Mass Extinctions and the Fossil Record
This activity has benefited from input from faculty educators beyond the author through a review and suggestion process.
This review took place as a part of a faculty professional development workshop where groups of faculty reviewed each others' activities and offered feedback and ideas for improvements. To learn more about the process On the Cutting Edge uses for activity review, see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.
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: Jul 20, 2009
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
How the activity is situated in the course
Content/concepts goals for this activity
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Other skills goals for this activity
Description of the activity/assignment
Students must include information about the magnitude of the extinction events. Additionally students describe the groups of organisms that were impacted by the event.
Students discuss the cause(s) of each the extinction event and compare the different causes. They explain how the cause impacted the different groups of organisms or why those particular groups were impacted.
The discussion must include some of the organisms that never recovered from the extinction.
Determining whether students have met the goals
Students then peer-review the submissions of 3 of their peers. They use the same rubric used in the calibration phase. Additionally they are asked to provide feedback for the components of the rubric. These reviews are compared by the software against the reviews of the other peers who reviewed the same essays to determine if the quality of the reviews. This is also worth part of their overall score.
The students then do a self-assessment of their submission using the same rubric. Their self-assessment is compared by the software against the weighted assessment by their peers to determine the quality of the self-assessment. The individual reviews are weighted based on the "quality" of the reviewer as was established in the first reviews. This self-assessment is another part of their overall score.
The last part of the overall score is the weighted average of the peers score for the original submission.
Students get feedback on their essay from their peers.
Faculty set the percentages for each of the components in the review process. They also set the tolerance ranges for if the reviews are close enough for full credit. Additionally, faculty can override any of the scoring on any part of the assignment.
Download teaching materials and tips
- Activity Description/Assignment:Mass Extinctions Calibrated Peer Review Assignment (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 72kB Jul20 09)
- Instructors Notes:These 2 files are available on the CPR webpage. They are student handouts for that give them instruction on starting the assignment and understanding the results. CPR Student Handout (Acrobat (PDF) 95kB Aug2 09) CPR Student Results Handout (Acrobat (PDF) 220kB Aug2 09)
If anyone wants to use this assignment I will put it in their assignment library.
- Solution Set:Mass Extinctions Calibrated Peer Review Calibration Essays (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 123kB Jul20 09)