Teach the Earth > Paleontology > Teaching Activities > Cladistics


Christopher Brochu
University of Iowa
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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 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 page first made public: Jul 21, 2009


lab assignments intended to teach the basics of reading phylogenetic diagrams and parsimony optimization.

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intoductory courses for non-majors

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

basic osteology and evolution (VERY basic - this can be taught without those).

How the activity is situated in the course

Early in semester. Lab 3 is assigned immediately following lecture on subject. Labs 4 and 5 are on succeeding weeks.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

basics of reading phylogenetic diagrams and parsimony optimization

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

predictive nature of the historical sciences

Other skills goals for this activity

Description of the activity/assignment

Determining whether students have met the goals

quiz; follow-up assignments

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

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