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ERIC Number: EJ1092130
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
Teaching Beginning College Students with Adapted Published Research Reports
Klemm, William R.
Journal of Effective Teaching, v13 n2 p6-20 2013
This study used peer-reviewed published research reports to teach a seminar on learning and memory to first-semester college students. Complete reports (not summaries, reviews, or news reports) were re-written by this author to be more "student friendly" to college freshmen. These adapted published research reports (APRRs) retained original structure and key data but omitted references and tangential data while providing explanatory notes. Rather than lecturing the students about the papers, the approach was to engage students directly in scientific thinking by requiring them to work first individually and then as analysis teams to conduct a simulated peer review of the APRRs. To prod higher-level analysis, students were required to develop insightful answers to 21 scaffolding questions. All questions required critical thinking, and seven specifically called for creative responses. The questions prompted the students to think deeply about alternative approaches for testing, organizing and presenting results, meaning of the results, and the broader implications of the research. An end-of-course survey revealed that students regarded the experience positively. Most believed they learned more than they would have from lectures, had more interest in the subject matter, were less intimidated by research reports, grew in ability to comprehend research, and felt pride in realizing they could think at this level. This application of APRR seems to be a useful and engaging way to teach in a freshman seminar. Lessons learned include the need to provide more advance explanation about the nature of research in the field and more professor feedback on the students' simulated peer reviews. But, the results do lend support to the claim of others that APRRs can teach the nature of scholarship better than textbooks.
Descriptors: College Freshmen, First Year Seminars, Research Reports, Teaching Methods, Scholarship, Peer Evaluation, Science Process Skills, Simulation, Critical Thinking, Scaffolding (Teaching Technique), Questioning Techniques, Student Surveys, Student Attitudes, Introductory Courses, Hypothesis Testing, Writing Assignments, Mastery Learning, Self Esteem, Learning Strategies, Self Evaluation (Individuals)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A