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Writing about the world's fisheries (Calibrated Peer Review):

William A. Prothero, Univ of California, Santa Barbara, prothero@geol.ucsb.edu
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This material is replicated on a number of sites as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service Project
Initial Publication Date: April 5, 2006


This is an example of a writing assignment that asks students to summarize the findings of the Pew Ocean Commission report "America's Living Oceans," contrast it to an opposing viewpoint, and recommend a fisheries policy based on their understanding. Charting a Course for Sea Change." It includes a scoresheet that was created for a calibrated peer review assignment. However, it would be equally suitable as a teacher graded writing assignment. This assignment emphasizes an analysis of scientific findings and a contrary viewpoint.

Used this activity? Share your experiences and modifications

Learning Goals

1) develop an understanding of issues affecting the management of the global fisheries

2) learn to study opposing viewpoints and develop a policy position

Context for Use

This is a writing assignment that the student can do in a computer lab or her/his own computer. It is targeted at an introductory geology or oceanography course.

Equipment required for EarthEd Online:

*Macintosh OSX and Classic or PC with Win/98/2000/XP.

This assignment was created using the EarthEd Online system, but is also suitable for entry into the UCLA Calibrated Peer Review system. UCLA calibrated peer review home page (more info)

Teaching Materials

Assignment Description-student handout (Microsoft Word 28kB May24 05)

Anatomy of a science paper-student handout (Microsoft Word 178kB May12 05)

How to avoid the appearance of cheating-student handout (Microsoft Word 27kB May12 05)

The following link will download a zip file containing the 3 calibration papers used in this writing assignment. The instructor will have to create the scores for each paper, unless the EarthEd Online writing system is used. Three calibration papers in web page format - zip file ( 98kB May24 05)

I use EarthEdOnline to deliver this assignment. The following document describes EarthEd Online and results with the CPR assignment delivered to a general education oceanography class during the winter quarter of 2005.

Using EarthEd Online to deliver a CPR assignment (Acrobat (PDF) 4.9MB Apr28 05)

Teaching Notes and Tips

The following activities are used to prepare students for this assignment:
  1. lecture on fisheries and population dynamics
  2. reading about the global fisheries from the class text
  3. reading "Anatomy of a Science Paper" (see Teaching Materials)
  4. an online homework assignment covering fisheries
  5. a 2 hr lab activity: "The Fishing Game," a game derived from Fishbanks.
  6. in-class discussions of science writing and use of evidenced in argumentation


Fisheries assignment scoresheet (Acrobat (PDF) 71kB Jul19 05)

References and Resources