Promoting Critical Thinking and Learning in a Large-Enrolment Humanities Class

A Case Study


  • Kiruthika Ragupathi National University of Singapore
  • Zi Hui Yeo National University of Singapore
  • Hui Chieh Loy National University of Singapore



multiple-choice questions, formative assessments, higher-order thinking, humanities education, informal peer learning


To promote the development of critical thinking abilities in an introductory undergraduate humanities course in the context of mass higher education, we implemented a course design that employed a series of scenario-based multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and informal peer discussions. Using an online survey to gather perception data and self-reported behavioral data, this study examines the extent to which the course design was effective at promoting critical thinking and student experience. Deductive analysis of students’ qualitative responses indicate that the course design was successful in promoting students’ development of critical thinking. Both deductive and inductive analysis of students’ qualitative responses also suggest that students largely had favorable attitudes towards this course design, though there are also some who express concerns. Our design may be useful for instructors and instructional designers aiming to promote critical thinking and learning in university courses.


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Author Biographies

Kiruthika Ragupathi, National University of Singapore

Kiruthika Ragupathi is an Associate Director at the Centre for Development of Teaching and Learning, National University of Singapore (SGP). Her research work focuses on academic development, assessment, interdisciplinary education, student living-learning experiences, and technology-enhanced learning.

Zi Hui Yeo, National University of Singapore

Zi Hui Yeo obtained her bachelor’s degree from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore. She is currently a research assistant at Centre for English Language Communication, National University of Singapore (SGP).

Hui Chieh Loy, National University of Singapore

Hui Chieh Loy is an Associate Professor at the Department of Philosophy and the Vice Dean of External Relations and Student Life at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore (SGP). His primary interest centers around Early Chinese Philosophy, and other interests include Ancient Greek Philosophy, Early Modern and Contemporary Ethics and Political Philosophy. He is currently on the editorial board for Chinese Comparative Philosophy for Philosophy Compass.


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How to Cite

Ragupathi, Kiruthika, Zi Hui Yeo, and Hui Chieh Loy. 2022. “Promoting Critical Thinking and Learning in a Large-Enrolment Humanities Class: A Case Study”. Teaching and Learning Inquiry 10 (January).