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ERIC Number: EJ1047226
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Dec
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1931-7913
Practice Makes Pretty Good: Assessment of Primary Literature Reading Abilities across Multiple Large-Enrollment Biology Laboratory Courses
Sato, Brian K.; Kadandale, Pavan; He, Wenliang; Murata, Paige M. N.; Latif, Yama; Warschauer, Mark
CBE - Life Sciences Education, v13 n4 p677-686 Dec 2014
Primary literature is essential for scientific communication and is commonly utilized in undergraduate biology education. Despite this, there is often little time spent "training" our students how to critically analyze a paper. To address this, we introduced a primary literature module in multiple upper-division laboratory courses. In this module, instructors conduct classroom discussions that dissect a paper as researchers do. While previous work has identified classroom interventions that improve primary literature comprehension within a single course, our goal was to determine whether including a scientific paper module in our classes could produce long-term benefits. On the basis of performance in an assessment exam, we found that our module resulted in longitudinal gains, including increased comprehension and critical-thinking abilities in subsequent lab courses. These learning gains were specific to courses utilizing our module, as no longitudinal gains were seen in students who had taken other upper-division labs that lacked extensive primary literature discussion. In addition, we assessed whether performance on our assessment correlated with a variety of factors, including grade point average, course performance, research background, and self-reported confidence in understanding of the article. Furthermore, all of the study conclusions are independent of biology disciplines, as we observe similar trends within each course.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A