Think like a scientist: Teaching your students how to organize scientific concepts [online video]

Document Type


Original Publication Date


Streaming Media


An instructional brown-bag lunch talk for the general VCU health sciences community, given on October 16, 2017.

Date of Submission

November 2017


Students in the life sciences are often taught a wide range of content without being instructed on how researchers organize individual pieces of information into discrete conceptual domains to solve problems. Teaching and assessing this complex behavior can be challenging, but card sorting, an active learning technique, can be used to address this need effectively. As a result of attending this seminar, participants will 1) understand the basic components of card sorting and other related classroom assessment techniques that can help teach/assess student structuring of knowledge, 2) experience first-hand how these activities impact student learning, and 3) gain preliminary insights into how to use existing or customized card sort “decks” in their own classrooms.

The card sorting guidelines and references for this talk are attached.

Please contact Dr. Kimberly Tanner at kdtanner@sfsu.edu for an electronic copy of the superhero/biology cards used in this presentation.

Dr. Tan's derivative work of the HHMI/DNA Learning Center's transcription video was posted with permission from Howard Hughes Medical Institute BioInteractive. This recording does not include the remixed audio soundtrack. Visit https://youtu.be/grPTZSe1zuk for the original video.


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VCU How-To Talks by Postdocs

Card sorting guidelines and references.pdf (234 kB)
Card sorting guidelines and references