Critical Thinking : Data and Scientific Methods

The recent media attention surrounding alleged data manipulation by the Bureau of Meteorology, as discussed on The Conversation website, is a reminder to students to evaluate their data for reliability and credibility. The article highlights the methods used to remove non-climate-related changes referred to as “data homogenisation”, which eliminate and correct results that could ultimately indicate spurious results or trends. The Bureau of Meteorology wants to ensure that their data is consistent through time. Image of girl thinking

This discussion can encourage you to think critically about the methods used to collect and report on data. Many peer reviewed and scholarly articles accessed by students contain qualitative and quantitative data that has been collected using a variety of methods. Critical thinking means questioning and evaluating the information you are using within your assignments.

Possible questions that might help students show critical thinking in their assessment tasks include asking questions like:

  • How reliable and accurate is this data?
  • What methods were used to collect this information?
  • Have other studies been conducted with similar results?

When it comes to questioning the methods, the following questions may help:

  • What was the process researchers used to conduct their research?
  • What was the process used to collect the data?
  • Were the data presentation styles appropriate?

The ability to think critically is a skill that can assist you in demonstrating through your assessment tasks that you are questioning the information you are using. The ability to think critically allows you to further question reliability and validity. You may be motivated to look for alternative findings and additional research to determine whether the claims you are making in your assessment task are the most appropriate and valid.

For additional information on reading research methods and thinking critically, see the following library guides and resources:

Reading: reading effectively
Thinking Critically
Critical Thinking

If you are having difficulty with critical thinking and writing, our Learning Advisers in the Griffith Sciences Library and Learning Services team are here to help you. You can book a 20 minute consultation with a Learning Adviser on the library website.


This Week in the Library – Semester 2, Week 8

this-week-in-the-library

To view the entire workshop timetable, visit the Workshops and Training webpage on the library website.  Please note that some workshops require bookings – check on the website for more information.

Don’t forget about our consultation services – they can help with your Academic, Computing and Library Research Skills.

Workshop Date Start Time Campus Room
EndNote Monday, 15 September 01:00 PM Nathan N53_1.50
Are You Ready to be Social? Monday, 15 September 09:30 AM Gold Coast G10_2.04
Structuring and writing an academic assignment Tuesday, 16 September 10:00 AM Gold Coast G10_2.25
Excel: formulas and organising data Wednesday, 17 September 01:00 PM Nathan N53_1.50
Word: formatting for consistency Wednesday, 17 September 09:30 AM Gold Coast G10_2.04
Setting up your own topic or research question Thursday, 18 September 10:00 AM Gold Coast G10_2.25
EndNote Friday, 19 September 01:00 PM Gold Coast G10_2.04
Connecting with Google Friday, 19 September 01:00 PM Nathan N53_1.50

 


What does a $1million book look like?

Want to see what $1million can buy you at the book store? Well now’s the time while The Great Book of Ireland is on display in the Griffith Library.

From Bono to Enya to Samuel Beckett, The Great Book of Ireland features work from some of Ireland’s greatest, and is now on display in digital format on massive touch screens in the Nathan and Gold Coast library foyers.

In 2012, following a five year fundraising campaign, The Great Book of Ireland was acquired for US$1,000,000 by University College Cork (UCC).

The book is an extraordinary single vellum manuscript comprising the original work of 121 artists, 143 poets and nine composers. Produced in Dublin, Ireland, between 1989 and 1991, it was created as a fundraising venture to advance the development plans of two arts support organisations operating in the fields of visual art and poetry.

The artists, poets and composers were asked to contribute in their own medium what they believed represented their hopes, fears, dreams or imaginings in the Ireland of that particular time, and which would have resonance in a thousand years’ time – as the longevity of vellum allows.

Griffith University is honoured to be hosting this historical masterpiece in digital format. Drop by the Nathan or Gold Coast libraries and have a go of the touch screen!

The Great Book of Ireland touch screen

 

 

 


This Week in the Library – Semester 2, Week 7

this-week-in-the-library

This week – EndNote After-Hours.  For those who can’t make it to a daytime workshop, this one’s for you.

To view the entire workshop timetable, visit the Workshops and Training webpage on the library website.  Please note that some workshops require bookings – check on the website for more information.

Don’t forget about our consultation services – they can help with your Academic, Computing and Library Research Skills.

Workshop Date Start Time Campus Room
Excel essentials Monday, 8 September 09:30 AM Nathan N53_1.50
Connecting with Google Monday, 8 September 01:00 PM Gold Coast G10_2.04
Using the ideas and words of others Tuesday, 9 September 10:00 AM Gold Coast G10_2.25
EndNote Tuesday, 9 September 06:00 PM Gold Coast G10_2.04
PowerPoint essentials Wednesday, 10 September 09:30 AM Nathan N53_1.50
Excel: formulas and organising data Wednesday, 10 September 01:00 PM Gold Coast G10_2.04
Research survey tool – Advanced Thursday, 11 September 01:00 PM Nathan N53_1.50
Writing a reflective assignment Thursday, 11 September 10:00 AM Gold Coast G10_2.25
EndNote Thursday, 11 September 09:30 AM Logan L07_3.08
Word: formatting for consistency Friday, 12 September 09:30 AM Nathan N53_1.50
Research survey tool – Introductory Friday, 12 September 09:30 AM Gold Coast G10_2.04

 


Are you new to MATLAB?

MATLAB are hosting a free webinar for new MATLAB users Wednesday 10 September.

Join the webinar online as an introduction to MATLAB, a high-level language and interactive environment for numerical computation, visualisation, and programming. This live webinar is free and features application demonstrations followed by a Q&A session with a MathWorks Engineer.

Register here.


This Week in the Library – Semester 2, Week 6

this-week-in-the-library

To view the entire workshop timetable, visit the Workshops and Training webpage on the library website.  Please note that some workshops require bookings – check on the website for more information.

Don’t forget about our consultation services – they can help with your Academic, Computing and Library Research Skills.

Workshop Date Start Time Campus Room
Word: formatting for consistency Monday, 1 September 09:30 AM Gold Coast G10_2.04
Word: theses and other long documents Monday, 1 September 01:00 PM Nathan N53_1.50
Oral presentations Tuesday, 2 September 01:00 PM Nathan N53_1.51
Excel: formulas and organising data Tuesday, 2 September 09:30 AM Gold Coast G10_2.04
EndNote Tuesday, 2 September 09:30 AM Nathan N53_1.50
Editing and proofreading your assignment Tuesday, 2 September 10:00 AM Gold Coast G10_2.25
Exam strategies Wednesday, 3 September 11:00 AM Nathan N53_1.51
Report writing for postgraduates Wednesday, 3 September 05:00 PM Nathan N53_1.51
Connecting with Google Wednesday, 3 September 09:30 AM Nathan N53_1.50
Report writing for postgraduates Thursday, 4 September 09:30 AM Online Online
Research survey tool – Introductory Thursday, 4 September 01:00 PM Nathan N53_1.50
Word: theses and other long documents Thursday, 4 September 01:00 PM Gold Coast G10_2.04
Structuring and writing an academic assignment Thursday, 4 September 10:00 AM Gold Coast G10_2.25
Structuring and writing an academic assignment Friday, 5 September 10:30 AM Nathan N53_1.51
PowerPoint essentials Friday, 5 September 09:30 AM Gold Coast G10_2.04

 


Referencing week competition winners

Congratulations to our Referencing Week Co-op bookshop voucher competition winners!

Dan and Leong each won a $50 voucher to use at the Co-op bookshop after attending a referencing related workshop during Referencing Week this semester.

If you want to brush up on your referencing skills you can watch the online Referencing workshop, book a Research and Referencing consultation or use our online referencing tools.

INS-winners


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