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Critical Thinking

  • Enseignant(s):   Z.Szemeredi  
  • Titre en français: Pensée critique
  • Cours donné en: anglais
  • Crédits ECTS: 6 crédits
  • Horaire: Semestre d'automne ou de printemps 2022-2023, 4.0h. de cours (moyenne hebdomadaire)
  •  séances
  • site web du cours site web du cours
  • Formations concernées:
    Baccalauréat universitaire ès Sciences en management

    Baccalauréat universitaire ès Sciences en économie politique

    Baccalauréat universitaire en sciences économiques
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[attention] Le syllabus du cours est entrain d'être modifié par le professeur responsable. Veuillez consulter cette page à nouveau dans quelques jours. --- A titre informatif uniquement, voici l'ancien syllabus :

Objectifs

Good analysts make good arguments: they have the ability to explain the hypotheses underlying their claims, state their assumptions upfront, expose the relevance and reliability of their evidence, and make their logic fully transparent to their audience. All easier said than done!

The purpose of this course is to develop logical rigor, analytical reasoning and argumentation skills that will enable you to engage with your audience and to influence and shape decision making in your organization. We will achieve this by learning how to represent and communicate our reasoning as arguments, and by continuously practicing logical reasoning in teams.

This course will equip you with the practical skills to:

  • Produce strong arguments (complete, rigorous, non-obvious, well-organized).
  • Expose hidden assumptions in an argument (which often turn out to be at the heart of an issue/problem).
  • Distinguish the symptoms of a problem from its causes and reformulate problems to identify what needs to be solved and how.
  • Communicate arguments effectively.
  • Defend decisions relying on arguments
  • Challenge the reasoning of others, exposing its weaknesses.
  • Resolve disagreements and secure rational consensus and buy-in.
  • Analyze and defend a case in the workplace.

Contenus

Arguments are central to critical thinking. Thus, this course is all about arguments: how to recognize them, what gives them oomph, how to evaluate them, how to craft them.

The methodology we will use in the course is called argument mapping, which is a technique to visually display how premises and assumptions work together to support a claim (recommendation, opinion, decision, etc). By making the hidden structure of arguments visible, mapped arguments expose gaps in logical reasoning that often go unnoticed in a prose argument (on-the-fly discussions, written and oral presentations, etc.).

Through argument mapping exercises and immersive case discussions, you will develop the attitudes and habits of a critical thinker, transferable to analytic work done without argument maps.

The arguments we will develop will range from addressing traditional business challenges, such as how to incentivize store employees not to steal to addressing newer business challenges, like preventing racial discrimination on Arbnb and other platforms. Sources used for our analyses will range from radio podcasts to longer Harvard Business School Case (HBS) studies. Through the process of argument mapping, you will often learn to reevaluate and reframe the core problem that needs to be solved.

Références

There is no textbook for this course.

Course materials (articles, case studies, podcast recordings, etc.) will be made available on Moodle or will be referenced in class.

Pré-requis

This course is hands-on, based on learning-by-doing in small teams.

The central premise of the course is that critical thinking and argumentation competencies are best learned through repeated cycles of practice, feedback from the instructor and peers, and reflection prompted by that feedback. To this end, the course requires that you actively participate in discussions, produce arguments, assess your peers’ arguments, and give and receive feedback.

As we will be building arguments using a (free) software, you will need to bring your computers to class.

Due to the nature of the course and pedagogical requirement, the number of participants is limited to 30 students. The selection is made based on letters of motivation to be submitted by September 24th (to zsuzsanna.szemeredi@unil.ch).

This course is also open to EPFL students.

Evaluation


 

1ère tentative


 
Examen:
Sans examen (cf. modalités)  
Evaluation:

There is no final exam for the course. The assessment for the course is composed of the following constituents:

1. Active in-class participation: 35% of the final grade

2. Quiz: 30% of the final grade

3. Team project: 35% of the final grade

The grade for “active in-class participation” is based on class discussions (from readings, assignments, etc), class activities, and class presentations. The grades for “active in-class participation” and for the “quiz” will be individual grades. The grade for the “team project” is the same for all team members.


 

Rattrapage


 
Examen:
Sans examen (cf. modalités)  
Evaluation:

In the event that you do not pass the course, you will be re-evaluated on the course constituent(s) that have scored below 4. The grade for constituent above 4 will remain constant, while the grade for the constituents below 4 will be replaced by the grade you receive on the replacing assessment:

1. If “Active in-class participation” grade was below 4, then you will take an oral exam and the resulting grade will override the "active in-class participation" grade.

2. If “Quiz” grade was below 4, then you will receive a new quiz and your new grade will override the grade from the original "quiz".

3. If the “team project grade” was below 4, then you will do a new team project and the resulting grade will override the origial "team project" grade.



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