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BLC 11 March 15, 2014 Applying Primary Research in the Classroom. Ruth Buskirk The University of Texas at Austin. Core Competencies from Vision & Change Ability to apply the process of science Ability to use quantitative reasoning Ability to use modeling and simulation

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blc 11 march 15 2014 applying primary research in the classroom

BLC 11 March 15, 2014Applying Primary Research in the Classroom

Ruth Buskirk

The University of Texas at Austin

slide2

Core Competencies from Vision & Change

  • Ability to apply the process of science
  • Ability to use quantitative reasoning
  • Ability to use modeling and simulation
  • Ability to tap into the interdisciplinary nature of science

5. Ability to communicate and collaborate with other disciplines

6. Ability to understand the relationship between science and society.

slide3

Core Competencies from Vision & Change

  • Ability to apply the process of science
  • Ability to use quantitative reasoning
  • Ability to use modeling and simulation
  • Ability to tap into the interdisciplinary nature of science

5. Ability to communicate and collaborate with other disciplines

6. Ability to understand the relationship between science and society.

Link research and teaching

link research and teaching
Link research and teaching

My priorities for the student experience:

Work with some data

Learn how to ask questions

slide5

Some of the expertise here in the room:

Authentic, inquiry-based labs –

Jean Heitz Wisconsin

Kathy Marrs IUPUI

Tom Owens Cornell

and more

slide6

Some of the expertise here in the room:

Quantitative reasoning skills –

Clarissa Dirks Evergreen

Annika Moe Minnesota

Randy Phillis U Mass

slide7

Potential goals for having your students read primary literature?

• learn about the ‘process of science’

• be able to read graphs, interpret data

Why not these goals as well?

• appreciate that people do science

• group work in solving problems

• practice explaining science to others

These are harder skills:

• be able to evaluate/critique a scientific paper

• be able to suggest the next step in the research

slide8

Getting students

to read primary literature

How do you begin?

“I don’t even understand the title.”

“This is too hard. I can’t do it.”

“Don’t call on me – Joe knows the answer”

slide9

Train students to see the differences , for example:

  • A research report (original data; full methods, results, discussion)
  • A review article
  • A brief research note
  • Editor’s note introducing article

in Nature, Cell, Science

  • An editorial letter
  • A popular article
  • Online publication PLoS

vs a web site

slide10

Train students to search for who sponsored the research. Explain ‘conflict of interest’.

Have students distinguish pure and applied aspects of science.

Teach them about funding sources, how they differ in priorities, and why that makes a difference.

slide11

Ways to introduce students to the author or author team of the paper [this scientist is a person!]

Before, online search by students -

Go to the author’s faculty web page.

Search Pub Med for some paper titles.

Before, a short video of interview with author briefly introducing the paper and setting context

After reading the paper, students email questions to the author (arranged in advance)

After students read the paper, author visits class and answers questions that students have prepared

Note anonymous faceless scientists!

slide12

Can encourage student evaluation of paper with instructor guidance – questions like:

• What are the controls in this experiment?

  • How could authors have presented this result a little more clearly?
  • What’s an alternate hypothesis that could have been tested here?
  • What is missing that would have helped tell the story?
slide13

Hoskins et al 2011: C.R.E.A.T.E.

(Consider, Read, Elucidate hypotheses, Analyze and interpret data, Think of the next Experiment) method.

A constructivist model, pays attention to student attitudes and confidence level

slide14

Hoskins et al 2011: C.R.E.A.T.E.

(Consider, Read, Elucidate hypotheses, Analyze and interpret data, Think of the next Experiment) method.

A constructivist model, pays attention to student attitudes and confidence level

“Get real!

I don’t have time for all that in my class.”

slide15

So, how could you use primary research data in brief in-class exercises?

e.g., just one figure at a time

What skills are important?

What training is needed?

Be transparent to your students.

“What do I need to do to succeed?”

“Will this be on the test?”

P. S. The answer is “yes”.

slide16

Make a checklist of student skills (clear goals) students can self assess

4 I can state alternate hypotheses

4 I can define experimental controls

4 I can read graphs

but I need practice on . . . x, y, z

slide17

Make a checklist of student skills (clear goals) students can self assess

4 I can state alternate hypotheses

4 I can define experimental controls

4 I can read graphs

but I need practice on . . . x, y, z

from Robin - A badge is evidence of learning in a competency-based system

slide18

Today’s task –

Work in small groups to design a lesson in which students access and apply basic research data.

Choose your goals for the lesson.

What will students do?

How can you assess whether they have met the competency?

slide19

Core Competencies from Vision & Change

  • Ability to apply the process of science
  • Ability to use quantitative reasoning
  • Ability to use modeling and simulation
  • Ability to tap into the interdisciplinary nature of science

5. Ability to communicate and collaborate with other disciplines

6. Ability to understand the relationship between science and society.

slide21

Relate to Student Learning Outcomes:

Human activities have disrupted ecosystems and greatly accelerated the rate of species extinction.

  • Identify human activities such as habitat destruction or nutrient enrichment that threaten biodiversity and ecosystems.
  • Give an example of the process of bio-magnification, and tell why it results from food chain dynamics.
  • Explain the relationship between the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperatures, and describe how global warming will impact species and ecosystems.
  • Give an example of a successful effort to preserve a species, a habitat or an ecosystem.