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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Critical Thinking in Action
Module Code SB202
School DCUBS
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Yseult Freeney
Semester 2: Yseult Freeney
Autumn: Yseult Freeney
Module TeachersTeresa Hogan
Yseult Freeney
Cliona McParland
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

Critical thinking sits at the centre of good decision making. This module is the second step on your critical thinking pathway and further sets out to demystify this approach to thinking. Critical Thinking is the basis for all good thinking and helps individuals and groups to make sound decisions and to solve problems. Examining critical thinking in action in both business and academic research, students will learn about the role of critical thinking in supporting sound business decision making, problem solving and communication and will learn about academic research within DCU Business School. Decision making is a fundamental aspect of human behaviour and is of interest to every discipline that informs the world of business – economics, finance, consumer behaviour, accounting, organisational behaviour and the management of people. Students will gain insights from current business problems and will learn how academic research translates into industry. There are four aims of this module – continuing the development of students’ critical thinking skills; understanding how those skills translate into the world of business to solve problems and to inform decisions; understanding academic research and its value as a foundation for higher level study within specialisms.

Learning Outcomes

1. LO1: Think critically and logically when making decisions and solving problems.
2. LO2: Identify and evaluate theoretical and empirical frameworks and their role in academic knowledge in business disciplines.
3. LO3: Make judgements as to the most appropriate research solutions to practical Business problems, and argue in defence of their judgements.
4. LO4: Comprehend and engage with different views of reality in an open-minded way and challenge preconceptions.
5. LO5: Apply simple strategies for improving their work based on critical reflection.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture10No Description
Online activity20No Description
Seminars15No Description
Assignment Completion60No Description
Directed learning20Podcasts, reading for seminars, pre/post quizzes
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Introduction - Critical Reflection: The Reflective Cycle
Introduction - Critical Reflection: The Reflective Cycle Building on the Rolfe model covered in CT1, students will be reintroduced to the process of critical reflection ● Reflective Practice and critical reflection ● How critical reflection informs best practice in business ● Models of critical reflection ● Preparation for critical reflection portfolio Phase 1 – Linking Back to First Year Revision of Critical Thinking Frameworks Plenary: Revision and overview of the module Workshop on “Factfulness” and Decision Making ● Students will complete the “Factfullness” Quiz and see how their knowledge about the true state of the world stacks up against supposed experts (including their professors!) ● This exercise will lead to a facilitated discussion about the dangers of pre- and mis-conception ● The session will end by mapping the elements of the discussion against Han’s Rosling’s “Rules of Thumb” to achieve a fact based worldview ● The assessment will entail a reflective write up of how one (or more) of the rules of thumb would have been of benefit to the student in their career to date, or would be useful in avoiding mistakes in the future Phase 2 Critical Thinking in Business Plenary (Industry Speaker & Academic) In a fast-paced, rapidly changing business landscape, being able to navigate information and evidence to inform problem solving and decision making is a key skill required to be successful in business. Not only does critical thinking help people in business to deal with incoming information but it also supports the framing of communications to compel others to action. This phase of the module looks at the translation of critical thinking into the Business World. Drawing on key insights from industry, students learn about the application of critical thinking to solve problems and to overcome bias and misinformation in making decisions in a variety of business settings. Students will also learn how critical thinking can underpin effective business communication, particularly the use of evidence in persuasion. Workshops 1 Decision Making in Business Before the workshop, students watch a prerecorded video of a live issue in a business setting. A group exercise that will involve applying critical thinking to solve a live business problem. Groups will develop a proposed intervention to solve a managerial problem at a particular organization and will develop an argument for why their proposal should be implemented by the organization in question. Workshop 2 Problem Solving: The Ethical Dilemma in Business Students have prescribed reading before this class. Students are presented with an ethical dilemma problem in a business setting. Drawing on a critical thinking framework, students analyse the problem in groups and generate a proposal for a solution. Group discussion on various solutions. Phase 3: Critical Thinking for Business Research Following on from the first year CT module work on reasoning and argumentation, the aim of this phase is to enhance students’ critical thinking about academic knowledge. In this phase, students focus on the ways in which Business academic research generates new ideas, perspectives and arguments. They are introduced to the fundamentals of logic including inductive and deductive reasoning, and causality, using examples drawn from business practice. We will discuss the structure of academic knowledge across Business disciplines - looking at how theories are formed and tested. We will consider the positivism vs hermeneutics debate, “how we know things” and how this debate impacts on Business research. Finally, we consider how Business academic research interacts with Business practice. Plenary: Overview of phase three Workshop 1: Fundamentals of Logic Students have prescribed readings and a video before this workshop. In the workshop, students are presented with business decisions and draw on their knowledge of inductive and deductive reasoning to analyse the validity of these decisions. The discussion moves on to causality and the structure of theories. Students work in pairs to examine the structure of knowledge as presented in selected academic papers. Workshop 2: “How we know things” Students have prescribed readings and videos before this workshop. In the workshop, we will explore positivism, the incommensurability problem, and hermeneutics. Students will be presented with short videos in which researchers talk about their research. Students work in pairs to identify the epistemological underpinnings of the research, and the impact this has on the nature of and outcomes from their research. This work scaffolds the assignment three described below.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentCritical Reflection Portfolio Aim: to encourage students to take a critical perspective to their own work, to step back from their own practices to examine how they engage with the ideas, concepts and practices they are introduced to in second year. Materials: students will have access to a suite of videos and guides on reflective practice Task: Students will be asked to complete a portfolio based on a set of five critical reflections taking place over the course of the module. These critical reflections will be based on five critical incidents drawn from their second year experience. Students will be expected to submit regular draft reflections. They will receive feedback on drafts40%n/a
AssignmentYou’re the Business Consultant Aim: To demonstrate the link between business problems and academic research methods. Material: Short case study in which a manager explains an issue in his organisation Task: Problem-solving research: Student groups are asked to present a report on the nature of the issue, the kind of data that could help to address the issue, and what inferences could be drawn from those data The following are brief examples. The case study presented to students would be broader and include some relevant academic reading. Mick Doherty works for an agricultural advisory authority that supplies funding to small farmers to enable them to adopt innovative farming p25%n/a
AssignmentA Tale of Two Papers Aim: To demonstrate how the same relationship can be explored in different ways Material: Two academic papers, both on the same topic, one qualitative and one quantitative Task: Students explore the differences in approach and the nature of knowledge generated in each paper Papers will be related to materials covered in second year modules and tailored to individual programmes. Here is an example of paired papers for BS2 and INTB2 students. Öberseder, M., Schlegelmilch, B.B. & Gruber, V. (2011) “Why Don’t Consumers Care About CSR?”: A Qualitative Study Exploring the Role of CSR in Consumption Decisions. Journal of Business Ethics 104, 449–460 Bianci E25%n/a
ParticipationClass engagement10%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

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