P1034: Active training sessions for teaching assistants to improve teaching in the laboratory

Author: Kathleen M. Hess, Brown University, USA


Date: 8/7/14

Time: 11:10 AM11:30 AM

Room: LTT 103

Related Symposium: S77

The challenge of preparing graduate students to teach has been addressed with training sessions throughout the semester. Teaching assistants run the experiments that they will be conducting with their students. TAs must collect data and they are given the opportunity to critique and/or offer suggestions for improvement. These ‘hands-on’ sessions focus on 2-3 experiments at a time. In addition to the hands-on sessions, the TAs attend a grading session. First time TAs are paired with experienced TAs and they are given practice assignments to grade. After small group discussions, large group discussions follow that provide an opportunity for sharing of ideas for improving the assignments. The training sessions are designed to help TAs understand the laboratory material and encourage their involvement in the learning environment of the laboratory.

P876: Incorporating library literacy into large classrooms through the laboratory

Author: Kathleen M. Hess, Brown University, USA


Date: 8/6/14

Time: 3:05 PM3:25 PM

Room: MAK B1112

Related Symposium: S61

For the past 6 years at Brown University, organic chemistry students have been using library resources and working with the Physical Sciences librarian as part of the core curriculum in the laboratory. In the first semester of organic chemistry laboratory, the librarian is a guest lecturer in the pre-lab lecture to present the various resources available to the class. The students are first introduced to authoritative handbooks by completing an exercise as the first assignment in the laboratory. Students can easily navigate the online resources through a “Library Course Guide” that the librarian creates. This guide is incorporated into the University’s course management system, Canvas. In addition to handbooks, students are given two exercises using the database, Reaxys, to search primary literature to find physical properties of compounds. In the second semester of organic chemistry laboratory, students continue to expand their knowledge of the primary literature by using both Reaxys and SciFinder to find papers with spectra that support their experimental findings. The Science librarian presents two pre-lab lectures to demonstrate how to search with the new criteria ‘spectra’ and also to explain searching with SciFinder. These activities are done with class sizes of ~400 for first semester and ~300 for second semester. Information will be given how these assignments are scripted to allow for grading. We will also present survey information from the students about these assignments.