Wanna be the next Sherlock Holmes? Learn to think critically!
Have you ever wanted to be like Sherlock Holmes – to be able to evaluate complex situations, to express your arguments in a sharp manner, backing them up with undoubted facts, to be able to get to the crux of any matter? Sounds great, right? Believe it or not, this is possible, but it doesn’t come easy! First, you will have to get to grips with a very important skill called critical thinking!
Critical thinking is the art of getting to the heart of any subject by challenging what comes between you and the truth! So if you think you have the potential to be a critical thinker, then we challenge you to solve the mystery of this

If there was one life skill everyone on the planet needed, it was the ability to think with critical objectivity” - Josh Lanyon
The goal of this WebQuest is to help you develop your critical thinking skills by making you question everyone and everything, just like a true detective!
You will need to work in 2 teams, consisting of maximum 5 - 6 people, each. The first team will be the detectives’ team (the jury, the critics) and the second one would be the testifiers’ team. The testifiers will have to present some interesting facts in front of the detectives in a convincing and objective manner, whereas the “detectives” will have to discuss if these facts are actually facts or not, are they true or false. The detectives will have to back up their arguments with factual and structured information, and the testifiers will have to convince them of the truthfulness of the information they’re presenting.
The end goal is to have a debate “detectives vs. testifiers” where each of the teams should demonstrate and train their critical thinking skills by defending their arguments, second-guessing the arguments of opposite team members and assess them from different perspectives.

This webquest is best to be executed in groups consisting of 10 – maximum 12 learners, divided in 2 teams of 5-6 people, each. If the group is bigger, you should divide in more groups, having equal number of teams of testifiers and detectives. Both teams should have access to the internet as both the detective and the defence research requires the use of a variety of internet resources to back up their opinions with facts.

The formula for implementing this webquest is:

1. Get to grips with critical thinking!
At this stage, each of the participants in both teams will have to make use of some of the links pointed out in the useful links section (and other resources you’re able to find on the Internet) in order to develop your understanding of what critical thinking means, which are the skills and the
behaviours typical for critical thinkers. Read carefully because, you’ll have to apply what you’ve learned in the next steps!

2. Get prepared to play your part!
Now that each of you is aware of what it means to think critically, it’s time to apply what you’ve learned in step 1. The testifiers’ team will have the task to research some interesting facts around the web. For this purpose, the testifiers can use the web-based resources provided in the “useful links” section (see the links Ideas for interesting facts) or you can think of something interesting that you know or you’ve heard and research more about it – find out facts, additional information on the subject. This could be interesting scientific, historical, biographic facts which you were surprised to learn about and caught your interest. The task of the testifiers’ team is to come up with - and research about - 3 interesting facts. Remember: you should keep them a secret from the detectives. In the next stage you will have to present these facts to the critics.

Meanwhile, the detectives’ team will have to discuss and plan their strategy on how to critically assess the truthfulness of the statements presented by the testifiers. The detectives’ team will have to plan what kind of questions to ask and what should each member of the team observe in the behaviour of the testifiers in order to assess whether they are telling the truth, or not.

3. Time to testify!
At this stage, each team should enter their role – the role of the detectives and the role of the testifiers.

The testifiers’ team has the following assignment
- You will have to present (one by one) the 3 interesting facts you chose. You can choose whether to try to fool the critics (telling them something misleading) or to share with them the truth.
- You will have to answer questions the critics ask you about any of the 3 facts you presented to them and defend what you’ve stated to be true by backing it up with factual information and rationale. Your aim is to convince them your 3 statements are facts and that what you’re presenting is true.

The detectives’ team will have the following assignment:
- you will have 15 minutes to research information about each of the statements presented by the other team and build structured and reasonable arguments about each of the statements as to why you think the statements are true or false
- you can ask questions to the testifiers’ team in order to help you evaluate the truthfulness of their statements.
- you will have to observe the behaviour of the participants in the other team and recognize any weaknesses or negative points that there are in their evidence or argument.
- Remember: question everything!

4. Unravel the mystery!
After having a discussion about the truthfulness of each of the 3 statements argued by the testifiers, the “detectives” should unravel the mystery – were the testifiers trying to fool the detectives or were they speaking the truth and nothing but the truth? The testifiers should evaluate the tactics, arguments and moves of the detectives, backing up their assessments with examples from the discussions held during step 3. Some of the criteria the testifiers could base their evaluation on are:
           - accuracy of questions asked by the detectives – were the questions of the detectives focused and clear? Were they relevant to the facts presented or not?
           - objectivity of arguments presented by the detectives – were the other team’s arguments backed-up with relevant information, were they justified or were they vague and ungrounded?
              - other criteria you deem relevant
Afterwards, the detectives should evaluate the performance of the testifiers. The detectives could assess the performance of the testifiers based on:
- body language and facial expressions – did the testifiers look nervous? Were they doing something unusual or strange? For instance, it is argued that when people lie, they tend to not look straight in the eyes their interlocutor.
- inconsistencies in their story or responses to questions – did you spot something that doesn’t add up in the testifiers’ story? Were their answers to your questions straight to the point and backed up with convincing arguments or they were vague and inconclusive?
- other criteria you deem relevant

5. Switch!
Now the detectives have to become testifiers and the opposite. After switching the roles of the teams, repeat steps from 2 to 4. Come on, go on and see how it is from the other side ;)
Evaluation and Learning Outcomes
On the completion of this webquest, the learner will be able to:

Knowledge Skills Attitudes
· basic knowledge about critical thinking and critical thinking skills
· basic knowledge of strategies and techniques  to evaluate information critically
· basic knowledge of information search tools on the web
· basic knowledge of questioning and discussion techniques  
· basic knowledge of teamwork rules
and procedures
· identify the importance of critical thinking in our everyday life
· research, gather and organize information
on specific matter with regard to building an argument or evaluating one
· think about a topic or issue in an objective and critical way.
· appraise an argument to take a position about something
· identify inconsistencies and errors in reasoning of others
· define clear questions to objectively evaluate information
· recognize any weaknesses or negative points that exist in an evidence or argument
· provide structured reasoning and support for an argument that one wishes to make
· work in a team for a common goal
· create own perception of what critical thinking is
· adopt own critical thinking attitude
· critically analyse information and build arguments based on it
· provide constructive feedback
· perceive other people’s opinion in a constructive manner

Just because someone says something in a confident manner, it doesn’t make it true. In order to take objective decisions, both in business and personal life, form an opinion on a certain matter, or commit to something, first ensure you have gathered enough information and, secondly, that you’ve analysed different perspectives based on it. Last but not least, make sure your decisions are unbiased and that you have freed yourself from past assumptions and self-doubt.  For a true detective, like Sherlock Holmes, one of the secrets is to never take anything at face value and always question everything and look at the clues to reach a conclusion!

Remember, it might be the case that you are in a situation in which nothing is what it seems! Therefore, you need to be prepared to question everything because questions can:
- help you get things done;
- enable you to solve problems or mysteries; 
- help you find your true purpose and passion;
- help you adapt and adjust in a rapidly changing world.