Reflection: Student Ownership Peer Review: Critically Evaluating Conclusions & Looking for Experimental Error - Section 5: Wrap Up: Accepting Constructive Criticism in the Name of Science


Even though it has no real consequence, I think the final wrap up activity of having students share if their report was "accepted for publishing" or not really holds students interest through the end of the lesson. It also provides opportunities to further reinforce the main idea of the lesson: peer review is an essential element of the scientific process because it is always possible to have a "blind spot" when explaining our own work and that which we might incorrectly assume to be self-evident.

Although some groups were overly polite, choosing to "accept for publishing" or "accept with revisions", I did have a few reviewing groups that turned up the drama by choosing the "do not publish" option. The funniest example of which came when a reviewing group circled the "do not publish" option and then wrote (in a all caps and a red pen, no less) EVER! As in, "Do not publish EVER!"

When the group read aloud their decision, there was a howl throughout the class and everyone became much more engaged in an activity that could have been overly dry. This is just another example of times when giving students a final say or choice in the matter can keep them focused and invested in their work.

  To publish or not to publish?
  Student Ownership: To publish or not to publish?
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Peer Review: Critically Evaluating Conclusions & Looking for Experimental Error

Unit 1: The Nature of Science
Lesson 9 of 9

Objective: Student groups will be able to identify instances of experimental error to determine if initial group conclusions are valid.

Big Idea: Scientific experiments (and the conclusions drawn from them) need to be evaluated by a group of peers.

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Science, experimental design, peer review, experimental error
  60 minutes
image peer
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