For this second mini-conference assignment, you should read the sample labs below. As in the first mini-conference, these were created by “imaginary” students for you to practice critiquing, and they have deliberate errors in them (therefore, you need to actively look for them, just as peer reviews in the real science world do). You will submit your critiques to me in the assignments area. After you’ve had the practice doing this and getting my feedback, for the third mini-conference, you and your classmates will be critiquing each others’ Phase V lab work that you’ll post in the forum. Then, for the final symposium poster project, you will also critique one another’s work.
Answer the following questions about the labs you read. Please keep your comments to constructive criticism (in other words, offer feedback, but be polite). For each question, answer “Yes,” “No,” or “Maybe,” and provide detail. Detail doesn’t just mean a full sentence like “Yes, enough evidence has been collected”. Your answers must make it clear that you have read and thought about the reports. These answers do not need to be long, but remember that you’re learning to provide feedback that will help your classmates to improve their work in future labs, so be as detailed as you can. Upload this assignment to the Assignments area of the classroom.
1) Is the step-by-step procedure sufficient to yield the necessary evidence needed to fully answer the listed research question? Think about whether you would be able to follow the procedure to get evidence that can answer the question.
2) Has enough evidence been collected for this specific research question?
3) Have they claimed more than the evidence supports? This is a very important question to ask when reading about scientific studies (or perhaps not-so-scientific studies) in the news.
4) Have assumptions impacted their results? Think about lab 1. We made the assumption that the galaxies that appear in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field are all the same size, so the ones that are larger are closer to us, and the smaller ones are farther away. If the conclusion involves distance, then the researcher needs to acknowledge that that assumption about size was made.
5) Does the claim directly answer the original research question? The conclusion should completely answer the question and not go beyond the original question.
6) Precisely what should the researchers have done or reported differently to improve their inquiry research project?
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