BB313 - Critical Thinking and Decision Making

Credit Points: 15 credit points

Workload: 36 hours

Prerequisite: N/A

Co-requisite: N/A

Aims & Objectives

This unit aims to teach the fundamentals of critical thinking and reasoning. Students learn how to construct, analyse and critically evaluate arguments; how to detect common fallacies in reasoning; and how to think logically and creatively. Skills are taught by developing practical techniques for the evaluation of reasoning, and applying them to arguments from a variety of disciplines including business, law, politics, and the media. Critical thinking skills are invaluable across all disciplines, and will benefit students in academic contexts and in life beyond university.

Unit topics include:

  • Applying critical thinking to contemporary real world problems and management issues
  • Deductive and Inductive reasoning types and argument forms 
  • Using critical analysis and case studies to inform managerial thinking and action
  • Developing strong and valid arguments 
  • Evaluating the strength and validity of arguments 
  • Identifying and utilising biases, persuasion tactics and fallacies
  • Principles for informed decision making based on empirical evidence models and research
  • The role of rational and intuitive thinking in management decision making

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this Unit students should be able to:
a. Learn to recognise the structure of arguments and represent that structure in a clear, standardised form.
b. Identify and assess the different types of reasoning, such as deductive and inductive reasoning, and apply the methods of evaluation appropriate to each.
c. Apply your analysis skills to real arguments from a variety of contexts by recognising the generalizability of these skills and their applicability to other disciplines.
d. Articulate the key benefits of critical thinking for managers and organisations.
e. Demonstrate creative and flexible approaches to problem solving and decision making.


Assessment Task Due Date A B Unit Learning Outcomes
1. Formative Assessment Week 3 - 5% a
2. Contribution and Participation in class Weeks 1-12 - 5% a-e
3. Weekly Online discussion forum[Individual] Weeks 1-12 - 30% a-e
4. In-class test[Individual] Week 6 - 15% a-b
5. Case study analysis Report(Group)(Group mark 20%+Individual mark 10%=30%) and Presentation(Individual)(15%) Weeks 11-12 30% 15% a-e
TOTALS    30% 70% 100%

Task Type: Type A: unsupervised, Type B: supervised.

Contribution and Participation (5%)

This unit has class participation as an assessment. The assessment task and marking rubric will follow the Guidelines on Assessing Class Participation ( Further details will be provided in the assessment specification on the type of assessment tasks and the marking rubrics.

Teaching Methods

NOTE: All School of Business units 3-hour workshops Flipped Classroom Mode. 

Textbook and Reference Materials

Note: Students are required to purchase the prescribed text book and complete the set readings before class each week.   
Copies of the Vaughn textbook are available in the MIT Library.
Excerpts from the Vaughn textbook will be available through the BB313 Moodle page.

Prescribed Text Book

  • Vaughn, L. (2019). The Power of Critical Thinking: Effective Reasoning About Ordinary and Extraordinary Claims (6th ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Earlier editions of the Vaughn text, as per below, are also acceptable.

Other recommended references

  • Emerson, L. (2013).  Writing Guidelines for Business Students (5th ed.). South Melbourne, Australia:Cengage Learning Australia.
  • Rainbolt, G.N., & Dwyer, S.L. (2014). Critical Thinking: The Art of Argument (2nd ed.). U.S.A: Cengage Learning.
  • Vaughn, L. (2017). Concise Guide to Critical Thinking. USA: Oxford University Press. 
  • Vaughn, L. (2016). The Power of Critical Thinking: Effective Reasoning About Ordinary and Extraordinary Claims (5th ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • West, S. (2017). Critical Thinking Skills: Practical Strategies for Better Decision making, Problem-Solving and Goal Setting. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

Check the unit Moodle page for additional recommended readings throughout the trimester.

The Referencing style for this unit is APA: See the MIT Library Referencing webpage: and the Unit Moodle page for additional referencing support material and weblinks.

Graduate Attributes

MIT is committed to ensure the course is current, practical and relevant so that graduates are “work ready” and equipped for life-long learning. In order to accomplish this, the MIT Graduate Attributes identify the required knowledge, skills and attributes that prepare students for the industry.
The level to which Graduate Attributes covered in this unit are as follows:

Ability to communicate Independent and Lifelong Learning Ethics Analytical and Problem Solving Cultural and Global Awareness Team work Specialist knowledge of a field of study


Levels of attainment Extent covered
The attribute is covered by theory and practice, and addressed by assessed activities in which the students always play an active role, e.g. workshops, lab submissions, assignments, demonstrations, tests, examinations.
The attribute is covered by theory or practice, and addressed by assessed activities in which the students mostly play an active role, e.g. discussions, reading, intepreting documents, tests, examinations.
The attribute is discussed in theory or practice; it is addressed by assessed activities in which the students may play an active role, e.g. lectures and discussions, reading, interpretation, workshops, presentations.
The attribute is presented as a side issue in theory or practice; it is not specifically assessed, but it is addressed by activities such as lectures or tutorials.
The attribute is not considered, there is no theory or practice or activities associated with this attribute.