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.
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 Joshua Greene's course, "Social Psychology," students design and run their own original "unobtrusive experiments" as the final project for the class. Students read and conduct background research to get ideas, write a proposal and refine it with the help of the TF, carry out the research, give a presentation on the research, and write up the results.... Read more about Unobtrusive Experiments
For Rachel Meyer's junior tutorial on Social Class, students read each other's research proposals before class and then participated in an in-class workshop to discuss each proposal.... Read more about Junior Tutorial Workshopping