The Science Literacy Teaching Journal Club continued during the spring term exploring methods for improving teaching and increasing students’ science literacy.
A Brief Guide for Teaching and Assessing Critical Thinking in Psychology (D. Alan Bensley, APS Observer, 23(10), Dec. 2010)
Strategies for Teaching Critical Thinking (B. Potts, Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 4(3) 1994).
This week at the Thursday meeting of the Science Literacy Teaching Journal Club, we focused on the importance of critical evaluation of websites and other information sources. What criteria, if any, do students use in their evaluations? What resources exist to help guide them?
We framed our discussion around the article Non-Science Majors’ Critical Evaluation of Websites in a Biotechnology Course, by K.L. Halverson, M. A. Siegel, and S. K. Freyermuth (J Sci Educ Technol 19 (2010), 612). This article assesses the criteria non-science majors in a biotechnology course used to evaluate the websites they used in researching a paper about stem-cell research.
Criteria to Evaluate the Credibility of WWW Resources, from a source at George Mason University
Critical Evaluation of Information Resources, from our own UO Libraries!
The Science Literacy Program presented a six-part workshop series geared towards improving teaching methods in undergraduate science courses.
The first two workshops of the series were presented by Dr. Stephanie Chasteen (Science Teaching Fellow, UC Boulder): “What Every Teacher Should Know About Cognitive Research,” and “Get the Word Out: Effectively Communicating the Results of Physics Education Research”. To prepare for Dr. Chasteen’s presentations and our discussion, we read:
- The Critical Importance of Retrieval for Learning – Jeffrey D. Karpicke and Henry L. Roediger (Science 319, 966(2008))
- Interactive-engagement versus traditional methods: A six-thousand-student survey of mechanics test data for introductory physics – Richard R. Hake (Am. J. Phys. 66, 64 (1998))
This week at the Thursday meeting of the Science Literacy Teaching Journal Club, we continued our preparations for the upcoming Science Literacy Program workshops. Our conversation focused on Chapter 3 of a report suggested to us by Dr. Cynthia Bauerle (Senior Program Officer, HHMI), who on Friday, May 4 led the third and fourth workshops in the series.
Chapter 3 of the 2011 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Vision and Change Report for undergraduate biology education. To access the full report, click here.
This week at the Thursday meeting of the Science Literacy Teaching Journal Club, we prepared for Peggy Brickman’s visit and workshops. One of her workshops focused on using case studies in science teaching, a great technique for engaging non-majors, and one used extensively in business, law, and medicine. To help us prepare for the workshop, we read the book chapter, “Case Studies in Science: A Novel Method of Science Education,” by Clyde Freeman Herreid, from Start With a Story: The Case Study Method of Teaching Science.
At some point in their careers, many instructors will teach as part of a team. This week in the Thursday meeting of the Science Literacy Teaching Journal Club, we talked about how to make team-teaching a success for the instructors and students alike. In order to prepare for our meeting, we read:
- Team Teaching: Benefits and Challenges, from Stanford University’s Center for Teaching and Learning
- Team Teaching a Cross-Disciplinary Honors Course: Preparation and Development, by Margaret K. Letterman and Kimberly B. Dugan, College Teaching, vol. 52, Spring 2004, 76-79.
We also hosted a TEP/Science Literacy Program workshop on May 14: Teaching to Increase Science Literacy: A Panel Discussion with Professors from UO’s Science Literacy Program.
We’ve all been there: the teacher tosses out a question and the class is so silent you can hear the crickets chirping. It can be excruciating for everyone involved. And we all know how much more enjoyable class can be when students participate, asking and answering questions and sharing their ideas. What can instructors do to encourage class participation? This week in the Thursday meeting of the Science Literacy Teaching Journal Club we discussed two of the many resources that exist to help in this area. They are:
- Tips for Encouraging Student Participation in Classroom Discussion, a compilation of contributions to the Teaching Professor Blog.
- Encouraging Student Participation in Discussion, a chapter from Tools for Teaching, by Barbara Gross Davis
We had two science teaching-related TEP workshops this week:
- Teaching to Increase Science Literacy: A Panel Discussion with Professors from UO’s Science Literacy Program, Monday, May 14, 4:00 pm, 22 Science Library. In this workshop, Judith Eisen, Michael Raymer, Samantha Hopkins, and Raghu Parthasarathy talked about science literacy and approaches they take to help students learn science literacy.
- Reaching Students Through the Virtual Discussion Section, Thursday, May 17, noon-1:00pm, 22 Science Library. Randy Sullivan shared his Virtual Discussion Section project.
Student self-grading and peer-grading certainly save instructors’ time and have long been touted in the literature as increasing student learning. But do they? And how well do student-assigned grades correlate with those assigned by an instructor? What about issues of academic integrity? We shaped our discussion around these questions at this week’s Thursday meeting of the Science Literacy Teaching Journal Club. To help prepare for the meeting, we read The Impact of Self- and Peer-Grading on Student Learning, by Philip M. Sadler and Eddie Good, Educational Assessment 11 (2006), 1-31. The paper is long, but much of it can be lightly skimmed!
This week in the Thursday meeting of the Science Literacy Teaching Journal Club, Steve Fickas showed us the eReader that he and his group were developing. The eReader is used in conjunction with an electronic textbook or other document, and has various functions designed to help improve students’ reading comprehension. One of the techniques the eReader uses is a questioning strategy (students are asked questions about the reading that require them to process and interpret what they’ve read). To give us a bit more background about this, we read Students’ Comprehension of Science Textbooks Using a Question-Based Reading Strategy, by B. L. Smith, W. G. Holliday, and H. W. Austin, J. Res. Sci. Teaching 2010, 47, 363-379.
To finish out our year, we read How to Study, a book written in 1917 by George Fillmore Swain. Many of the general principles we talked about this year are discussed in this 95-year-old book. How to Study was available free through Google Books or in a Kindle Edition from Amazon.
We also spent some time talking about what people envision for next year’s journal club. Should we continue to have more than one meeting to choose from each week? If so, should the two meetings have a similar focus, or should they diverge? Are you interested only in science-specific articles and ideas, or should more basic pedagogy be interspersed? Is a general discussion best, or should different people “present” material each week?