Group & Cooperative Learning; Students as Classroom Leaders

The Blank Syllabus

In "The Blank Syllabus" activity, the instructor leaves assigned readings blank for some of the class sessions. The second writing assignment requires students to choose a reading from the course anthology--a reading that is then assigned to the class, thus filling in the blanks on the syllabus. The students get practice in writing about a reading of their choosing in the first assignment.

Clinical Trials Smackdown

This activity teaches skills in critical assessment of the peer-reviewed published literature.  It focuses on analysis of clinical trials in mental health, but the principles and methods are readily generalizable to other scientific literature.  The “Smackdown” approach represents an augmentation of the traditional “journal club” mode of teaching critical scientific reading skills.