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Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT) WarmUp Activity: The Big 5 Mass Extinctions and Then Some...

Laura Guertin, Penn State University Delaware County
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1) What are the three leading ideas for the cause of the Permian mass extinction? What is the evidence for and against each?

2) Why are tropical forest species going extinct the quickest?

3) What are the differences between deterministic and stochastic models for population growth?

Student Responses:

See the Just-in-Time Teaching page on assessment for information and ideas on how to evaluate student responses.

References and Notes:

Articles that students may be assigned to read for this set of questions include (but are not limited to):

Browne, M.W., "New Clues to Agent of Life's Worst Extinction." The New York Times Book of Fossils and Evolution, p. 73-79.

Browne, M.W., "Mass Extinction of Permian Era Link to a Gas." The New York Times Book of Fossils and Evolution, p. 80-85.

Dobson, A.P., "The Mathematics of Extinction." Conservation and Biodiversity, p. 59-85.

The use of Just-in-Time Teaching is discussed in detail on the JiTT Starting Point page.

Additional information on JiTT is available in the book:

  • Just-in-Time Teaching: Blending Active Learning with Web Technology. Novak et al., 1999 The authors explain what Just-in-Time Teaching is, its underlying goals and philosophies, and how to implement it. They also provide an extensive section of tested resource materials that can be used in introductory physics courses with the JiTT approach. (citation and description)