Scientific method and case study

Most students in this course are in their first or second year of college and have declared a major in a life sciences field Table 1.

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While these are low-level questions, their purpose is to ensure the students have the necessary information to answer subsequent questions. This course is the first in a two-semester series that serves as the foundation for biology-related programs.

Rather than providing the axes and explicit instructions for drawing graphical predictions, require students to come up with the appropriate graphical representation and how to arrange the axes independent and dependent variables.

These components to proper research will be further explained. The instructor could also modify the clicker answer options to include distractors that show different graph types and outcomes.

The instructor then provides background information on coot natural history and brood parasitism see Supporting File S1. In our course, we also use these results as an impetus to discuss natural selection.

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To relate the experiments to the scientific method, students answer an additional clicker question that addresses the proper language for discussing hypotheses and results, specifically distinguishing between "support" versus "proof.

After drawing these predictions on their worksheets, students use handheld "clicker" devices to indicate which figure, from four provided options, most closely matches what their group's answer.

Breeding Biology of American Coots in Iowa. We provide this exam question and two additional questions we did not use on the exam due to time and space Supporting File S4.

The costs of interspecific brood parasitism on hosts are clear: host birds that accept parasitic chicks of other species pay the cost of caring for unrelated offspring.

During this time, parental care is not distributed equally across the brood.

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Although coots can superficially resemble ducks, they are actually members of the rail family, and thus are more closely related to cranes. Egg recognition and counting reduce costs of avian conspecific brood parasitism. Further, I highlight the contributions made by a number of philosophers in the development of the scientific method. These questions could be given to students either as homework or on an exam. Nests are typically constructed on the water from dried or fresh vegetation from the previous year e. Instructors should take the time to discuss why each answer is correct and other possible outcomes or interpretations. After watching a video of coot behavior, the students describe what they saw to each other and some groups share their observations with the whole class. Students then separately consider the first two experimental conditions and construct bar graphs predicting results that would support the researchers' hypothesis. Firstly an important aspect of imperial data is that it is objective, i. We used the example of getting a headache in a certain environment and trying to figure out the cause through experimentation.
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Scientific Method: Case Study