BIOL 5240

Ecological Genetics



Journal Article Discussion Sections


1.On a discussion section day, I will give a very brief quiz on the reading (5 minutes) with just one question selected from a group of questions that will be posted on the web in advance of the class.I refer to these questions as Quick Quiz Questions (QQQ).††


2.One or two students are assigned to facilitate the discussion after the quiz as follows.


The students will give a brief presentation of the paper on PowerPoint that provides an overview of the paper (10-15 minutes) including:

        Objectives of the paper

o       Why did they do this study?

o       Why is the question important?

        The study system

o       Pictures of organisms are always nice. The authorís web pages are also often a good source of general information.

        Overview of the methods

o       Donít get too bogged down in detail here.

        Major results

o       Include all figures and tables on separate slides

        Major conclusions

o       Why are the results important?

o       What are the broader implications of the work?


3.Then the presenting students will give the class a list of discussion questions (5-10) that we will discuss in small groups first (15 minutes or so).Graduate students should disperse themselves among the groups.


4.Finally, we will regroup.The assigned pair of students will facilitate discussion of any remaining points of confusion and summarize the major points.



Students will be graded by me on:

        The clarity of their presentation and the extent to which they met the criteria listed above

        The quality of their discussion questions

        Their ability to facilitate the group discussion and convey the major points