Feb 12, | BIOL
For this week, think about one or two topics you may consider, share them, and tell us why they piqued your interest or how they are relevant to you. The topic of the course project will be any species native to your area. The organism should come from one of the four major kingdoms (Protist, Fungus, Plant, or Animal) and be indigenous to the area in which you reside. The organism should not be a domesticated pet, farm animal, houseplant, human, etc., but rather a wild species that is native to the local area where you live or one that you find interesting but may not be able to directly observe (e.g., great white shark). If possible, try to select a different species than your classmates.
Feb 12, | BIOL
Instructions: Technology makes vast amounts of information (and misinformation) readily available. The challenge is navigating this sea of information. Our goal for your general science education is to develop your scientific literacy. A critical skill you must develop is the ability to find reputable sources of academically and scientifically credible information. There are many sources of high-quality scientific information on the open web; you just need to learn how to spot them by identifying any “green” or “red” flags.
For this week’s initial post:
- First, decide which species you will choose for your Course Project topic. (Only one species!)
- This species will be the SAME TOPIC you will research throughout all your Course Project assignment steps through Week 8.
- Next, select only ONE article from a source of biology information from the open web or the Trefry Library.
- Our Week 2 Discussion helps students kick off researching their selected species. It’s best to try to find a credible source that helps you gather information about the course project’s assigned topics: Physical Description, Life Cycle/Reproduction, Structure/Function, Energy Ecology, and Habitat. (For more details on these topics and their subtopics, I strongly advise you to review the Outline assignment instructions.)
- Use the name of your article and its source as the title of your initial post. (You cannot use a source that one of your classmates has already used, or you will not receive credit.) (e.g., “Bare-nosed Wombat – Australian Museum.”)
1. Evaluate the source by explaining why it is or is not an academically and scientifically credible source of information.
A. Provide a minimum of three pieces of evidence to support your thoughts and state if they are green or red flag examples.
Some evidence to consider is the credibility of the author as a subject matter expert, the quality of the reference sources included in the article or lack thereof, the credibility of the publisher or website, etc. Review the Source Evaluation Cheat Sheet and https://apus.libanswers.com/faq/2170 (Criteria to Determine Credibility).
Green-Flag evidence example:
- Author is a subject-matter expert (e.g., “Dr. Mary Smith holds a Ph.D. in zoology.”)
Red-Flag evidence example:
- Author is not a subject-matter expert and does not provide academically and scientifically credible reference sources. (e.g., “John Jones is a freelance writer with a journalism degree and did not include any credible reference sources.”)
B. Based on the evidence you have provided, state if you feel this source is an overall credible source.
- “All three pieces of evidence I found were green flags; therefore, I feel this is a credible source overall.”
- “All three pieces of evidence I found were red flags; therefore, I feel this is not a credible source overall.”
- “The evidence I found was a mix of red and green flags. Because Wikipedia was one of the sources noted in the article, I believe this is not a credible source overall.”
- [Recall that Wikipedia is not considered a credible source for our purposes and should not be used in class.]
2. Provide a reference for your source.