Key concepts for teaching critical appraisal and critical thinking


Workshop session 5: Thursday, 14:00-15:30

Workshop category: 

  • Evidence literacy, social media, science journalism


Date and Location


Thursday 14 September 2017 - 14:00 to 15:30


Contact persons and facilitators

Contact person:


Andy Oxman
Sandy Oliver
Selena Ryan-Vig
Target audience

Target audience: 

People interested in teaching critical appraisal or critical thinking skills

Level of difficulty: 

Type of workshop

Type of workshop : 



Objectives: Claims about the effects of interventions are in the mass media, advertisements and personal communication daily. The ability to assess these claims and make informed choices depends on understanding and applying key concepts that are essential for making judgements about whether a claim is justified, whether comparisons are fair and reliable, and whether to take an action.
The Informed Health Choices project has developed educational resources for schoolchildren and their parents with the objective of improving their ability to assess claims about treatment effects. As our starting point, we developed a list of key concepts that people need to understand to assess these claims. The list currently includes 34 concepts and serves as a syllabus or curriculum.

The objectives of this workshop will be to discuss: Are these concepts sensible and useful? To what extent are they applicable to other types of educational interventions, including ones for learning to assess claims about educational, crime and justice, or social welfare interventions? How do these key concepts fit with other domains of critical appraisal and critical thinking; and how can we promote learning of these concepts?

Description: The workshop will be a structured discussion of the questions in the objectives. The list of key concepts is reviewed annually to allow for revisions of existing concepts or identification and inclusion of additional concepts. This discussion will feed into this.