This learning object is hosted by Mindgate Media and includes a one minute video showing a humorous ad for Bud Lite. As is the case with all MindGate Media materials, "Stereotypical Portrayals of Scientists in Pop Culture" provides an excellent overview of the target topic along with related learning objectives, a video demonstration, discussion questions and a transcript of the video. This module is focused on stereotypes and public views on science and encourages students to question the too commonly portrayed stereotype of the "nerdy" scientist.
After completing the lesson:
• Students will be able to identify stereotypical characteristics of scientists as portrayed in the media.
• Students will be able to give examples of what type(s) of work scientists engage in and how this differs from other technical professions.
• Students will recognize the diversity that exists among scientists and the range of people, personalities, and interests represented in scientific professions.
Target Student Population:
• The target population is undergraduate students in psychology. This material would be appropriate for an introductory psychology course or any other class examining stereotypes.
• NOTE: College students are the target student population; however, high school students studying psychology would benefit as well.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
None. However, some knowledge of stereotypes, prejudice or attitude formation may inform the discussion and relevance of the video.
Type of Material:
Presentation [The learning object is a video resource with supplemental course materials. The video is embedded from YouTube; the video includes relevant instructional materials for use in either a face-to-face or online course.]
The video and included discussion questions encourage students to reconsider stereotypical representations in the media in general, and regarding scientists in particular. These resources are applicable for use in a live classroom discussion or for inclusion in an online course as a stand-alone supplement.
The learning object was accessed successfully from Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome using Windows 7 on a PC.
Evaluation and Observation
• The discussion protocol is very strong, encouraging students to think about the video as well as delve more deeply into the question of what scientists do.
• This is a humorous, relevant and interesting video that is easily understood by students. The information is accurate, timely and supported by research.
• The video is short and only shows a few seconds with the scientist. Depending on their experience, students may need guidance to answer many of the questions regarding what scientists do.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
• Students are likely to find the video current, interesting and relevant to their lives.
• Discussion questions are engaging and thought-provoking. They encourage the students to explore areas in the sciences and understand the diversity among scientists.
• The video is not housed on the website; if it is removed from YouTube, there is no means of ensuring content availability. In addition, the MindGate Media site is no longer maintained... so no future updates or maintenance will be performed.
• College students will be exposed to more scientists than a typical high school student. For use with college students, an additional question regarding the diversity in behavior and personality styles should be included.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
• This site is clearly designed for instructor use. The material is clear, easy-to-navigate and intuitive. All information is available for seamless integration into a course.
• Everything is located on one page. Students can watch the video and work through the discussion questions prior to class. Given that the video is very brief, this activity could be accomplished in class as well.
Other Issues and Comments:
• This learning object is a high quality instructional supplement; short and direct. The inclusion of the discussion questions makes this a quick and easy instructional resource.
• Note from the website: “Thank you for visiting Mindgate Media. Please note that as of 2012 this site is no longer being maintained. Although new content is no longer being added, please feel free to visit our archived lessons or blog posts.”