P502: Assessing students’ process skills: Designing a rubric to provide feedback to students and faculty about problem solving skills

Author: Jennifer Schmidt, University of Iowa, USA

Co-Author: Renee Cole, University of Iowa, USA; Julie Lantz, Drew University, USA; Chris Bauer, University of New Hampshire, USA

Date: 8/5/14

Time: 10:35 AM10:55 AM

Room: MAK A1111

Related Symposium: S45

Process skills are strategies which students can use not only while working though chemistry problems but these skills can find broader applicability in other areas of their studies. One of the key process skills in chemistry is problem solving. Students’ solutions to problems are often evaluated on the correctness of their final answer, not on the steps taken to achieve the answer. In many instances, the problem solving process was done using logical steps but the final answer may not have been entirely correct, or a correct answer may have been reached with flawed reasoning or inefficient processes. The ANAPOGIL curriculum was designed not only to enhance student learning about core concepts in analytical chemistry but also to enrich students’ process skills, including problem solving. A rubric to assess students’ problem solving skills was developed based on the literature regarding what characteristics define a successful problem solver. Multiple iterations of the rubric were developed and refined based on an analysis of ANAPOGIL students’ responses to specially designed exam questions, lab reports, and usability studies with POGIL instructors. The problem solving rubric was designed as a tool for instructors to use to evaluate students’ problem solving processes. In return, the students will be provided with feedback on their problem solving skills, which goes beyond the correctness of the final answer. The rubric will find the most practical applications in a homework or laboratory environment.

P321: Teaching chemistry in the context of a cross-disciplinary research seminar

Author: Nazneen Ali, University of Missouri, USA

Co-Author: Rainer E. Glaser, Jennifer Hart, Eric Ludwig, and Jennifer Fellabaum, George Smith, Francis Schmidt, Dix Pettey and Carmen Chicone, University of Missouri, USA

Date: 8/4/14

Time: 2:25 PM2:45 PM

Room: MAK A1165

Related Symposium: S26

We report on the design, implementation and assessment of the research seminar offered as part of the NSF-PRISM supported “Mathematics and Life Sciences” program at MU. The seminar format aims for 25-minute research talks followed by 25 minutes of defense, discussion and extrapolation. The emphasis on equal time between presentation and scientific discussion is a stratagem of this course to stimulate open and frank discussion and cross- and interdisciplinary brainstorming, exchange and education, and student performance is assessed in this spirit. The seminar grade is affected by the student’s attendance, the assessment of the student’s research presentation (rubric-based peer review of science content and presentation skills), the assessment of the student’s peer reviewer performance (meaningful, balanced, written constructive criticism), and the assessment of the student’s discussant performance (attention and comprehension; seeking and providing clarification; content of mini-paper; contribution to discussion). The grading scheme reflects a shift from the traditional assessment of the speaker to an assessment of members of the learning community. The presentation will highlight how such a class is socializing students for research.

P143: Enhancing advanced analytical chemistry students’ laboratory experience in a round-robin style course using pre-laboratory videos and quizzes

Author: Jennifer Schmidt, University of Iowa, USA

Co-Author: Renee Cole, Scott Shaw and Ellie Keuter, University of Iowa, USA

Date: 8/4/14

Time: 9:35 AM9:55 AM

Room: MAN 123

Related Symposium: S8

Well-designed laboratories help students develop skills in experimental design, data analysis, scientific argumentation, and communication, in addition to critical technical skills. Many upper level chemistry laboratory courses utilize an approach where students perform experiments in a round robin style, with each group of students working on one instrument per week, resulting in several different experiments being run during each laboratory period. One of the challenges generated by this approach is that students are presented with all of the pre-laboratory lectures at the beginning of the semester. This approach is not ideal as it creates situations where there are significant time lapses between when students learn about the background of the experiments and when they actually conduct the experiments in the laboratory. Pre-laboratory videos were generated for an advanced analytical laboratory based on baseline data gathered through observing students perform the laboratory experiments and through student interviews during a traditional course format. Three videos were created for each experiment. The first video focuses on the content and theory behind the experiment, the second demonstrates the technical aspects of the instruments, and the third focuses on approaches to data analysis. In order to demonstrate student understanding of the videos, pre-laboratory quizzes were generated to assess student comprehension of the video material and to ensure students are prepared to be successful in the laboratory. We will share our lessons learned in this development process and insights from initial implementations in the physical chemistry laboratory.