Describing blinding in experiment design

Check your progress. Use this activity to assess whether you can:

  • Describe blinding in an experiment’s design.
  • Explain why blinding is necessary for a given experiment.


A newspaper story in Knight Ridder Newspapers described an experiment in an article with the headline “Doctor Dogs Diagnose Cancer by Sniffing It Out.”

In the experiment researchers trained dogs to identify people with breast or lung cancer. The dogs were trained to lay down if they detected cancer in a breath sample. After the training, dogs sniffed different breath samples of people with and without cancer. Impartial observers watched the dogs and decided when the dog identified a person as having cancer. Researchers then revealed the condition of the person who gave the breath sample and determined if the dog had correctly identified the presence of cancer.

The newspaper states, “The researchers blinded both the dog handlers and the experimental observers to the identity of the breath samples.”


  1. Explain what the following sentence means. “The researchers blinded both the dog handlers and the experimental observers to the identity of the breath samples.”
  2. Explain why blinding in this experiment is important.

Module 6 Discussion Board

Use the Module 6 discussion board (opens in a new tab) to ask questions or provide feedback about the problems in any Module 6 activity – including this peer-reviewed assignment.

Review Feedback

  • Peer feedback should be available before final drafts are due.
  • Instructor feedback is only available after an assignment is graded.
  • Use these directions (opens in a new tab) to learn how to review feedback.

Click the “Next” or > button to continue.

Content by Cuyamaca College math faculty and licensed under the Creative Commons 4.0 International License (Links to an external site.).


Peer Review (FD Optional) (2)

Peer Review (FD Optional) (2)


This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeFirst Attempt

5 pts

Full Marks

A first attempt was made on this assignment

0 pts

No Marks

5 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeAnswering the Prompt

3 pts

Full Credit

All parts of the “Prompt” are addressed, and the responses demonstrate attainment of the learning objectives in the “Progress Check” section of the assignment. The answers are mostly correct. The writing/work is clear. The explanation/work is reasonable, well-organized, and easy to follow.

1.5 pts

Partial Credit

One or more parts of the “Prompt” are not addressed or are incorrect. Or, answers do not demonstrate attainment of the learning objectives in the “Progress Check” section of the assignment. Or, answers are correct, but the writing/work is unclear, incorrect, or difficult to follow.

0 pts

No Marks

The “Prompt” is not addressed or the work is incorrect or missing. Or, the first draft was not a good-faith effort.

3 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomePeer Review

2 pts

Full Credit

You completed the assigned peer review. The points you assigned in the rubric for the “Addressing the Prompt” criterion are appropriate. You used the “Add a Comment:” field to submit your assignment comments. Your assignment comments relate the score you assigned in the “Addressing the Prompt” criterion of the rubric to how your peer addressed the learning objectives when responding to the “Prompt.” (Note: the learning objectives are listed in the “Progress Check” section of the assignment.) If you awarded full credit for the “Addressing the Prompt” criterion in the rubric, your comments contextually and specifically explain what your peer did to demonstrate attainment of the relevant learning objectives. If you deducted points for the “Addressing the Prompt” criterion, you clearly explained what your peer can do better to demonstrate attainment of the relevant learning objectives.

1 pts

Partial Credit

You committed a good-faith effort to provide a high-quality peer review, but necessary instructive comments are missing. Or, you provided appropriate instructive comments but did not complete the rubric.

0 pts

No Marks

No peer review provided or the comments are not instructive. Or, you did not commit a good-faith effort on your first draft.

2 pts

Total Points: 10

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