Participation in Weekly Discussions

Students are expected to read the assigned papers thoroughly and to be prepared to discuss each data figure and table in detail. To facilitate the discussion, students were asked to submit two questions about each assigned article the evening before class. The questions may be about the data, experimental methods, or authors' interpretation of the results.

Written Assignment

Students were provided with only the figures and captions from a published paper and asked to interpret the data in the form of an abstract about the paper.The abstract should provide a brief introduction to the paper's topic, a summary of the results, the interpretation and significance of the results, and a statement of the long-term impact of the study's observations.The most important component of this assignment is your rigorous interpretation of the conclusions that can be drawn from the data.

Oral Presentation

Students were provided with a list of articles selected by the course instructors but not discussed in class. From this list, students select one paper to discuss in a 15-minute presentation. The presentation should provide a critical analysis, rather than just a summary, of the data, the controls, and the published interpretations. This analysis must include a discussion of relevance of the paper to the course topic and the field, the rationale behind the experimental methodology, the results, the authors' interpretations of the results as well as alternative interpretations, and whether the author's conclusions were justified.