Literature Review and Scientific Figures
This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection
This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are
- Scientific Accuracy
- Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
- Pedagogic Effectiveness
- Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
- Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page
For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.
This page first made public: Jun 22, 2010
I take a tiered approach to help students identify, develop and apply the skill of scientific writing. Science writing is not creative writing, but an argument well supported by referenced facts. Students develop comprehension, distillation, summarization and higher order interpretive skills. This activity includes an example, a grading rubric, a student evaluation exercise (think-pair-share format for the example) and in a subsequent week peer evaluation of student assignments within the discussion section. The revised version is evaluated by the teaching assistant (with feedback). Ultimately this prepares students for their term paper, which is graded by the professor. This class has about 15 students.
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
How the activity is situated in the course
This exercise is assessed as a standalone component, but the assessed product can be revised and used in the term paper.
Content/concepts goals for this activity
Concept goals: To master effective, concise scientific prose supported by quantified and illustrated examples.
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Anecdotal evidence surprisingly suggests that many scientists do not value the higher order thinking involved in and demonstrated by good writing. This exercise makes these higher order thinking goals explicit, refinements or instructor emphasis might attempt to make this goal even more clear.
Other skills goals for this activity
Literature review skills - Searching Web of Science for suitable scientific paper on relevant topic, guided ideas for various ways to approach a literature search.
Description of the activity/assignment
Determining whether students have met the goals
A grading rubric is provided and used in the class exercise to educate through active use of these evaluation metrics.
Download teaching materials and tips
- Activity Description/Assignment: Student Handout (Microsoft Word 120kB Jun21 10)