Advertising a new course in
Geology and Geophysics 875
Advanced Topics in Geology
Method: Theory and Practice
Need for the course:
Scientists must be
able to write well. To learn to write well,
graduate students need to practice writing in their course work, before
tackling a thesis or a journal article. Peer review is one pedagogic
mechanism that has
shown success in teaching scientific reasoning and writing [Iyengar et
al., 2008; Jenkins et al., 2008].
Kurt Feigl, Assoc. Prof.
Participating Instructors (having agreed in principle):
Profs. DeMets, Tobin, Roden, Xu(?),
- 15 - week course beginning September 3rd, 2008.
- Meets Wednesdays 12:00 to 1:00 Room A259 of Weeks Hall of
- Fall Term 2008
- Official Time Table Entry:
I believe that writing is not hard.
Thinking is hard. In this course, we will learn to write well by
practicing our thinking. To do so, we will read each document in two
versions: a preliminary version as it was submitted to a journal (or
funding agency), and as a final version, as it was published in the
peer-reviewed journal (or (hopefully) funded by the agency). Students
will write reviews and share them with colleagues in advance of class
How will students be evaluated?
- Five (5) written reviews of submitted (preliminary) versions of a
manuscript (75 %)
- Participation in class discussion. (25%)
• Before first class
meeting: Participating instructors provide preliminary (submitted
manuscripts or draft proposals) to organizing instructor (Feigl).
Organizing instructor schedules one participating instructor per week.
Schedule includes titles of manuscripts. One discussion forum per
manuscript established on Learn@UW.
• During the first three class meetings, the
organizing instructor introduces the peer review process without any
• At third class meeting: Students choose which five
(5) manuscripts they will review.
• At least (2) weeks before presentation: PDF file of
manuscript uploaded to Learn@UW.
• At least 24 hours before presentation: students who
have chosen to review the manuscript post their reviews to
corresponding discussion forum on Learn@UW.
• 24 hours before presentation: Actual reviews from
journal or NSF reviewers posted on Learn@UW. Student reviews submitted
after this date will not count toward the five required reviews. Final,
published version of the paper or second submitted version
(successful?) version of proposal available on Learn@UW. Students read
all reviews as well as final version. Participating instructor for the
week grades students’ reviews for writing and thinking and posts grades
and comments to Learn@UW. (The comments can be of three types:
discussion, visible to the student and faculty only, and visible to
• During presentation: participating instructor for
the week leads discussion, drawing on reviews, and explaining how the
manuscript was improved by the review process. Participating instructor
encourages students to criticize the manuscript and paper without
attacking the author. Participating instructor returns graded reviews
• Less than 24 hours after presentation:
participating instructor posts grades for participation in class,
awarding points for constructive and objective criticism, subtracting
points for distracting or subjective comments. Default grade is no net
List of participating instructors having committed to posting 2
version of a manuscript and grading reviews
2008-Sep-03 Kurt Feigl
2008-Sep-10 Kurt Feigl
2008-Sep-17 Kurt Feigl
2008-Sep-24 Chuck Demets
2008-Oct-01 Eric Roden
2008-Oct-08 no class meeting
2008-Oct-15 Harold Tobin
2008-Oct-22 Brad Singer
2008-Nov-12 Alan Carroll
2008-Nov-26 no class meeting
List of Topics