Helping Students Engage with Primary Literature in the Sciences: Motivation and Methods

Panel with Elizabeth Alter, Biology, Emmanuel Chang, Chemistry, Emily Davidson, Health Professions, Rob Duncan, Behavioral Sciences, & Ian Hansen, Behavioral Sciences. Sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
When Apr 25, 2013
from 12:00 PM to 01:45 PM
Where CETL, AC 4EA1
Contact Name
Contact Phone 718-262-2686
AttendeesFaculty & Staff
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Though many faculty consider the ability to analyze primary literature an essential skill, building this skill in the classroom can be a time-consuming exercise. As a result, students are often assigned term papers or similar projects in which they are asked to use primary literature without necessarily having developed the skill set to find and analyze the papers they need. In this seminar, presenters will consider the following questions:

  1. Given that most students will not go on to research careers, why try to get students to engage with primary literature, and what skills should they gain from learning to analyze primary literature?
  2. What techniques should faculty use to help students gain comfort with reading and analyzing primary literature, and how can these techniques be scaffolded throughout a course, a series of courses in a major, or even across disciplines?
  3. When students read primary literature on their own for stand-alone projects, term papers, or as part of a journal club, what are the benefits to each approach?
  4. How much background should faculty provide to students regarding how the peer review process works and other fundamental aspects of how primary literature fits into our academic disciplines?

    Sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning