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.
This case study, contributed by the Cornell Center for Teaching Excellence, is intended to show that two enantiomers can have different effects on the body, and how the same drug can be used to treat different diseases or symptoms. It is also intended to help students begin to understand the process of FDA approval for drugs. This problem could be used in an organic chemistry class or in a class for non-science majors.... Read more about Thalidomide: The pros and cons
Students develop a greenhouse gas inventory and reduction plan for a business, non-profit, government entity, or other institution by working with the organization to understand their sources of emissions and find practical methods of reducing them.
This project has students work in pairs explore the botany of Harvard Square. Students find a plant-related item to research and prepare a an abstract, a presentation, and a written report.... Read more about Botany of Harvard Square
Emily Russell designed this for Physics 95: Topics in Current Research aimed towards junior and senior concentrators in Physics. Students were encouraged to develop their skills in explaining complicated physics topics in layman’s terms through a short video presentation. This project incorporates public speaking skills and video technology like Final Cut Pro.
Pia Sörensen detailed out this month-long procedure for Science and Cooking students' final projects, which involve a report and a presentation on a food science related topic of a student groups' choice.
In OEB 119: Deep Sea Biology, groups of students have to present and lead discussions on scientific papers throughout the semester. Before class each week, all students have to read an assigned scientific paper and post a summary paragraph and two questions to an online forum. A group of students has to prepare a short presentation about one part of the paper, so that each paper is presented by a different group of three to four students each week.... Read more about Paper Presentations and Discussions
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.
In Animal Cognition, Dr. Irene Pepperberg's students learn how to evaluate scholarly work on animal cognition by trying to think from the animal's point of view of the experiment.... Read more about Evaluating Scholarly Papers
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.... Read more about Exploring Correlation Data on Popular Websites