1887

Improving Scientific Research and Writing Skills through Peer Review and Empirical Group Learning

    Authors: Emilee Senkevitch1, Ann C. Smith1, Gili Marbach-Ad2, Wenxia Song1,*
    VIEW AFFILIATIONS HIDE AFFILIATIONS
    Affiliations: 1: Department of Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics, College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742; 2: Department of Teaching & Learning Center, College of Computer, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Published 01 December 2011
    • Supplemental material available at http://jmbe.asm.org
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: 1133A Microbiology Building, Department of Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742. Phone: 301- 405-7552. Fax: 301-314-9489. E-mail: wenxsong@umd.edu..
    • Copyright © 2011 American Society for Microbiology
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2011 vol. 12 no. 2 157-165. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v12i2.319
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    Abstract:

    Here we describe a semester-long, multipart activity called “Read and wRite to reveal the Research process” (R) that was designed to teach students the elements of a scientific research paper. We implemented R in an advanced immunology course. In R, we paralleled the activities of reading, discussion, and presentation of relevant immunology work from primary research papers with student writing, discussion, and presentation of their own lab findings. We used reading, discussing, and writing activities to introduce students to the rationale for basic components of a scientific research paper, the method of composing a scientific paper, and the applications of course content to scientific research. As a final part of R, students worked collaboratively to construct a Group Research Paper that reported on a hypothesis-driven research project, followed by a peer review activity that mimicked the last stage of the scientific publishing process. Assessment of student learning revealed a statistically significant gain in student performance on writing in the style of a research paper from the start of the semester to the end of the semester.

Key Concept Ranking

Infection and Immunity
0.766434
Host-Pathogen Interactions
0.7265625
0.766434

References & Citations

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4. Handlesman J, Miller S, Pfund C2006Scientific teachingW.H. FreemanGordonsville, VA
5. Johnson DW, Johnson RT, Smith KA1991Cooperative learning: Increasing college faculty instructional productivityASHE-FRIC Higher Education Report No.4. School of Education and Human DevelopmentGeorge Washington UniversityWashington, D.C
6. Krishnamurthy T, C-J Lee, Henrichsen J, Carlo DJ, Stoudt TM, Robbins JB1978Characterization of the cross-reaction between type 19F(19) and 19A(57) pneumococcal capsular polysaccharides: Compositional analysis and immunological relation determined with rabbit typing antiseraInfec. Immun22727735
7. Marbach-Ad G, Briken V, Frauwirth K, Gao LY, Hutchenson S, Joseph S, et al2007A faculty team works to create content linkages among various courses to increase meaningful learning of targeted concepts of microbiologyLife Sci. Edu.615516210.1187/cbe.06-12-0212 http://dx.doi.org/10.1187/cbe.06-12-0212
8. Marbach-Ad G, Briken V, El-Sayed N, Frauwirth K, Fredericksen B, Hutcheson S, et al2009Assessing student understanding of host pathogen interactions using a concept inventoryJMBE10435010.1128/jmbe.v10.98 http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/jmbe.v10.98
9. Mayer RE2002Rote versus meaningful learningTheory into Practice4122623210.1207/s15430421tip4104_4 http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/s15430421tip4104_4
10. Maykut PS, Morehouse R1994Beginning qualitative research: A philosophical and practical guideFalmer PressWashington, DC
11. Paccani SR, Tonello F, Ghittoni R, Natale M, Muraro L, D’Elios MM, et al2005Anthrax toxins suppress T lymphocyte activation by disrupting antigen receptor signalingJ Experim. Med.20132533110.1084/jem.20041557 http://dx.doi.org/10.1084/jem.20041557
12. Parent BA, Marbach-Ad G, Swanson KV, Smith AC2010Incorporating a literature-based learning approach into a lab course to increase student understandingBioscene363440
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14. Wood WB2009Innovations in teaching undergraduate biology and why we need themAnn. Rev. Cell Develop. Biol.259311210.1146/annurev.cellbio.24.110707.175306 http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev.cellbio.24.110707.175306
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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v12i2.319
2011-12-01
2017-11-20

Abstract:

Here we describe a semester-long, multipart activity called “Read and wRite to reveal the Research process” (R) that was designed to teach students the elements of a scientific research paper. We implemented R in an advanced immunology course. In R, we paralleled the activities of reading, discussion, and presentation of relevant immunology work from primary research papers with student writing, discussion, and presentation of their own lab findings. We used reading, discussing, and writing activities to introduce students to the rationale for basic components of a scientific research paper, the method of composing a scientific paper, and the applications of course content to scientific research. As a final part of R, students worked collaboratively to construct a Group Research Paper that reported on a hypothesis-driven research project, followed by a peer review activity that mimicked the last stage of the scientific publishing process. Assessment of student learning revealed a statistically significant gain in student performance on writing in the style of a research paper from the start of the semester to the end of the semester.

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Figures

Image of FIG. 1

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FIG. 1

A flow chart for the three stages of R.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2011 vol. 12 no. 2 157-165. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v12i2.319
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Image of FIG. 2

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FIG. 2

Comparison of student writing during Stage 1 to student writing in Stage 3. Student performance (based upon Rubrics Appendix 7-9) on Stage 1 writing assignments: “Introduction,” “Methods/Results,” and “Discussion” were compared with student performance on the similar sections of the Stage 3 Group Research Report graded according to the same rubric (Appendix 14). Shown are average values and standard deviation (n = 27). The increase in student performance from Stage 1 activity to Stage 3 activity was statistically significant for the Introduction section ( < 0.001) and Discussion section ( < 0.05).

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. December 2011 vol. 12 no. 2 157-165. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v12i2.319
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