cogbites in the classroom

Are you an educator interested in teaching cognitive science and/or science communication to your students? Here we’ve listed some ideas for how to incorporate cogbites into your cognition-related courses:

  • Have your students select a recent empirical article and write a summary for the general public. Having your students explain research in simple terms can help them better understand the science they are reading about. Exceptional pieces could be featured as a guest post on the blog.  Click here to view posts that were written by undergrads.
  • Include blogs posts in your course assignments. For students new to reading about cognitive science, it can be difficult to understand the technical concepts discussed in scientific articles. One way to help your students understand is to read the posts on our blog either by itself or along with the original empirical article (always linked at the top of the post). Have your students respond to questions such as:
    • Summarize the major findings from the research you read about.
    • Describe any praises or criticisms you had while reading the research. Was it interesting? Did it seem like the blog author was representing the science in a fair or biased way? Why or why not? 
    • How does the research discussed in the blog post relate to material you’ve learned from class (e.g., through lectures or your textbook)?
    • Compare and contrast the news article with the journal article. What details did the author of the blog post leave out that the scientific article included? Do you agree with the author’s decisions? Why or why not? 
    • Do you have any ideas for future research based on the research you read about? What questions do you still have about this topic that the researchers did not answer?
    • What are some concepts you have learned from class that you think would be important for science writers/journalists to know? Why?

AAAS’s Science in the Classroom: The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) runs this site, which contains free annotated research papers and teaching materials, many of which include activities or associated multimedia. Click here for annotated psychology papers.

Psychonomic Society Learning Groups: The Psychonomic Society is one of the primary societies for cognitive and experimental psychology. Their featured content contains blog posts written about articles published in their journals. If you’d like to use their content in your teaching, you can create a “learning group” for your students that contains links to blog posts relevant to your course.

Have you used cogbites in your curriculum? Let us know how it went!