BLC8 Rawle Scientific Literacy

Document Sample
BLC8 Rawle Scientific Literacy Powered By Docstoc
					   Implementation of a Scientific
Literacy Project in a Large First Year
            Biology Class

             -Fiona Rawle
Curriculum Mapping Project – Analysis
         of Scientific Writing
• There is a general consensus among teaching
  faculty that students struggle with scientific
  writing throughout their undergraduate careers.
• Few institutions implement longer (1500+ words)
  writing assignments in first year courses.
• In fact, in some programs students arrive at
  fourth year having never written a scientific
  essay.
What prevents us from implementing
writing assignments in large first year
              classes?
• Lack of resources to mark 500-2000 assignments.
• Training of TAs to achieve consistency and quality in
  evaluation.
• Approval/choice of essay topic.
• Teaching students how to do peer review.
• Encouraging good time management.
• Managing an increased email load.
• Mediating personality conflicts within groups; Team
  training/group dynamics. Group setup and assignment of
  group members; problems when students drop the course
  at midterm. Difficulty with fair allocation of grades in
  group writing assignments.
At the completion of this assignment,
students were expected to be able to:
1. Search scientific literature databases for peer
   reviewed articles.
2. Understand the difference between peer-
   reviewed and non-peer-reviewed articles.
3. Critically analyze those articles.
4. Pull content from multiple sources and
   paraphrase/summarize it in a coherent essay.
5. Understand the difference between
   plagiarizing/paraphrasing/summarizing.
6. Reference all sources properly.
7. Plan their time accordingly when completing
   writing assignments.
  UTM: Scientific Literacy Assignment
Timeline:
Week 1: Choose a question
Week 2: Workshop on peer-reviewed vs non-peer
  reviewed articles; searching literature databases;
  RefWorks.
Week 3: Submission of cover page and reference
  list.
Week 4: Workshop on Plagiarizing vs Paraphrasing.
Week 5: Submission of outline.
Week 8: Submission of first draft to turnitinTM
Week 9: Submission of final draft.
             Grading Criteria
•   Process – 15%
•   References – 15%
•   Content – 40%
•   Communication – 30%
   Challenge: How do we train TAs for quality and
     consistency, and how do we grade, and give
    feedback on, a large volume of assignments?
• Used a detailed rubric.
• TA training workshop prior to the start of
  marking.
• Assigned a “Top TA” that took the lead on this
  specific assignment. This TA acted as a
  resource for the other TAs.
                 Feedback
• Number of respondents: 440/705 (62.4%)
• (Sample of survey responses on the next 5
  slides)
      4. Please rate your knowledge of what peer-
         reviewed scientific journal articles are.
70


60


50


40

                                                                            Pre
30
                                                                            Post

20


10


 0
     Very Knowlegable     Somewhat        Not really    Not knowledgeable
                        knowledgeable   knowledgeable
        6. Please rate your ability to use scholar’s
          portal and other scholarly databases.
90

80

70

60

50
                                                                         Pre
40                                                                       Post
30

20

10

0
     Excellent Ability   Good Ability   Average Ability   Poor Ability
     18. Did you find the four-stage submission process (Cover page
     and references, outline, rough draft for paraphrasing analysis,
     and final draft) was beneficial to learning about the process of
                        writing a scientific essay?
60


50


40


30


20


10


0
       Yes, it was very beneficial.   Yes, it was somewhat   No, it was not beneficial.
                                             beneficial.
       19. Did the deadlines throughout term help you to
         plan your time in completing this experiment?
60


50


40


30


20


10


0
     Yes, the deadlines helped Yes, the deadlines helped       No, the deadlines did not
     me a great deal to plan my me a little to plan my time.   help me to plan my time.
               time.
     22. Did being able to review your turnitinTM report
       increase your understanding of the difference
90
          between plagiarizing and paraphrasing?
80

70

60

50

40

30

20

10

 0
      Yes, it increased my    Yes, it increased my    No, it did not increase my
      understanding a lot    understanding a little         understanding
     Student Feedback: Suggested
   Improvements to the Assignment
• Increase the page limit, as I couldn’t include
  all of the interesting information I found.
  (~30%)
• See a sample student essay.
• More RefWorks tutorials
    Student Feedback - Positive
• ”The best thing I learned about this
  writing assignment is working with
  peer-reviewed journals and ref works
  and the importance of step-step
  planning.”
• “I had the opportunity to inform myself
  on autism. I now have a better than
  general understanding on the topic.”
• “The concept of peer-reviewed
  journals; how to find them and use the
  information provided.”
     Student Feedback - Positive
• “While researching on various topics, in
  order to decide which one to do, I realized
  there is a lot more than one side to things
  we recognize as 'scientific' facts.”
• “I learned that peer-reviewed references
  are more reliable than GoogleTM searches”
• “I didn’t understand the difference between
  paraphrasing and plagiarism before”
• “The best thing I learned was that
  assignments aren’t as frightening when
  they are split up into smaller tasks.”
            Student Feedback
• “I thought I hated writing assignments. But
  now I know I just was afraid of them. Knowing
  the process and breaking it into smaller parts
  makes it more manageable and <shock>
  actually fun.”
• “I had no idea about peer-reviewed research
  before this assignment. I can’t believe that
  newspapers don’t use this as their source.”
  Keys to Success… (Success for us was to
complete the literacy project, and have the
students enjoy the project while showing a
       gain in understanding/skills).
• Dedicated scientific literacy TA
• The focus was on the process of writing,
  rather than the final product.
• Students took ownership of their work.
• Detailed rubric.
• The use of turnitinTM as a learning tool.
                Next Year…
• Pre and post analysis of literacy skills.
• Introduce a computer lab on database
  searching and RefWorks.
• Additional feedback at each submission stage.
          Acknowledgements


• Mindy Thuna, Science Librarian
• Cleo Boyd, Academic Skills Centre

Ontario Consortium of Undergraduate Biology
 Educators (oCUBE)

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:13
posted:12/1/2012
language:English
pages:20
Lingjuan Ma Lingjuan Ma
About