2 Jul 2015

Exploring the Scientific Method in an Electrocatalysis Publication

Literature Discussion

Submitted by Sarah K. St. Angelo, Dickinson College

This is a learning object focused on discussing application of the scientific method in the chemical literature. This focuses on the paper “Nickel-Iron Oxyhydroxide Oxygen-Evolution Electrocatalysts: The Role of Intentional and Incidental Iron Incorporation” (J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2014, 136, 6744–6753. DOI: /10.1021/ja502379c) because it explicitly discusses hypotheses, makes predictions based upon them, and then tests them. The learning goals and general question types could be expanded to other papers.

File SciMethod Students handout_0-1.docx21.16 KB
Learning Goals: 

Working through this exercise, a student will…

  • Identify scientific hypotheses in a research article.

  • Determine the experiment(s) that were used to test a hypothesis.

  • Identify the experimental results that support or refute a hypothesis.

  • Recognize that hypotheses are questions to answer, not things that you “want” to prove.

Implementation Notes: 

We envision that students would be provided with the journal article and the student handout to read. Students should attempt to answer questions before coming to class. The key contains answers to the discussion questions and post-discussion reflection topics.

Time Required: 
50 min (approximately one class period)
Evaluation Methods: 

Student completion of learning objectives will be assessed through the provided handout that would be turned in after discussions as well as student participation in discussion.

Evaluation Results: 

This LO has not yet been assessed by the contributors.  We plan to use this LO in upcoming courses, and we will provide assessment information when we have it.  

Creative Commons License: 
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