Bio 100W: Scientific Communication

Enrolled students may access all course materials on Canvas.

Course Description:

From SJSU Course Catalog:  Analysis and communication of scientific research to both scientific and general audiences.  Satisfies upper division writing requirement. GE Area: Z. 

Effective communication skills are vital to success in any career.  The purpose of the writing workshop is for you to develop advanced scientific communication skills to use in other science courses and in your career.  We will focus on reading and writing about scholarly scientific publications.  By successfully completing the course, you will be skilled at communicating scientific information in a variety of formats to fellow scientists and to general audiences.  The best method for improving your communication skills is through extensive practice and revision, critical feedback, and through reading scholarly works and better literature, which we will do in this course.  To satisfy the University's Written Communication II requirement, you are required to write a minimum of 8000 words with an overall course grade of C or better.

GE Learning Outcomes (GELO):

Students shall write complete essays that demonstrate college-level proficiency.  Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • GELO 1: Produce discipline-specific written work that demonstrates upper-division proficiency in:
    • language use
    • grammar
    • clarity of expression

      (All assignments and quizzes)

  • GELO 2: Explain, analyze, develop, and criticize ideas effectively, including ideas encountered in multiple readings and expressed in different forms of discourse (All assignments)
  • GELO 3: Organize and develop essays and documents for both professional and general audiences (All assignments)
  • GELO 4: Organize and develop essays and documents according to appropriate editorial and citation standards (Reference List, Research Article Summary, Literature Review, Experiment Proposal)
  • GELO 5: Locate, organize, and synthesize information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose, and to communicate that purpose in writing (Brainstorming, Scientific News Summary, Reference List, Literature Review, Experiment Proposal)

Course Learning Outcomes (CLO):

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • CLO1: Develop novel topics about which they wish to communicate (BIO PLO2, BIO PLO4; Experimental Design, Personal Essay, Summary for Nonscientific Audience, Brainstorming, Scientific News Summary, Literature Review, Experiment Proposal)
  • CLO2:  Use electronic databases to perform literature searches for information about these topics (BIO PLO2, BIO PLO4; Brainstorming, Literature Review, Experiment Proposal)
  • CLO3:  Synthesize this information and information from other sources to formulate clear, logical theses and arguments about their topics (BIO PLO2, BIO PLO4; Literature Review, Experiment Proposal)
  • CLO4:  Gather diverse supporting evidence from multiple primary and secondary sources for their arguments, correctly represent the information presented by these sources, and appropriately cite these sources (BIO PLO2, BIO PLO4; Reference List, Research Article Summary, Literature Review, Experiment Proposal)
  • CLO5: Effectively and convincingly express their arguments using organized, clear, and concise wording in a variety of formats for different target audiences (BIO PLO1, BIO PLO2, BIO PLO4; All assignments and quizzes)

Biological Sciences Program Learning Objectives (BIO PLO):

  • BIO PLO1: Students will demonstrate the ability to formulate hypotheses and design experiments to address a scientific question.(Experiment Proposal)
  • BIO PLO2: Students will demonstrate an understanding of relevant content in their discipline. (All assignments)
  • BIO PLO3: Students will demonstrate laboratory or field skills in their discipline.
  • BIO PLO4: Students will demonstrate proficiency in scientific writing skills. (All assignments and quizzes)
  • BIO PLO5: Students will demonstrate proficiency in oral presentation skills. (Scientific News Presentation, Experimental Design, in-class discussions and activities)