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ERIC Number: EJ1008246
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Mar
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 19
ISSN: ISSN-1931-7913
Figure Facts: Encouraging Undergraduates to Take a Data-Centered Approach to Reading Primary Literature
Round, Jennifer E.; Campbell, A. Malcolm
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v12 n1 p39-46 Mar 2013
The ability to interpret experimental data is essential to understanding and participating in the process of scientific discovery. Reading primary research articles can be a frustrating experience for undergraduate biology students because they have very little experience interpreting data. To enhance their data interpretation skills, students used a template called "Figure Facts" to assist them with primary literature-based reading assignments in an advanced cellular neuroscience course. The Figure Facts template encourages students to adopt a data-centric approach, rather than a text-based approach, to understand research articles. Specifically, Figure Facts requires students to focus on the experimental data presented in each figure and identify specific conclusions that may be drawn from those results. Students who used Figure Facts for one semester increased the amount of time they spent examining figures in a primary research article, and regular exposure to primary literature was associated with improved student performance on a data interpretation skills test. Students reported decreased frustration associated with interpreting data figures, and their opinions of the Figure Facts template were overwhelmingly positive. In this paper, we present Figure Facts for others to adopt and adapt, with reflection on its implementation and effectiveness in improving undergraduate science education. (Contains 1 table and 4 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A