Listen • Speak • Engage
San José State University
COMM 41, Critical Decision Making, Sec05, Spring 2010
MW 10:30-12:00; TTh 9:00-9:30 or by appointment in HGH 209
TTh 10:30-11:45 am
GE/SJSU Studies Category
Critical Thinking (A3)
Critical reasoning and problem solving in group discussion. Examination of the relationship between critical decision-making and group communication. Practice
in group problem solving as a means for developing critical thinking skills.
Succeeding in this Class
At SJSU, students are expected to spend two hours outside of class for every one hour of class time. Because this is a three unit class, you can expect to spend a
minimum of six hours per week in addition to time spent in class and on scheduled tutorials or activities. Special projects or assignments may require additional
work for the course. Careful time management will help you keep up with readings and assignments and enable you to be successful in all of your courses.
Blackboard class website
Copies of the course syllabus and major assignment sheets may be found on the class Blackboard site
. You are responsible for
regularly checking messages sent via Blackboard. The announcement page will be used for updates and other important alerts about the class. You may use
Blackboard email to contact me or use the email address and phone number listed above.
The aim of this course is to provide you with the skills necessary to think critically, enhancing your ability to solve complex problems and come to well-reasoned
conclusions. In this class you will learn how to: critically analyze and formulate arguments; gather and assess relevant information using abstract ideas; test
conclusions and solutions against relevant standards and criteria; and think open-mindedly within alternative systems of thought, recognizing and assessing any
underlying assumptions, implications, and practical consequences therein. Readings, lectures, written assignments, group activities, and class discussions serve as
resources for you as you develop your critical thinking skills.
Course Learning Objectives
After successfully completing this course, you will:
Distinguish between reasoning (e.g., explanation, argument) and other types of discourse (e.g., description, assertion)
Identify, analyze, and evaluate different types of reasoning
Find and state crucial unstated assumptions in reasoning
Evaluate factual claims or statements used in reasoning and evaluate the sources of evidence for such claims
Demonstrate an understanding of what constitutes plagiarism;
Evaluate information and its sources critically and incorporate selected information into your knowledge base and value system
Locate, retrieve, organize, analyze, synthesize, and communicate information of relevance to the subject matter of the course in an effective and