Critical Review of a Journal Article: An Assessment Activity
This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Collection
Resources in this top level collection a) must have scored Exemplary or Very Good in all five review categories, and must also rate as “Exemplary” in at least three of the five categories. The five categories included in the peer review 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: Feb 11, 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
- Why is this topic interesting and what contribution has been made in light of your understanding of the existing state of knowledge on this subject?
- Can you readily identify the central hypothesis? Have appropriate tests been applied to confirm or reject this hypothesis?
- Are observations and other data clearly separated from interpretation?
- Are all the figures, important and useful? Please make a special effort to comment on the use and interpretation of data presented in the figures in this manuscript.
- Is the treatment of this subject consistent with your own understanding of the principles of [Mineralogy, Igneous/Metamorphic/Sedimentary Petrology, Structural Geology...]?
- Based on your reading of this manuscript, what parts are unclear, and what new questions arise based on this current presentation?
- What additional advice can you offer to help improve the clarity of this manuscript? Is any part of the manuscript extraneous and can be deleted? Are there areas where more information or context is needed?
- Is the manuscript appropriately referenced? Are any key references missing?
Other skills goals for this activity
Description of the activity/assignment
In an upper division petrology class, I typically select articles for review that integrate numerous aspects of topics we've recently covered in class; tectonic setting, field relations, petrography, whole-rock geochemistry, geo- and thermochronology, mineral chemistry (for PTt calculations), stable isotope geochemistry, etc. My goal is to help students see how these multiple lines of evidence must be integrated into a coherent geologic interpretation of geologic process or history.
Modify the letter with the request for review and review forms to emphasize the particular course goals, content, and expectations for your own course.
Determining whether students have met the goals
Download teaching materials and tips
- Activity Description/Assignment (Microsoft Word 27kB Feb11 09) -- this is the "Dear Colleague" letter that students receive that describes the assignment including review criteria and due date.
Review form used by the Geological Society of America Bulletin (Microsoft Word 168kB Feb11 09)
Review form used by the American Mineralogist (Acrobat (PDF) 1.9MB Feb12 09)
This is another compilation of Articles for Teaching Structural Geology