CL1 - Teaching Stories: Group Development and Peer Review



Group Development and Peer Review
  of Research Proposals
- by Joanne Stewart

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My goal is more than just helping students get better proposals written - I want them to see how important it is to get feedback from others early on in the research process, not just at the end.

It is important to consider ways to help students learn to recognize appropriate research questions and suitable experimental procedures. This activity has students working in groups to brainstorm, design and critique research proposals. I have used it in my analytical chemistry course of about 30 students.

By having small groups of students work together to develop and critique research ideas this activity has strengthened the student's chemistry projects. The main benefit of doing small-group work is simply that two heads are better than one. These students all have different experiences that they bring to the class, there are pre-meds, chemistry majors, biochemists, and people who have been in industry and are coming back to finish a degree. By getting them to work together they come up with many more ideas than they could individually and certainly more than I could provide for them.

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