinking once they have the skills. The students’ disposition toward critical thinking includes their ability to recognize when that skill is needed, as well as their willingness to put forth the effort to use it. It may be easiest to influence students to apply those skills while enrolled in the professional program when the relevance of applying these skills to patient care-based issues is the most obvious. In order to facilitate teaching critical thinking skills, Halpern proposes a four-part instructional model: skill instruction, disposition development, problem recognition, and observation of the process used in critical thinking (metacognitive monitoring). 43

Assessment of Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills of Incoming Students

If the development of critical thinking and problem solving skills occurred as an element of the pre-pharmacy curriculum, then assessment of these skills as a component of an admissions application may assist colleges/schools to predict candidate success in the professional program. Over the past several decades, studies were conducted to determine whether pre-pharmacy or admissions variables could predict which students would succeed in a professional pharmacy program. The focus of most of these studies was on “success” in pharmacy programs, with grade point average (GPA) used as the measurement of success. 44 - 54 It is of note that critical thinking and problem solving skills were not specifically addressed in these studies or considered as a specific measure of success.

Many studies found positive associations between success in a pharmacy program and prior completion of a four-year degree, but none looked closely at the characteristics of applicants with four-year degrees to determine the extent to which factors such as age, motivation, or intellectual ability contributed to the students’ completion of the degree and subsequent performance in a professional program.

One study by Cline et al . did shift the focus to success in practice (and not academic program) and used 4 predictors of success not utilized in other studies: career commitment, innovativeness, materialism, and other-directedness. 55 The innovativeness dimension of practice success included measures of willingness to adopt new ideas and included how a person would be inclined to bring new ideas to problem solving efforts. 55

Other studies included an explicit measure of critical thinking skills. Allen and Bond found a link between performance on the California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST) and subsequent performance in practice-based courses. 56 In this study, the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) was also a good predictor of performance. 56 Kidd and Latif later found the CCTST and not the PCAT to be a predictor of performance in advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs). A second measure of critical thinking, the California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory (CCTDI), was a predictor of success in earlier coursework. 57 Lobb and colleagues looked at the results from the Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI), Defining Issues Test (DIT), and Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (WGCTA) as predictors, however, found no correlation with subsequent academic performance. 58 In all of these studies, the subsequent academic success was measured by grades and not critical thinking per se .

Not directly studied was the impact of age on critical thinking and problem solving skills. Non-Piagetian theorists suggest that there is a fifth stage of cognitive development that occurs in young adults; this fifth stage is called post formal thinking and it focuses on problem finding. At this stage of development, the young adult begins to identify the problem before him/her and determines ways to solve it even if faced with contradictory information and awareness of the relativistic nature of their knowledge. 59 Given the age of a typical student pharmacist, it is certainly possible that this last stage of cognitive development may still be “percolating” and that assessment of this skill set may reflect, at least in part, the extent to which this stage has matured.

Teaching critical thinking and problem solving skills in the professional curriculum

Once enrolled in the professional program, students participate in both didactic and experiential learning experiences. There are specific instructional methods considered effective in the development of critical thinking and problem solving skills. These methods tend to be learner-focused, inquiry-based learning approaches that employ reflective methods, writing to learn, and paired or group processes. Regardless of whether the method focuses on discipline-specific or general critical thinking and problem solving skills, it is important to employ good instructional design. Two recommended resources are Chickering's “How People Learn” and Gamson's “Seven Principles of Good Practice,” both of which were listed in the Curriculum Summit white paper by Jungnickel et al. 3

A key to success in the development of this skill set is to incorporate those active learning instructional methods into both the classroom and experiential settings that are known to develop critical thinking including, inquiry-based learning, working with others, and writing to promote reflective thinking. 3 As expected, an effort should be made to explicitly teach and then assess critical thinking and problem solving skills. Several instructional approaches used to promote the development of critical thinking and problem solving skills are described in the following sections.

Inquiry-Based Learning

Inquiry-based learning revolves around the learner and what he/she already knows and needs to find out in order to complete a task such as solving a problem, case review, answering a complex query, or preparation of a care plan. The use of questions by the instructor as well as the student is a key part of this method. Students should learn through a discovery process where they ask the questions and seek the answers. Instead of providing answers, the teacher serves as a guide or facilitator for the process. Through the question and answer process, students should develop new knowledge while applying critical thinking and problem solving skills. 3

One form of inquiry-based learning that is used in pharmacy programs is problem-based learning (PBL). This approach to inquiry-based learning focuses the learner on a problem that needs to be resolved. It involves presentation of a problem followed by group discussion to identify what is known, what is unknown, as well as to formulate hypotheses. Group members then conduct research on their portion of the investigation and bring findings back to the group to review and reach a solution. For example, students may be given the task of designing a pharmacy service or a new pharmaceutical agent. 60

Another inquiry-based approach frequently seen in pharmacy programs is case-based learning. This differs from problem-based learning in that it focuses on building knowledge and resolution of problems that may not have a clear-cut answer. Ethical dilemmas and patient-specific cases are often used in a case-based approach. Many of the methods used in problem-based learning such as group discussion and independent research are also viable in case-based learning. Examples of inquiry-based learning methods used in pharmacy programs are listed in Table ​ Table5 5 .

A Sample of Instructional Methods for Teaching Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills in Pharmacy

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is ajpeS6tbl5.jpg

a P1 = Professional Year 1, P2 = Professional Year 2, P3 = Professional Year 3, P4 = Professional Year 4

Team or Group Learning

Another type of instructional method designed to promote critical thinking and problem solving skills is team or group learning; this is often paired with an inquiry-based learning experience. This approach includes discussion and communication among group members, a valuable tool in the development of critical thinking skills. Because group or team learning assumes all students in the group have team skills, it is important to ensure that they do. As a result, in addition to explicit efforts to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills, the instructor should also promote the development of communication and team or group skills. 42 , 62

Writing to Learn and Reflect

Writing is often overlooked as a tool for learning. While the development of formal writing skills is essential, the development of informal writing skills that can be used to facilitate concept mastery and reflection is also important. In the development of critical thinking skills, informal writing exercises can help the student identify and organize issues and ideas, uncover missing information, and find misconceptions or faulty reasoning. Such writing is not graded for its literary value, but rather for its demonstration of thoughtfulness and idea development. Writing to learn may be accomplished in a variety of formats including journals, one-minute papers, as well as wikis and blogs. 29 , 61

Technology-Based Tools

As mentioned earlier, technology alone does not ensure a good learning experience. As with other methods, it must be used in conjunction with good instructional design. That said, technology is thought to promote critical thinking and problem solving skill development in a support role. Specifically, technology facilitates the ability to provide immediate feedback; it promotes communication of ideas, serves as an aid in reflection, and enhances access to information needed for a particular task. In addition, for younger learners, it may be a more familiar, thus less daunting, means for communication and documentation of their thoughts and reactions. Learning management systems now provide methods to document thoughts via discussion or chat rooms, blogs, and tweets, as well as Web-based conference capability for visual and audio connections, and support for group work. Numerous software programs are available that offer interactive methods to learn specific topics such as anatomy. Virtual patient care settings that employ avatars have been developed to permit more realistic simulations of patient care. When used in conjunction with a well-designed learning experience, technology can enrich the experience. Selected examples of pharmacy programs that incorporate technology into coursework that is designed to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills can be found in Table ​ Table5 5 . 63 , 67

Experiential Learning Component

Many articles in pharmacy education focused on critical thinking and problem solving skills concentrate on didactic courses. It should be noted that many of the classroom and lab methods for the development of critical thinking and problem solving skills can be applied in the experiential setting as well. Patient care is certainly the ultimate example of inquiry-based learning. The use of informal writing and activities that include reflection may not be as frequently employed in this component of the professional curriculum. This type of educational setting is a logical place to insert technology, such as in the use of an electronic portfolio, as a means to enhance development of critical thinking and problem solving skills.

Need for Research on Instructional Effectiveness

Part of the process of curricular incorporation of those instructional methods designed to promote the development of the critical thinking and problem solving is the assessment of their effectiveness. Such assessments require attention to study design, analysis methods, and measurement of student learning outcomes. Cisneros and colleagues outlined specific gaps in our knowledge about the effectiveness of various instructional methods for the development of problem solving skills and called for additional research in these areas. 73 Their suggestions, which focused primarily on study design, included conducting more longitudinal studies of inquiry-based instructional methods, making comparisons to control groups, comparing across different schools, exploring the role of group learning, and using both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Because problem solving and critical thinking are complex behaviors, consideration of many factors in these studies will be needed if a complete understanding is to emerge. The authors also called for improved methods for measurement of student learning outcomes when inquiry-based instructional methods are employed despite the fact that several measurement instruments currently exist. These instruments are described in detail in the next section.

Methods to Assess Critical Thinking Skills

As mentioned in an earlier section, one mechanism by which academic pharmacy measures critical thinking skills in their applicants is through the use of formal instruments, including the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (WGCTA, Pearson), California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST, California Academic Press), California Critical Thinking Dispositions Inventory (CCTDI, California Academic Press), and Health Sciences Reasoning Test (HSRT, California Academic Press). These instruments have been studied for application in admissions, 74 - 79 assessment of student pharmacists, 19 , 27 , 28 , 57 , 80 as well as in program assessment. 81 Other specialized assessment instruments have been developed and used to evaluate student pharmacists’ performance in specific tasks. These instruments include a computer assessment program to evaluate problem solving and critical thinking skills in clinical decision-making, 80 an instrument based on Rasch modeling to evaluate critical thinking skills in scientific literature evaluation, 82 as well as an instrument designed to determine if self-assessment exercises improve critical thinking skills. 31

The WGCTA, CCTST, and HSRT are multiple-choice question exams. The WGCTA assesses the respondent's ability to make accurate inferences, recognize assumptions, properly deduce, interpret information and evaluate arguments. 83 The CCTST provides a total score and reports five subscales: analysis, evaluation, inference, deductive reasoning, and inductive reasoning. 84 The CCTDI evaluates personal disposition to utilize critical thinking. The instrument is a list of reflective statements with the application of a Likert scale for statement evaluation by the respondent. This instrument reports seven subscales: truth seeking, open-mindedness, analyticity, systematicity, self-confidence, inquisitiveness, and cognitive maturity. 85 The HSRT is designed to assess critical thinking skills of health science students and professionals. 86 Test items frame professional and clinical practice without the requirement of prior content knowledge of the topic areas. The HSRT reports the same subscales (Health Sciences Reasoning Test Scale Descriptions) 87 as the CCTST.

The CCTST, utilized as part of the admissions process, was shown to be an effective predictor of student success. 75 Correlation was highest for student success in management, behavioral science, pharmacy practice, and experiential coursework. Total CCTST scores and subscores tested during the admissions process were found to be weakly but significantly predictive of P1 GPA. 74 The HSRT was studied in P1 student pharmacists with results compared to admission data. 76 - 79 Basak et al. employed both HSRT and WCGTA in two cohorts of students. While there was significant correlation between scores of the two exams, neither exam was found to be predictive of P1 GPA. 76 Smith et al. found that HSRT results were significantly correlated with Pharmacy College Admission Test data. 78

Use of the WGCTA in P4 student pharmacists showed strong correlation with grade point average and performance in therapeutics coursework, but not with clinical problem solving skills. 80 Miller employed both the CCTST and CCTDI in assessment of the growth of critical thinking skills in student pharmacists through their academic career. 28 There was a significant increase in performance on the CCTST that demonstrates an increase in critical thinking ability, while there was no change in CCTDI performance that indicates no change in student disposition toward critical thinking. Further study of student pharmacists in a drug literature evaluation course showed correlation between their CCTST score and course grade and final examination grade. 19 Kidd and Latif found a strong correlation between CCTST score and P4 experiential course performance while CCTDI score correlated to classroom course performance. 57 Phillips et al. used both CCTST and CCTDI given to student pharmacists periodically during their academic careers. 84 The results compared well to national norms. A significant increase was seen for CCTST scores and performance on the CCTDI was shown to improve over time. The authors concluded that specific areas of performance strength and weakness could be used as a guide to curricular change in program assessment. A study of CCTST and CCTDI given to P1, P2, P3, and P4 student pharmacists showed no incremental change in one year. 27 However, significant changes were seen in the subscales inference (CCTST, decrease), open-mindedness (CCTDI, decrease), and self-confidence (CCTDI, increase).

In this Report we recognize that critical thinking and problem solving skills are essential in the practice of pharmacy and that development of these competencies should, at the very least, be included within the professional pharmacy curriculum. Student exposure to a variety of well-designed instructional methods across the professional curriculum in a variety of settings is likely to reinforce the importance and general applicability of this skill set. In order to assess curricular effectiveness of development of these competencies, assessment of student capacity and disposition to use these skills is imperative. Longitudinal use of one or more of the existing critical thinking and problem solving evaluation tools along with stronger study designs may provide better insight into the progressive development of these competencies, as well as may provide direction for programmatic changes to reflect student strengths and weaknesses. As a component of this Report the Committee provides both recommendations and suggestions for consideration and potential implementation by AACP leadership.

Critical thinking definition

critical thinking and problem solving linkedin

Critical thinking, as described by Oxford Languages, is the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgement.

Active and skillful approach, evaluation, assessment, synthesis, and/or evaluation of information obtained from, or made by, observation, knowledge, reflection, acumen or conversation, as a guide to belief and action, requires the critical thinking process, which is why it's often used in education and academics.

Some even may view it as a backbone of modern thought.

However, it's a skill, and skills must be trained and encouraged to be used at its full potential.

People turn up to various approaches in improving their critical thinking, like:

  • Developing technical and problem-solving skills
  • Engaging in more active listening
  • Actively questioning their assumptions and beliefs
  • Seeking out more diversity of thought
  • Opening up their curiosity in an intellectual way etc.

Is critical thinking useful in writing?

Critical thinking can help in planning your paper and making it more concise, but it's not obvious at first. We carefully pinpointed some the questions you should ask yourself when boosting critical thinking in writing:

  • What information should be included?
  • Which information resources should the author look to?
  • What degree of technical knowledge should the report assume its audience has?
  • What is the most effective way to show information?
  • How should the report be organized?
  • How should it be designed?
  • What tone and level of language difficulty should the document have?

Usage of critical thinking comes down not only to the outline of your paper, it also begs the question: How can we use critical thinking solving problems in our writing's topic?

Let's say, you have a Powerpoint on how critical thinking can reduce poverty in the United States. You'll primarily have to define critical thinking for the viewers, as well as use a lot of critical thinking questions and synonyms to get them to be familiar with your methods and start the thinking process behind it.

Are there any services that can help me use more critical thinking?

We understand that it's difficult to learn how to use critical thinking more effectively in just one article, but our service is here to help.

We are a team specializing in writing essays and other assignments for college students and all other types of customers who need a helping hand in its making. We cover a great range of topics, offer perfect quality work, always deliver on time and aim to leave our customers completely satisfied with what they ordered.

The ordering process is fully online, and it goes as follows:

  • Select the topic and the deadline of your essay.
  • Provide us with any details, requirements, statements that should be emphasized or particular parts of the essay writing process you struggle with.
  • Leave the email address, where your completed order will be sent to.
  • Select your prefered payment type, sit back and relax!

With lots of experience on the market, professionally degreed essay writers , online 24/7 customer support and incredibly low prices, you won't find a service offering a better deal than ours.

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Course link: https://www.linkedin.com/learning/critical-thinking-and-problem-solving/

These are Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Linkedin Answers FINAL EXAM

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Linkedin Answers QUIZ 1

Question 1 of 4.

Elina has trouble staying focused on any topic for very long. Which step is most useful for Elina?

  • Create a more rigid agenda.
  • React to external stimuli as they appear.
  • Prepare mentally and physically for the activity.
  • Adapt to new ideas and challenges.

Question 2 of 4

Seppo holds on to certain biases that tend to cause some bad decisions and blunders in his life. How can Seppo improve?

  • by actively studying what went wrong in the past
  • by using more systematic reasoning
  • by studying logic and analysis
  • by striving for a more positive outlook

Question 3 of 4

Why is it useful for a leader to begin a discussion with questions?

  • They can demonstrate your lack of knowledge.
  • They can confirm your assumptions.
  • They can stimulate conversation.

Question 4 of 4

Why is it important to identify the purpose of an information source?

  • to understand the compensation required
  • to identify biases
  • to determine its appropriate use
  • to understand the format

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Linkedin Answers QUIZ 2

Question 1 of 3.

In the PERT process, what must you do right before making your final plan?

  • Assess feasibility and make adjustments.
  • Build a timeline.
  • List subtasks and their interdependencies.
  • Identify the ultimate goal of the project.

Question 2 of 3

When should you use participatory decision-making?

  • when additional expertise is needed
  • when you have a long timeline
  • when there are high-impact consequences

Question 3 of 3

Why should you introduce some structure into your problem-solving methods?

  • to achieve a traceable result
  • to reduce conflict and achieve better decisions
  • to make everyone feel appreciated
  • to increase speed and reduce ambiguity

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Linkedin Answers QUIZ 3

Question 1 of 5.

Atul wants to ensure that the current project embraces all cultural groups. Which type of criterion concerns Atul?

Question 2 of 5

Why would buzz groups generate more ideas than a brainstorming session?

  • They require all participants to speak for a few minutes.
  • They give specific assignments to each participant.
  • They encourage quieter participants to speak up.

Question 3 of 5

You are arguing to make a change to the current methods for accomplishing a task. Which type of statement are you making?

Question 4 of 5

When limiting decision choices, what is the most important factor to consider?

  • It is okay if the final choice does not meet the success criteria.
  • Always use a cost-benefit analysis
  • Perfection is not necessary.
  • Multi-voting is preferable to single voting.

Question 5 of 5

Why should you use an iterative process in solution implementation?

  • to engage stakeholders
  • to enable minimal effort
  • to constantly improve
  • to reduce costs

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Linkedin Answers QUIZ 4

How can you avoid groupthink?

  • by appointing a devil’s advocate
  • by using the decisions of one small groupIncorrectOn the contrary, multiple groups can help develop alternate solutions.
  • by taking first impressions as finalIncorrectDecisions should be revisited after a cooling off period.
  • by letting the leader speak up and take charge

Pedro calls Maria a habitual liar and concludes that nothing she says is trustworthy. Which type of fallacy is Pedro exhibiting?

  • appeal-to-ignorance

How can you best deal with situations in which you suspect cherry picking?

  • by asking for complete data covering the whole picture
  • by using labels for all axes
  • by using an ad hominem attack
  • by asking for baselines in all graphs

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Linkedin Answers FINAL EXAM

Question 1 of 12 What can you use action plans for, in addition to leading to the implementation of your solution?

  • to guide decision-making
  • to provide a roadmap for future projects
  • to assess success and correct as needed

Question 2 of 12 What type of logical fallacy is someone using when they attack your position by omitting key parts of your argument?

  • appeal to ignorance

Question 3 of 12 High-functioning groups can encounter pitfalls that derail good problem-solving. What does it mean if a group centers itself?

  • It is overly skeptical of all solutions.
  • It focuses on agreement rather than dissent.
  • It follows the leader’s thinking.

Question 4 of 12 Why is analysis of information sources important to your critical thinking?

  • You justify your position on a topic.
  • You make sure your sources are trustworthy.
  • You can credit the source of your information.

Question 5 of 12 Why would you use buzz groups when leading your team to find solutions?

  • to provide a visual representation of the issue
  • to create extra buzz around the solutions
  • to ensure that everyone is comfortable participating

Question 6 of 12 You are meeting a colleague who disagrees with you about the direction your team should take on a project. What can you do to keep your biases from affecting the conversation?

  • Think about how you can share your opinion without angering them.
  • Consider the issues from your colleague’s perspective.
  • Prepare for the conversation by anticipating their arguments.

Question 7 of 12 What is a best practice that helps you stay focused and think critically during meetings?

  • Create an agenda and do not stray from it.
  • Mentally prepare by removing your biases.
  • Have a plan to follow up in case you miss anything.

Question 8 of 12 How can asking questions help you become a critical thinker and better leader?

  • You validate your opinions.
  • You make sure your team is engaged.
  • You influence others.

Question 9 of 12 What type of decision-making would you use to gain additional expertise and team buy-in, but also to retain the final say?

  • majority vote
  • participatory

Question 10 of 12 What is a benefit of using the nominal group technique for problem-solving?

  • It is a way to ensure that everyone gets involved.
  • It provides insight on who voted for each solution.
  • It helps answer the most important question.

Question 11 of 12 When using PERT for solving a large and complex problem, what is your last step?

  • Determine feasibility.
  • Isolate the critical path forward.
  • Identify the time needed.
  • Assess the order of events.

Question 12 of 12 You are deciding on the logistics for a meeting. What type of assessment criteria are you using when you consider the number of attendees and size of the meeting rooms?

More LinkedIn learning: https://progiez.com/linkedin-learning-answers

These are Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Linkedin Answers FINAL EXAM


  1. Critical Thinking Definition, Skills, and Examples

    critical thinking and problem solving linkedin

  2. How To Improve Critical Thinking Skills at Work in 6 Steps

    critical thinking and problem solving linkedin

  3. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

    critical thinking and problem solving linkedin

  4. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

    critical thinking and problem solving linkedin

  5. what is problem solving and critical thinking

    critical thinking and problem solving linkedin

  6. 8 elemental steps to critical thinking:

    critical thinking and problem solving linkedin


  1. Webinar

  2. Critical Thinking

  3. Critical thinking

  4. Critical Thinking & Problem Solving Stress Management- Erica O'Neal

  5. Critical Thinking

  6. Free Certification Of IBM


  1. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

    Solutions for: Business Higher Education Government Buy for my team All topics Business Professional Development Personal Development Preview Critical Thinking and Problem Solving With Eric...

  2. Online Course: Critical Thinking from LinkedIn Learning

    1. What Is Critical Thinking? The importance of critical thinking Distinguish causes vs. consequences Break big problems into small ones 2. Thinking the Problem Through Define the problem statement Understand the real question Ask focusing questions Examine past efforts Use new lenses to think critically How to find root causes 3.

  3. Develop Critical-Thinking, Decision-Making, and Problem-Solving Skills

    Course 1: Critical Thinking-Learn the basics of critical thinking, an essential skill for problem-solving and decision-making. Course 2: Critical Thinking for Better Judgment and Decision-Making-Teach your team how to think critically. Learn how to use critical thinking to avoid fallacies, spot biases, craft better arguments, hone judgment, and ...

  4. Online Course: Problem Solving Techniques from LinkedIn Learning

    Excellence in Problem Solving and Critical Thinking Skills. Effective Problem-Solving and Decision-Making. 3.7. Solving Problems with Creative and Critical Thinking. Problem Solving: The Complete Guide ... 4.6 rating at LinkedIn Learning based on 2922 ratings . Select rating. Start your review of Problem Solving Techniques. Go to class. Home ...

  5. Critical Thinking Skills for the Professional

    Critical Thinking Decision-Making Problem Solving Brainstorming Details to know Shareable certificate Add to your LinkedIn profile Assessments 4 quizzes Course Gain insight into a topic and learn the fundamentals 4.8 (736 reviews) |

  6. Teaching Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills to Healthcare

    The curriculum is divided into two parts: (1) content and (2) critical thinking/problem-solving skills. The basic knowledge and factual content can be provided online. Students are expected to learn this by actively engaging the material during independent study. This saves classroom or small-group sessions for interaction where students can ...

  7. The Power Of Critical Thinking: Enhancing Decision-Making And Problem

    Critical thinking enhances decision-making, problem-solving and communication abilities by fostering logical reasoning, analytical skills and an open mindset. It enables individuals to overcome ...

  8. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

    Good decisions are the product of strong critical thinking skills and thoughtful problem solving. And like all skills, you can learn, practice, and get better at them. In this course, Dr. Eric Zackrison helps you do just that. He shows how to critically assess the source of information and how to determine the right approach to take.

  9. Solving Problems with Creative and Critical Thinking

    As Critical and creative thinking forms the foundation for successful problem-solving, this course equips you with the basic essential skills that are invaluable in your day-to-day work. U. UF. 5. Reviewed on Sep 28, 2022. It is not only a highly insightful course but the way it is put together makes it extremely easy to understand.

  10. Critical Thinking versus Problem Solving

    The first step to enhancing your critical thinking and problem solving skills is to think about them, become aware of them, then you can actively practice to improve them. Critical thinking and problem-solving are two important "soft" or essential skills hiring managers are looking for. According to a Linkedin survey, 57% of business ...

  11. Demetris Skourides on LinkedIn: Critical thinking, problem solving

    Critical thinking, problem solving, technology and analytical skills are becoming even more relevant Thank you for sharing Aysun Güneş, PhD Micro-credentials expert, ed-tech trainer, e-learning ...

  12. What Are Critical Thinking Skills and Why Are They Important?

    Critical thinking is the ability to interpret, evaluate, and analyze facts and information that are available, to form a judgment or decide if something is right or wrong. More than just being curious about the world around you, critical thinkers make connections between logical ideas to see the bigger picture.

  13. Critical Thinking vs. Problem-Solving: What's the Difference?

    Updated March 16, 2023 If your job requires quick and solution-oriented thinking, you might use critical thinking and problem-solving to perform your duties. Since the two concepts are so similar, it's common for people to confuse the definitions or use them interchangeably.

  14. An Environmental Scan on the Status of Critical Thinking and Problem

    Problem solving is considered a high-order thinking skill that represents the ability achieved by mastery of each level of Bloom's taxonomy. 37 Though problem solving is a high-order thinking skill with a close connection to critical thinking, it has a definition distinct from critical thinking. While also a highly debated topic, most debate ...

  15. Using Critical Thinking in Essays and other Assignments

    Developing technical and problem-solving skills Engaging in more active listening Actively questioning their assumptions and beliefs Seeking out more diversity of thought Opening up their curiosity in an intellectual way etc. Is critical thinking useful in writing?

  16. Srinath Barkam

    At present I'm currently learning full stack development with a specialization in 4.0 technologies. In love with the coding languages and hands on projects. with industry's first ever IRC 4.0, getting ready to take on new challenges in the tech world.<br><br>My graduation is completed at JNTUH college of engineering manthani, where I learned to apply critical thinking and problem-solving ...

  17. Linkedin Learning Answers

    Learning Brainstorming How to Speak So People Want to Listen 1 2 … 9 Next page Now get Linkedin Learning Answers of various courses offered by Linekedin. We provide all chapter quiz, final exam and mcqs answers.

  18. Critical Thinking And Problem Solving Linkedin Answers 1

    Critical Thinking And Problem Solving Linkedin Answers 1 Critical Thinking and Problem Solving 1 year ago Posted by PROGIEZ 6 minutes Course link: https://www.linkedin.com/learning/critical-thinking-and-problem-solving/ These are Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Linkedin Answers FINAL EXAM

  19. Glory Eguabor (Virtual Assistance

    21 likes, 3 comments - theremoteworkqueen on February 20, 2023: "If you're a career professional who's seeking to grow their career and/or remain relevant in the ..."