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Analysis & Critical Thinking :: Analysis and Critical Thinking

Analysis and critical thinking active learning approaches that can be used in the classroom. Use the links below to see documents on how to implement each approach.

Active Learning
Analysis and Critical Thinking

Analysis and Critical Thinking activities assess students' skills at breaking down information, questions, or problems in order to understand them more fully and solve them more efficiently. Using these approaches, instructors can measure how well students are able to interpret or analyze information and arrive at an informed decision or judgment.

Approach Description Outcome
Analytic Memo Students write a one- or two-page analysis of a problem or issue. Analyzing assigned problems using discipline-specific methods.
Categorizing Grid Students sort subordinate terms into the correct categories on a grid. Determining whether, how, and to what extent students understand what information goes together with other information, revealing the implicit rules students are using to categorize information.
Content, Form, and Function Students analyze the what(content), how (form), and why(function) of a particular message. Separating and analyzing the informational message, form, and communicative function of a piece of course content.
Defining Features Students categorize concepts according to the presence of (+) or absence of (–) critical defining features. Developing skills in categorizing information based on a given set of critical defining features.
Pro and Con Grid Students follow a decision-making process by reviewing an issue, creating a list of pro and con arguments, and making a decision based on analysis of those points. Helping students move beyond their first reactions to an issue by looking at it from different perspectives and weighing the value of competing claims.


Angelo, Thomas A., and K. Patricia Cross. Classroom Assessment Techniques: a Handbook for College Teachers. Jossey-Bass, 1993. pp. 159-180.

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No.Document TitleIDUpdatedHits
1**** Analysis and Critical Thinking1041572023-03-231676
2Categorizing Grid (classroom)1041072022-10-283304
3Content, Form, and Function Outlines (classroom)1041122022-10-283230
4Pro and Con Grid (classroom)1040892022-10-283440
5Defining Features Matrix (classroom)1041132022-10-283594
6Pro and Con Grid in Large Courses (online)1037752022-10-281679
7Defining Features Matrix in Large Courses (online)1035842022-10-281985
8Analytic Memo (classroom)1041052022-10-284808
9Categorizing Grid (ALC)1184752022-10-28606
10Content, Form, and Function Outlines (ALC)1184732022-10-28590
11Analytic Memo (ALC)1184742022-10-28516
12Pro and Con Grid (online)1044082022-10-281989
13Pro and Con Grid (ALC)1184712022-10-28664
14Defining Features Matrix (ALC)1184722022-10-28649

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