Our Product: The Critical Thinking Experience

Easy-to-assign | Fully Digital | Super-Affordable | Textbook Replacement

The Critical Thinking Experience (CTX) is a library of easy-to-assign digital learning modules that instructors choose instead of a textbook. Each module is everything you and your students need for a 2-3 week unit — basically a multimedia thematic reader, with writing instruction, and a critical thinking methodology. 

Especially good for First-Year-Writing courses with an online component, the readings and activities in each unit are scaffolded into manageable chunks with our metacognitive framework that helps illuminate what critical thinking moves students are using to complete the tasks. Then at the end, a reflection section enables learners to put those moves to work, deliberately, and to start the practice of transferring those moves into other circumstances.

More on the pedagogy –>

Free one-class sample lesson in Critical Thinking for you to use –>

How to order –>

Check out the units:

Fake News

by Heather Fester and Jarret Krone, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

Heather Fester and Jarret Krone (University of Colorado, Colorado Springs) have created an approachable 2-3 week Rhetorical Analysis unit based around the history and issues in fake news. Sure, there are examples from contemporary politics, but the underpinnings of their approach are more scientific, and the unit moves students carefully from binary thinking through relativism, into a more complex sense of how meaning is made. More . . .

You are Already Rhetorical

by James S. Miller, University of Wisconsin, Whitewater

What you don’t think you know can sometimes help you.  James S. Miller (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater) helps students unpack the unconscious rhetorical acumen they likely already possess, empowering them to consciously employ those moves in academic, public, and workplace situations.  More. . .

Good Faith Argument

by Ryan Skinnell, San Jose State University

“Demagogic argument” isn’t limited to just dictators and demagogues. Building on Patricia Roberts-Miller’s notions on demagoguery and democracy, Ryan Skinnell (San Jose State University) introduces students to key concepts in argumentation that establish a framework for crafting ethical, good-faith arguments and bolstering critical thinking skills.

The Deepening

by Pat C. Hoy II, New York University (ret.)

Pat Hoy (New York University) uses a carefully crafted pedagogical “Progression” to draw students out of the thesis-driven, formulaic writing they’ve been trained to do, encouraging them instead to encounter readings in new ways–starting with evidence, and culminating in an original, evidence-based essay that teachers will actually want to read. 

Protest Art v. Propaganda

by Cheryl Hogue Smith, Kingsborough Community College

In one of Cheryl Hogue-Smith’s (Kingsborough Community College) most popular and effective lessons, a series of “Interrogating Texts” activities prompt students dig deeper into the intertwined notions of Protest Art and Propaganda. The unit explores Picasso’s Guernica, and sends students out on their own to find some public art and evaluate it in terms of their deepening definitions.

Research As Critical Thinking

by James S. Miller, University of Wisconsin, Whitewater

The process is research is pretty well known, and Jim Miller follows examples of a student working through the process, and then gives students the opportunity to do it themselves. Two things set this unit apart from other research units in textbooks: First, Professor Miller stops students before and after every stage to get them to think critically about what they’re doing, and to isolate the skills they’ll be using. Second, he provides templates for students to do their own work, and to transfer their process to other research occasions.

Your Way

A Partnership between You and The Indie

The one thing we learned is that everyone has their own particularly good way of teaching Critical Thinking–an exercise, a lesson, a single text, a whole course. . . . And we think we figured out how not only to normalize those ways, so that another instructor always knows what they’re getting when you share, but also to realize–to make manifestly real: articulable, countable, accurate, discrete skills of critical thinking. . . and in a way that students will recognize, and be able to take with them into the future.

We know there is immense pressure to “put your stuff online.” And we also know that just “putting it online” doesn’t quite work.

We can help you develop your courses to take advantage of the affordances of digital presentations, and we can draw your critical thinking substrate to the surface. Consider us a reasonably priced boutique your department or dean may want to bring on.

email: Jim.Miller@theindependentco.com.

More on the pedagogy –>

Free one-class sample lesson in Critical Thinking for you to use –>

How to order –>