The course as a learning community & Reading strategies
Idea 1: Developing epidemiological literacy requires collaboration with others (of differing skills and interests) and reflection on personal and professional development.
Idea 2: Developing epidemiological literacy requires establish our own practices of learning from material we don't fully grasp at first reading/hearing.
To begin to address idea 1, students identify personal, intellectual, professional interests in relation to central themes about inequality, pathways of development, and policy (worksheet
, followed by spoken introductions, in which one member of a pair introduces the other [after the pairs have introduced themselves to each other]). The worksheets and introductions acknowledge that the students bring a particular set of interests, knowledge, experience into the learning activities and interactions ahead.
To begin to address idea 2:
Case study 1: Risks in risk reduction
Read the newspaper article: Rabin, R. (2009). "Rare Side Effect Is Seen in Long-Term Use of a Breast Cancer Drug," New York Times (August 26) [predistributed
]. Make notes on: what you learned; questions the article raised for you; and where you skimmed/skipped because you did not understand/appreciate the technical detail. Think about the specific steps you'd take –- other than waiting for the instructor to explain everything -- to address the questions and to understand/appreciate more. In other words, the purpose of reading this article now is not to critically understand the research right away, but to get us thinking and talking about how we establish our own practices of learning from material we don't fully grasp at first reading.
In class we will compare our readings of the article, then discuss our reading/learning strategies.
Case study 2: On health consequences of high-fructose corn syrup in the US diet
by pediatric endocrinologist, Robert Lustig.
In class we will watch some of the video, then discuss our listening/learning strategies.
Additional notes on reading (i.e., idea 2)
Activity from 2007 class
on the progression of the translation of research for the general audience.
more points might be posted on the blog during weeks ahead about practices of learning from material that we don't fully grasp at first reading/hearing
Annotations on common readings
From 2013, annotations on readings are posted to the course blog
Annotated additions by students
From 2013 on, annotations on readings are posted to the course blog
McNeal, A. (n.d.) How to Read a Scientific Research Paper--a four-step guide for students and for faculty. Retrieved on February 4, 2015 from http://kurser.iha.dk/ee-ict-master/tiipwi/docs/How_to_Read_a_Scientific_Research_Paper.pdf
Good advice for how to systematically approach reading a technical or scientific article with little or no background in the topic. The section for faculty is also helpful for students as it shows how to “chunk” different parts of the paper in order to reduce anxiety and concentrate on the type of information provided in each part (i.e., introduction, methods, results, discussion). (JC '07)