Madeleine Côté

Learning about the scientific article and how it relates to the scientific method

In the fall of 2018 I received a Writing in the Discipline fellowship (WID) at Dawson College. In the context of that fellowship and a subsequent Psychology WID department project, I transformed one of my Social Science courses, General Psychology. I would like to share one assignment that I found useful to help students understand, without going into much depth, where the knowledge in the discipline of Psychology that they read in their textbook, comes from.

At the same time, I am introducing the steps of the scientific method and how they are related to the peer-review article. This reading guide activity was modeled on an example of an assignment found in John Bean’s 2011 book, Engaging Ideas: The professor’s guide to integrative writing, critical, thinking, and active learning in the classroom. This is a learning activity that could also be done in the Research Method course or in any beginning concentration course. I have used a very simple academic article because the activity was done with first year, first semester students in Social Science.

Sample article: Psychological and Behavioral Changes during Confinement in a 520-Day Simulated Interplanetary Mission to Mars (Basner et al. PLOS ONE, March 2014)

Reading guide: Learning about the scientific article and how it relates to the scientific method

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