Using misleading online media articles to teach critical assessment of scientific findings about weight loss

Teaching critical thinking with media articles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In this paper, a teaching strategy that exploits misleading media articles covering peer-reviewed research is described. This task attempts to encourage university students to not take media articles on obesity physiology at face value. Briefly, the task is divided into three main sections: 1) information on the study and media headlines is provided, and students complete a blank template with hypothetical data reflective of the headlines; 2) a consensus is met on hypothetical data that would accurately reflect the media headlines; and 3) true data are revealed and discussion takes place as to how accurate the media headlines are with respect to the published data. This task has been piloted in two cohorts (n = 149 students), and feedback has been collated from 79 of these students. Overall, it appears that this task was well received [student rating (mean ± SD): 4 ± 1 arbitrary units on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 = poor and 5 = excellent]. Feedback highlighted key aspects to consider when delivering this session are the suitability of the room, and a re-emphasis of the aims and outcomes of the session at the end. In summary, this paper describes a teaching strategy that makes use of media articles reporting on published studies in an attempt to promote critical thinking in undergraduate students. Whilst the example provided covers the physiology of obesity, this can be readily applied to other physiological topics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)500-506
JournalAdvances in Physiology Education
Volume42
Issue number3
Early online date23 Jul 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018

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@article{39758ba5e453446f97350b01d22742db,
title = "Using misleading online media articles to teach critical assessment of scientific findings about weight loss: Teaching critical thinking with media articles",
abstract = "In this paper, a teaching strategy that exploits misleading media articles covering peer-reviewed research is described. This task attempts to encourage university students to not take media articles on obesity physiology at face value. Briefly, the task is divided into three main sections: 1) information on the study and media headlines is provided, and students complete a blank template with hypothetical data reflective of the headlines; 2) a consensus is met on hypothetical data that would accurately reflect the media headlines; and 3) true data are revealed and discussion takes place as to how accurate the media headlines are with respect to the published data. This task has been piloted in two cohorts (n = 149 students), and feedback has been collated from 79 of these students. Overall, it appears that this task was well received [student rating (mean ± SD): 4 ± 1 arbitrary units on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 = poor and 5 = excellent]. Feedback highlighted key aspects to consider when delivering this session are the suitability of the room, and a re-emphasis of the aims and outcomes of the session at the end. In summary, this paper describes a teaching strategy that makes use of media articles reporting on published studies in an attempt to promote critical thinking in undergraduate students. Whilst the example provided covers the physiology of obesity, this can be readily applied to other physiological topics.",
author = "Javier Gonzalez",
year = "2018",
month = "9",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1152/advan.00065.2018",
language = "English",
volume = "42",
pages = "500--506",
journal = "Advances in Physiology Education",
issn = "1043-4046",
publisher = "American Psychological Association",
number = "3",

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Using misleading online media articles to teach critical assessment of scientific findings about weight loss

T2 - Teaching critical thinking with media articles

AU - Gonzalez, Javier

PY - 2018/9/1

Y1 - 2018/9/1

N2 - In this paper, a teaching strategy that exploits misleading media articles covering peer-reviewed research is described. This task attempts to encourage university students to not take media articles on obesity physiology at face value. Briefly, the task is divided into three main sections: 1) information on the study and media headlines is provided, and students complete a blank template with hypothetical data reflective of the headlines; 2) a consensus is met on hypothetical data that would accurately reflect the media headlines; and 3) true data are revealed and discussion takes place as to how accurate the media headlines are with respect to the published data. This task has been piloted in two cohorts (n = 149 students), and feedback has been collated from 79 of these students. Overall, it appears that this task was well received [student rating (mean ± SD): 4 ± 1 arbitrary units on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 = poor and 5 = excellent]. Feedback highlighted key aspects to consider when delivering this session are the suitability of the room, and a re-emphasis of the aims and outcomes of the session at the end. In summary, this paper describes a teaching strategy that makes use of media articles reporting on published studies in an attempt to promote critical thinking in undergraduate students. Whilst the example provided covers the physiology of obesity, this can be readily applied to other physiological topics.

AB - In this paper, a teaching strategy that exploits misleading media articles covering peer-reviewed research is described. This task attempts to encourage university students to not take media articles on obesity physiology at face value. Briefly, the task is divided into three main sections: 1) information on the study and media headlines is provided, and students complete a blank template with hypothetical data reflective of the headlines; 2) a consensus is met on hypothetical data that would accurately reflect the media headlines; and 3) true data are revealed and discussion takes place as to how accurate the media headlines are with respect to the published data. This task has been piloted in two cohorts (n = 149 students), and feedback has been collated from 79 of these students. Overall, it appears that this task was well received [student rating (mean ± SD): 4 ± 1 arbitrary units on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 = poor and 5 = excellent]. Feedback highlighted key aspects to consider when delivering this session are the suitability of the room, and a re-emphasis of the aims and outcomes of the session at the end. In summary, this paper describes a teaching strategy that makes use of media articles reporting on published studies in an attempt to promote critical thinking in undergraduate students. Whilst the example provided covers the physiology of obesity, this can be readily applied to other physiological topics.

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DO - 10.1152/advan.00065.2018

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JO - Advances in Physiology Education

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SN - 1043-4046

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