Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Biology 101: Group Project

In the library

Today we met in the library to have the science librarian show the students how to use the library's resources for their group project. Their project is to choose a biology-related issue that a congressman would need objective information about and then write a paper and give a presentation in class.

They wanted to know how many references they are supposed to use in the paper? That sort of blew my mind. I can't remember the last time a teacher told me the minimum number of references to use for a paper. Someone said, "How about two or three?" To which I replied, "Hmmm, I don't know. I would think more like twenty." Moans of dismay. "All right, let me think about it and I'll let you know."

This is your chance to help out or injure my students. How many references should I require them to use and why? Take into consideration that I'm not requiring them to use primary scientific literature and the paper will be ten pages double-spaced.


  1. 20? Why not make it 50? Then, every time they complain about it, tack another 5 on the minimum. That'll teach 'em.

    I don't know what to do about my class. I gave a quiz yesterday that involved drawing a couple of graphs. I asked them to correctly label the vertical and horizontal axes, and a few of the students actually wrote "horizontal" and "vertical" as the labels, instead of "input" and "output", which is all I wanted. The median score of this quiz is zero.

  2. I say make run wind sprints and require that at least 10 of the citations have to come from non-english sources and they also have to make a scientific discovery as part of the paper, you know like turning led into gold. My break it down into journal sources and non-journal sources and require some of each.

  3. OK Rob, I'll give it to you straight.

    8 sources, 5 HAVE to be from sources other than the internet.

    Also, Wikipedia CAN'T BE A SOURCE!!! Make sure you emphasize this! Those kids'll eat you alive with their crappy sources, and if you don't tell them 50% of their work cited pages will have wikipeda all over them.

    Also, if some of the papers are bad, remember, it's not because you're a bad teacher, it's because their bad students.

  4. listen to all you nerdy teachers.

    kirk, next time we see this wussies, let's beat the geek right out of them. maybe we can enlist brandie, because if mikey shows up, we're going to need a free hand to press against his little forehead while he thrashes about and makes idle threats. then we can break his knees.

  5. wait a minute.. brandie is a teacher too.

  6. Join us . . .

    Join us . . .

    You and Kirk both know it is your destiny.

  7. Jed, I'm in. I was long tempted by the whole Phd/teaching thing. No more.

  8. little holmes, we could surely use a good man like you. someone with experience wrestling the bodies (as a wrestler) and minds (as a parking citation drone at BYU) of the weak among us.

    good to have you aboard.

    but wait, what are phd? does that relegate you to the kids' table at thanksgiving?

  9. *what are you going to do as a holmes without a phd?

    (don't know how that got omitted from the previous comment)

  10. "As a holmes without a phd", you mean THE holmes without a pdh?

  11. Hey I don't have a PhD yet and you've got two other sibs without one either so don't act all left out.