P244: Assessment of an embedded lead tutor program in Chemistry for the Allied Health Sciences courses

Author: Andrea Carter, East Carolina University, USA

Co-Author: Robin Melendez, Elizabeth Coghill, David Bjorkman and Subodh Dutta, East Carolina University, USA

Date: 8/4/14

Time: 10:15 AM10:35 AM

Room: MAK A1151

Related Symposium: S29

Providing adequate support for students in large lecture classes is a common difficulty. Chemistry for the Allied Health Sciences at East Carolina University is a two-semester sequence of courses with multiple sections of up to 250 students. In previous semesters, a large fraction of students have been required to retake the course due to poor performance, suggesting that these students were not receiving sufficient support. In 2012, an embedded lead tutor program for this two-semester sequence was initiated in collaboration with the university’s tutoring center. It has been popular and highly utilized by students in the courses (74% of these students participated in Fall 2013). This embedded lead tutor model combines components of supplemental instruction and peer tutoring. Tutors are required to attend some class periods, meet weekly with faculty, lead weekly supplemental workshops, and be available for scheduled and drop-in tutoring hours. On a broad level, an overall increase in student grades has been observed. Additionally, analysis of the data at a deeper level is being performed to identify which students are at risk for poor performance and determine if their performance is improved by access to these tutoring resources. A key goal of this tutoring model is to retain these at-risk students, and this analysis will aid the assessment of this goal.

P107: Promoting the writing process while teaching scientific writing in an analytical laboratory course

Author: Andrea Carter, East Carolina University, USA

Co-Author: Anthony Kennedy, East Carolina University, USA

Date: 8/3/14

Time: 3:40 PM4:00 PM

Room: MAK B1100

Related Symposium: S16

Quantitative and Instrumental Analysis Laboratory is the first Writing Intensive (WI) designated course taken by students within the Chemistry department at East Carolina University. The university requires students to complete a certain amount of WI coursework, including work in their major. In addition to maintaining a laboratory notebook, students in the course must write formal lab reports in the style of scientific journal articles as preparation for writing in their discipline. In previous semesters, it was observed that students struggled with multiple aspects of these assignments, including appropriate organization, tense, voice, and word choice. Additionally, reports often included basic grammar mistakes. In an effort to help students adjust to writing these types of reports, additional explicit instruction on scientific writing has been introduced. Furthermore, the first assignments have been split into individual sections of a scientific paper (abstract, introduction, experimental, results, and discussion), while later assignments include writing full-length articles. The use of rubrics, required drafts, and peer review has been implemented as well. Faculty impressions, an analysis of student writing samples, and data to demonstrate the effectiveness of different approaches will be presented.