If you think that visual representations of molecules are more appealing than others, perhaps you would like to learn how to do this using powerpoint. The following post provides a very useful guide as to make this possible.
Ben Nazer (2019, Barcelona) has shared his online EAP activities designed to address narrow reading, organisational and writing issues students often grapple with. He also provides a wide variety of useful sources that EAP teachers can use and adapt to their context. He also provides useful insights regarding paraphrasing and citing, summarising and synthesising information, writing counter-arguments (to refute another argument) and seminar skills.
Read his post here. It provides a great overview of important EAP-retated issues and food for thought.
When I ask some colleagues of mine how they expect their students to engage with their reading of the literature in their discipline, they often shrug their shoulders apologetically saying “By writing …just a summary?”
Don’t take me wrong; writing a concise summary is indeed a very important and very useful skill. But in this day and age, identifying the key ideas in a primary research or review article is not enough anymore. According to recent research and education experts around the world, critical thinking skills are one of the 21st century learner competencies (Fig. 1) we should be aiming at. When it comes to published scholarly research, students familiarise themselves not just with the content but the thinking processes involved in compiling and organising the information presented in an article.
Twenty-first century students should not just interpret and understand the key concepts discussed but they should analyse the information given, look for gaps, inconsistencies, bias, generalisations, alternative perspectives before they make informed decisions.
As reflective practitioners, students should be considering a. the validity and credibility of a paper, b. its argumentation and depth of analysis, c. the strength of the evidence used, d. its clarity, its tentativeness, its accuracy, e. its originality, data collection, population sample (or sampling methods), its reproducibility, f. its significance and contribution to recent research, its applicability and g. its limitations and bias. Are the conclusions reached limited, qualified or preliminary?
As such, asking students to write a critical review of the article they read offers so much more and it complies with fundamental premises of student-centred learning! In fact, by increasing responsibility on the part of the student, we put emphasis on deep learning and understanding and we increase their sense of autonomy (Lea et al, 2003).
You might be thinking that it is far-fetched to expect non-experts to critically evaluate the work of an expert but this is exactly the point that we need to address. If we want our students to acquire the skills and knowledge required prior to publishing their work, we need to provide adequate practice opportunities and allow ample opportunities for them to engage with the discourse (text) they read.
In this link you can find some pointers as to what students should be looking at before they make an informed decision while in this link you can find, among other things, the linguistic features students should be incorporating in their writing when writing the summative and evaluative part of a critical review.
Kindly notice that you need to use rubrics or assessment criteria if you want your students to succeed in such a task. Have a look at some rubrics for critical reviews to start with here.
If you want to see why we need to use rubrics you can have a look here. If you make customised rubrics for primary research papers in your field, please share with us. There are so many colleagues out there looking forward to seeing how you make the most of this.
Today I read an article on Responsive Teaching by Beverley Allan, Assistant professor on the science foundation course at the University of Nottingham, UK (2017). I garnered insights as to how I can use Socrative in my class in order to address student misconceptions and how this practice determined his re-designing of his Chemistry course.
Another interesting resource is provided by Beth Holland (2015) who suggests 3 ways of using Socrative beyond assessment.
By and large, Socrative can be an excellent tool and it offers more than meets the eye:
Here are some useful resources on Pinterest about Socrative
And here you can read an interesting article about its impact on learner engagement.
Here is a great source with annotations that can guide you when you write equations in lab reports.