There is actually a critical thinking course under this title. The authors want to teach several aspects of critical thinking related to understanding and analysing news. The course is created by people from two universities: The University of Hong Kong and The State University of New York, more specifically Stony Brook University School of Journalism. It is six weeks long and it requires commitment from 2 to 3 hours per week. So in total you need to spend about 12-18 hours on the whole course.
The authors say that people are bombarded by a stream of fake news, propaganda, hoaxes, rumours, satire, and advertising. And all of these can be masqueraded as credible journalism. Of course you may reject all news or trust everything, but this course will teach you to make decisions in each case. You can develop a necessary level of critical thinking skills to better identify reliable information when you want to be better informed about the world around you. The course also discuss the key elements of journalism from the viewpoint of the news audience.
The course has the following topics: who has the power of information, what makes journalism difference from the other types of information, where can we find trustworthy information, how can we distinguish between fakes and reliable facts, how can we use this skill in real life, and what are the challenges of digital citizenship.
The authors also promise that they constantly update their course material by incorporating information about recent technologies that can be used to deliver news.
This course can’t teach you all critical thinking skills, because it focuses on specific topics. Still it is a valuable course that can help you to make informed judgment when you encounter new information. I believe it can have a big impact on life of many people, so if you for any reason don’t want to take a bigger course about critical thinking, you can start with this one and still have some benefits.