16 Jul 2012

Writing assignment series related to topics discussed in organometallic chemistry - Assignment 2 Literature Highlights

Literature Discussion

Submitted by Abby O'Connor, The College of New Jersey
Categories
Description: 

Searching and reading the literature is an important tool in teaching organometallic chemistry. This overall project focuses on the improving students' writing skills and to begin to think critically about articles in the literature through a series of different writing assignments. This project is used in a semester long course on organometallics and reaction mechanisms. The first assignment (this LO) is a summary, the second is related to the NSF highlight, and the third is a literature critique. Each assignment is evenly spaced out through the semester. For VIPEr, This project has been broken down into smaller individual components that can be used piecewise in an inorganic course when discussing organometallics chemistry. All three projects will be linked together.

This project has been broken down into smaller individual components that can be used piecewise in an inorganic course when discussing organometallics chemistry. All three projects will be linked together.

This project is the highlights portion. The student chooses  two journal articles from the literature that he/she is interested in reading that relate to a topic discussed in inorganic chemistry and the other is must pertain to a topic discussed thus far in organometallics. Typically the articles relate to catalysis, reaction mechanisms, and stoichiometric reactions. The focus of this assignment is to have students develop skills to communicate science to a lay audience. The handout I provide to the students is attached below.

AttachmentSize
Microsoft Office document icon Literature Assignment 2.doc32 KB
Learning Goals: 

A student should be able to:

properly cite outside literature using the ACS style

convey chemistry topics to different audiences (lay)

relate topics taught in lecture to material presented in the literature

establish what new knowledge has been added to the field 

determine a journal's impact factor and understand the concept of impact factor

creatively show how chemical principles can be interesting and valuable to the lay person 

Implementation Notes: 

Although, I typically assign this after the students have learned about elementary steps in organometallic chemistry, the assignment could be given at any point in an inorganic course.

Time Required: 
2 week (I give them time to read and understand the article)
Evaluation
Evaluation Methods: 

This assignment is graded using a rubric. I look for creativity and how well the student is able to convey the topic so an average person would be able to see the value in the chemistry. 

Rubric is presented below.

Evaluation Results: 

Students do exceptionally well on this assignment because they like to be creative. They do not have to write about chemistry but need to understand the material presented in the literature and present the topic to an audience of average people.

The challenge is to fit all of the material onto a single powerpoint slide. 

Creative Commons License: 
Creative Commons Licence

The VIPEr community supports respectful and voluntary sharing. Click here for a description of our default Creative Commons license.