Friday, April 22, 2011

Discussing scientific papers in classes - what do we DO?

Should we demonstrate understanding during class time, or should we just jump ahead? I think we need to demonstrate understanding in class, if only to make sure people actually work at reading the assigned papers. However, we could even read the paper out loud, but that would not guarantee understanding. So, it seems to me that in each class we should address at least the following questions:
1. Is the question addressed in the paper interesting?
2. Do the data address the hypotheses?
3. Do the results support the conclusions?
4. What are the implications of the conclusions (or of the results)?

In class, we might start with #2, then #3, #4, and then maybe return to #1.

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