Early in my session 2’s, I had a moment where I came up with a new analogy for the publication process to help students understand why a resource should be trusted, and why we rely on peer review. My analogy begins with a discussion of what WebMD diagnoses you with when you give it your symptoms, even if it’s a rash and the sniffles, which most of the time is cancer. In contrast, if you go to the doctor and tell him the same symptoms, he’s probably going to tell you that you have allergies. The next portion of this analogy was to discuss why you trust a doctor more than WebMD, including the doctor’s lengthy education and the accountability of licensing, which then segued into how that resembles peer review. The first time I used this analogy, I saw how the classes came to understand why they trusted sources, and I ended up with lots of laughter and a really great discussion.
The comments from my supervisor and peer were both encouraging. They liked the simplicity of the analogy and they found it easy to understand. I enjoyed getting the positive feedback, and hope to do this with other activities.