Exploring Higher-Order Thinking in Higher Education Seminar Talk

Marion Heron, David M. Palfreyman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


A key purpose of higher education seminars is to support higher-order thinking, yet empirical evidence of how this is evidenced and scaffolded in higher education remains scarce. Building on previous work on identifying rhetorical and linguistic devices for argumentation, we found that higher-order thinking can be evidenced through using metaphors, linking ideas to personal experiences and emotional connections. Findings also suggest that the types of tutor questioning can support (or not) how students evidence their claims and demonstrate higher-order thinking. We conclude with recommendations for practice including greater teacher and student metacognitive awareness of the features of quality seminar discourse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-259
Number of pages8
JournalCollege Teaching
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Argumentation justification
  • higher-order thinking
  • linguistic devices
  • questions
  • rhetorical devices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


Dive into the research topics of 'Exploring Higher-Order Thinking in Higher Education Seminar Talk'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this