Friday, October 26, 2007

a few grp project tips

For the group presenting,
>It's perfectly fine to plant or initiate questions yourself to kick off the Q & A discussion
>If you'll be using any sort of technology, be prepared to have it up and running before class time
>You can run some adjustments in the room if need be (move chairs, ask to turn off monitors etc)
>Should get into a habit of citing if you use external materials (text, pics, video etc) from external sources (simply mentioning or noting source is fine in presentation format)
>Practice is usually not a bad idea

For the general class,
>Take some time and thought to compose the feedback forms, all of them will be read and constitutes toward class participation.
>It's easy to give criticism, constructive criticism is much much more difficult. I'll go over some examples before the first presentation.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Logistical details

Part 2 of search log - seems like a few people missed that there was a part 2 to the search log assignment. I'll give you guys a break on this section if the missing part's in by tomorrow.

If you missed the refworks class before fall break, you need to take a session on it. Group sessions are offered here in this class room at 1:30 and 5pm on Thursdays, contact kcason at to confirm.

1 2 3 step to developing questions and advancing your indiv project

1- lead in statement
2- Why this topic is "a problem or issue, that is, a conflict or something unsettled, perplexing, vexing, distressful, and in the need of investigation"
3- justifications for further inquisition (if you have the answers to (#2), answer “so what?”).

1- Stem cell work is at the bleeding edge of medical research today.

2- For all the talk about stem cells, what actually transpires in the process of extracting and using the cells are still question marks to me. I've read plenty of papers on it, but the details on stem cell work ranging from medical theory, lab work, and replicable treatment trials are still areas of heavy debate between the various stake holders involved (academic, industry, politics etc).

3- A deeper understanding beyond the jargons of stem cell research would go a long way in focusing my thoughts on the viability of pursuing a career in this direction. If the key phases of stem cell work are better understood and shared by the major stake holders involved, we may be able to get a good deal closer to treating debilitating conditions such as cancer and Alzheimer’s.

Pulling questions:
Are the three sentences interlocking and do they suggest an unsettled or perplexing state? If not, go back and write re-write some more.

> What are the major steps involved in stem cell research? Who are the stake holders and what are their stakes in this area? Which points are being heavily debated, between whom and why? A background section could address such matters.

>Given the potential conflicts of interest, why or what could get the various stake holders to work toward standardizing practices? If this is feasible, is that a good thing? What potential flaws or benefits might derive from this?

The steps are interlocked, 1 to 2 to 3 to write, and 3 to 2 to 1 to filter responses. Step 2 is the most important part, the more you read, the more prepared you are to write step 2, and derive 3. Based on 2 and 3, you can pull out numerous individual questions you can pursue and find out more about, the resulting responses will make good material in organizing your ideas, making the poster and writing up the final paper. It’s worthwhile to do this iteratively, as you understand more of your topic area, each iteration will result in new thoughts and directions of inquiry.

*this method’s modified for applicability to the class project, based on Hernon and Schwartz’s original paper on writing problem statements for original research, published in LISR*

Monday, October 22, 2007

Prep day

Mostly group time today. I'll be available during and after class time, feel free to invite me into your group discussion as need be.

Your classmates will get a chance to rate your project on a scale of 1 to 10 based on factors such as:
Substance of the material/message
clarity and delivery
Interest/coolness/intrigue factor (whether people fall asleep or glued to their emails)
Quality of facilitating questions/discussions

Individual accountability assessments for the team project is available on blackboard. The forms are required and can be submitted anytime before or immediately after your presentation date.

To recap the group project deliverables (details is in document on blackboard):
>a week ahead of your presentation date, I need a learning statement that itemize and describe what you learned during this project
>and a plan on how your group plans on sharing those learned items with the class
>both should be printed out and at least two of your group members should see me with it to discuss details - the week before.