College of Business and Economics, Koleke Pāʻoihana a Kālaihoʻokele Waiwai

Master Syllabus: BUS 290 - Critical Thinking

College of Business and Economics, University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
(revised Aug. 2023)

On this page:

I. Catalog Description

BUS 290 Critical Thinking (3)

This course guides students in thinking more clearly, insightfully and effectively. Concrete examples from students' experience and contemporary issues drawn from forums like YouTube, TV, popular magazines, court cases, the internet, political speeches, etc. help students develop the abilities to solve problems, analyze issues, and make informed decisions in their academic, career, and personal lives. Attention is given to the identification and management of the perception process, use of evidence, use of assumptions, emotional influences, and language in various forms of business and social communication. Pre: 15 or more college credits.

II. Course Learning Outcomes

In meeting the challenge of this course, successful students will:

  1. Employ technical vocabulary and understanding in speaking/writing about and evaluating arguments and evidence (e.g.; names of formal and informal fallacies; logical terminology; and the epistemological issues surrounding concepts like evidence, reliability, and authority)
  2. Demonstrate familiarity with multiple styles of argumentation (e.g., statistical, causal/scientific, deductive, inductive)
  3. Demonstrate familiarity with various errors and shortcomings in argumentation and dialogue (e.g., formal and informal fallacies, logical gaps, uncharitable interpretations, unstated presuppositions, rhetorical manipulation, cognitive biases, etc.)
  4. Develop written and oral communication skills
  5. Explain the value of critical thinking to a university and business education
  6. Demonstrate an appreciation for cross-cultural sources of insight regarding argumentation and understanding

III. Course Materials

The materials required for this course may include a textbook, lecture notes, and various readings.

IV. Teaching Methods

This course may utilize lectures, lecture notes, and group discussions as the primary means of teaching, and may place emphasis on student-centered learning. Writing intensive section will spend several weeks on argument outlining and development.

V. Evaluation Tools

This course may utilize exams/quizzes, written essays, written exercises, self-assessments, and oral participation.

VI. Course Content

Typical major course topics:

  1. What is the role of critical thinking and liberal arts education in a university and business education?
  2. What is an argument?
  3. What are the major rhetorical and logical components of an argument?
  4. What are some of the most prominent styles of argumentation?
  5. What makes a statement reliable?
  6. What makes an argument strong, weak, valid, or invalid?
  7. How to construct arguments of various styles
  8. How to evaluate arguments of various styles
  9. Argumentative fallacies and cognitive biases
  10. Cross-cultural approaches to argumentation
  11. The role of disagreement in decision making and dialogue

VII. Support of Program Learning Objectives

Program Learning Objective Alignment with CLOs Assessed PLO? (y/n)
Objective 1. Demonstrate knowledge and ability to apply basic functional business applications - n
Objective 2A. Express ideas clearly, logically, and persuasively in oral communication 1, 4 n
Objective 2B. Express ideas clearly, logically, and persuasively in written communication 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 y
Objective 3. Demonstrate the ability to solve complex and unstrcutured quanitative problems using appropriate tools and technology - n
Objective 4. Demonstrate critical thinking skills in appraising evidence, issues, and arguments, as well as in developing proposals and positions regarding pertinent issues and problems. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 y

Download BUS 290 Master Syllabus (PDF)