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