Coursera: Reasoning Across the Disciplines

Critical reasoning skills are a key success factor for students entering their first year of college. They must be able to think logically and form arguments. This course, designed with incoming college freshmen in mind but open to anyone, provides an essential grounding in critical reasoning skills. Faculty from multiple disciplines at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offer guidance on applying critical thinking skills in the context of specific disciplines. By developing these skills, students will learn more, enjoy their courses more, and experience greater academic success.

This course will help you understand what critical thinking skills are and why they're so important. You will also learn how critical thinking skills vary across disciplines, as well as see them applied across several fields, including, chemistry, history, psychology, law, English, and American Studies. You will develop your own critical thinking skills by working through scenarios or problems posed by scholars across these fields, and you will better understand how your college courses will differ from your earlier education.


This module provides an overview of the course. The first video explains the history of this course: While it was originally going to be geared toward incoming UNC students, we realized these skills are valuable to everyone, which is why we are offering it as a MOOC. The second video provides an overview of how the course is structured and why it was created.

Think Like a Chemist
In this module, you'll learn about critical thinking and chemistry from Thomas Freeman.

Think Like an Historian
In this module, you'll learn about critical thinking and history from Kathleen DuVal.

Think Like a Psychologist
In this module, you'll learn about critical thinking and psychology from Kurt Gray.

Think Like a Law Professor
In this module, you'll learn about critical thinking and the law from Donald Hornstein.

Think Like a Literature Professor
In this module, you'll learn about critical thinking and literature from Heidi Kim.

Think Like an American Studies Scholar
In this module, you'll learn about critical thinking and American Studies from Sharon P. Holland. Warning: The video "Dogs & Fighting, Horses & Racing, and Race" contains graphic descriptions of dog fighting and may not be suitable for all audiences.

Course Conclusion

1 Student
Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
Pace Upcoming
Subject Philosophy
Provider Coursera
Language English
Certificates Paid Certificate Available
Calendar 7 weeks long
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FAQ View All
What are MOOCs?
MOOCs stand for Massive Open Online Courses. These are free online courses from universities around the world (eg. Stanford Harvard MIT) offered to anyone with an internet connection.
How do I register?
To register for a course, click on "Go to Class" button on the course page. This will take you to the providers website where you can register for the course.
How do these MOOCs or free online courses work?
MOOCs are designed for an online audience, teaching primarily through short (5-20 min.) pre recorded video lectures, that you watch on weekly schedule when convenient for you.  They also have student discussion forums, homework/assignments, and online quizzes or exams.

1 review for Coursera's Reasoning Across the Disciplines

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9 months ago
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Michela Perversi completed this course.
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