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.
Professor Nathan Kaplan uses popular websites and online data to generate discussion about the topic of correlation in his math gen ed, "Fat Chance." According to Kaplan, the purpose of the activity is to show students that correlations are everywhere, even in movie rentals, library cards, etc., and part of the era of big data is that companies will know lots of things about people even if they don't tell them.
Created by Khoa Nguyen, Michal Brylinski, Benjamin Maas, Kristy Stensaas, Suniti Karunatillake, Achim Herrmann, and Wolfgang Kramer, this teachable unit aims to implicitly enable scientific modeling skills among the students. With developing a conceptual model from a set of observations as the underlying goal, variations in atmospheric oxygen content provides context.
Students learn to construct a persuasive argument by brainstorming multiple ways to structure their final research paper using post-its, large pieces of paper, or whatever other materials students like. They organize and re-arrange primary sources in a low-pressure environment to generate multiple logical flows for their papers.
In this simulation activity, students decide which of two companies, each using a different CRISPR genome-editing technology, to invest in. They engage with research on CRISPR genome editing to understand how unintended consequences of one technology used for this editing had real-world business implications. The storytelling element adds immediacy to the activity, making it imaginative and engaging, and students are pushed toward achieving higher levels of competence within Bloom’s taxonomy for the subject area.