"Is it worth my precious time?" : What is Critical Analysis?

EduCorp Blog

Friday, 16th December 2016

It takes a split second to decide whether to open an email, react to a post or engage with a digital artefact. Do you have the time to waste on poor quality information? I don’t!

I want to: Save time for me; Invest time wisely; Account for my time spent

(Isn’t it interesting that we connect time with financial terms – invest, account, save…)

What is your time worth? Do you prioritise? How do you choose?

Critical analysis is a skill that we are all using "on the daily" to identify value from the choices we see in a world saturated with a tsunami of content.

When I'm checking my inbox or feed, I scan and identify key words in the subject line (you need to impress me fast or I hit the X). The reputation of the sender or blogger has impact and warrants my investment. Visual appeal also attracts me, imagery is an engaging element in the micro-storytelling process. A clever turn of phrase may earn a read but may not denote quality of product. Is it value for time?

Researching, for a particular purpose, interest or project requires a different lens of analysis. Instead of the information coming at you, you are employing search skills to refine the objective and locate the most relevant and reliable sources.

To critically analyse is to adopt an evaluative process - taking information "onboard", according to merit. Determining by observing, skimming, then reading/viewing and reflecting - using the time to consider: is this information opinion or fact, valid or misinformation, bias or objective. Then construct opinion, based on evidence, to take your stance.

In this information age, when critical analysis takes place on the run, it is imperative to unpack the process and practice:

What are the facts?

Is this a reliable source? 

Is this essential or peripheral information?

Is this written in such a way that a particular point of view is being favoured?

Am I comfortable in forming my own opinion based on this information or do I need to research further before committing to a definitive point of view?

So, I hope this was worth your precious time, it will also need your precious practise.

Time is a valuable commodity – how can you track the time you spend researching, working, learning? Time on task informs the quantifying of effort.

We aim to save you time while curating high quality evidence - Find it! Learn it! Prove it!

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