Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Read through the strategies for designing critical thinking tasks. Select one and speak to how it may be implemented in to the course to replace a moment of more passive learning.

One task that I have used in other classes but not in the one I am reworking is to ask students to summarize graphical data. These data I take from figures from primary literature that has revolutionized they way we think of certain biological concepts (e. g.; DNA is the material of heredity, DNA replication is semi-conservative, etc.). The reason to use this task for this class is that at the end of the semester students need to write a short scientific report that includes their experimental findings. While students work hard in writing their assignment, they often omit figure legends. Considering that the figures are the most important part of their assignment graphically summarizing their findings, the figure legend summarizing the graphical information should be as important. The analysis of a primary literature figure not only will result in the acquisition of new information but will also let them learn the process of summarizing graphical information in the form of a text.

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