Viewpoint on Causes of Global Warming - An Assignment Using Anonymous Electronic Peer Review With a Dropbox
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: Aug 9, 2006
This material is replicated on a number of sites as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service Project
Context for Use
What is your viewpoint on humans impacting global warming? Do you think human activities are part of the cause, or is this more of a media hype? Take some time and review scientific and political reports. Utilize the information you come across to back up your viewpoint in a one-page, typed summary. Be sure to include the significance of this issue to science and society. Your summary will be anonymously peer-reviewed by a fellow classmate.
When distributing this assignment to the students, it is helpful to them if they see the peer review sheet that will be used on their paper. A criteria grid is suggested to aid the reviewers in seeing how well a student has supported his/her opinions. This sheet can be available online for students to download and then electronically submit after they complete their reviews.
Students should type their paper using MS Word and NOT include their name anywhere in the text. Tell students to use an alias as the file name, then upload the file to a dropbox in a course management software program (such as WebCT ( This site may be offline. ) or Blackboard (more info) ). Have students email the instructor their alias. The instructor can then tell each student which file to retrieve and peer review. To simplify distributing the files for peer review, an instructor may want to consider having two students read each other's papers.
Teaching Notes and Tips
- Be sure students are clear with the assignment instructions - both for completing the written assignment and conducting the peer review. You may want to complete a mock peer review in the classroom before giving this assignment.
- Give students enough time to complete the assignment.
- Save the student files in a folder on your computer that is not in the course management software program. This way, you will have a backup copy in case accidental deletions occur.
- If you don't have a course management software program, this assignment can still be completed with having students email the files to the instructor, and the instructor forwarding on the files for peer review.
References and Resources
Scientific American, June 24, 2003, Hot Words: A claim of nonhuman-induced global warming sparks debate.