Approved by Faculty Senate. 

 

 

University Studies Course Approval

 

Department or Program: Chemistry

Course Number: 430

Semester Hours: 1-3

Course Title: Individual Problems in Chemistry

Catalog Description: An opportunity for the qualified advanced undergraduate to work independently on chemical research under the direction of a chemistry faculty member. A careful write-up of results is required. Time arranged. Prerequisites: 13 semester hours of chemistry and instructor’s permission. May not be taken for more than 3 credits per semester; may be repeated to a total of 11 credits. May apply up to 3 credits toward the university studies writing flag. Offered every semester.

This is an existing course previously approved by A2C2: Yes

This is a new course proposal: No

Proposal Category: Writing Flag

Departmental Contact: Jeanne L. Franz

Email Address: jfranz@winona.edu

 

Department Approval and Date: _____________

Dean’s Recommendation and Date: __________________________

USS Recommendation and Date: __________________________

A2C2 Recommendation and Date: __________________________

Faculty Senate Recommendation and Date: __________________________

VPAA Recommendation and Date: __________________________

Dean’s Recommendation and Date: __________________________

President’s Decision and Date: __________________________

WRITING FLAG COURSE PROPOSAL

Chemistry 430: Individual Problems in Chemistry (1-3 s.h.)

 

Chemistry is a continually evolving research oriented science. The purpose of this course is to introduce the advanced undergraduate to the process of research through a one-on-one original project with an instructor. This is a capstone experience wherein students will be able to apply the methods of scientific inquiry and chemical knowledge to a real-world problem whose answer is unknown. To that end, students will, in consultation with the instructor, design and perform experiments, analyze data, interpret results, and transform these activities into a written report and possibly a manuscript for submission to a scholarly journal, or a formal poster at a scientific meeting. The evaluation of the experimental work will be based primarily on the contents of the written report submitted at the end of the semester. Guidance will be provided on how to prepare reports in the format of a modern scientific journal. The ACS Style Guide, published by the American Chemical Society, will be used for directions on the organization of a scientific paper, including correct grammar and style, and the accepted formats for citing chemical names, chemical symbols, units, graphs, tables, and references. During the semester, and often, over the course of several semesters, students will be asked to submit preliminary reports and background sections. These "rough drafts" will be critiqued and discussed with the student and re-submission will be expected. This will provide a feedback mechanism so students can improve upon their work and their writing skills in general. This course will emphasize writing as one of the essential components in academic learning and in the intellectual development of students in Chemistry.

Catalog Description:

An opportunity for the qualified advanced undergraduate to work independently on chemical research under the direction of a chemistry faculty member. A careful write-up of results is required. Time arranged. Prerequisites: 13 semester hours of chemistry and instructor’s permission. May not be taken for more than 3 credits per semester; may be repeated to a total of 11 credits. May apply up to 3 credits toward the university studies writing flag. Offered every semester.

 

This course includes requirements and learning activities that promote students' abilities to...

a. practice the processes and procedures for creating and completing successful writing in their fields;

Requirements: Students are expected to practice applying the scientific method in the collection of data, to use modern techniques (which may include modern instrumentation or computational methods) in analysis and interpretation of results, and to use proper writing techniques in the composition and completion of several research progress reports and a final report at the end of the semester. Each draft will be critiqued and discussed with the individual. The final report will follow accepted formats used in scientific journals.

Activities: Students are provided with many opportunities to apply proper writing techniques in relating interpretation of experimental results. The student will describe the experimental work in a written format consistent with that used in appropriate scientific journals.

b. understand the main features and uses of writing in their fields;

Requirements: Students are expected to produce a professional-style scientific report by following the guidelines of the ACS Style Guide adopted by the American Chemical Society. The report will parallel the method of scientific reasoning: defining the problem, creating the hypothesis, devising the experiment(s) to test the hypothesis, conducting the experiment, analyzing the data, interpreting the results, and drawing the conclusion.

Activities: Students will follow acceptable scientific writing formats in the composition of several drafts and a final report describing the fruits of the original research. The report will be organized in a format that would parallel the method of scientific reasoning. The general organization of a research report will include: Title/Title Page, Abstract, Introduction, Experimental Details or Theoretical Analysis, Results, Discussion, Conclusion, and References.

 

c. adapt their writing to the general expectations of readers in their fields;

Requirements: The final research report is expected to follow a format that is consistent with and adopted by the ACS Style Guide, which is the general format required by most chemistry journals.

Activities: Students will be asked to read articles in the contemporary chemical literature. They will adapt their writing to be consistent with the general expectations of readers in the chemical field. In case of great progress in the original research the student completes for this course, students may actually assist in writing an article for submission to one of the scientific journals.

d. make use of the technologies commonly used for research and writing in their fields; and

Requirements: Students will be expected to operate any modern instrumentation necessary for progress in their research project. Frequently computers will be called upon to assist in data collection and analysis. The use of modern word processing programs and spreadsheet programs is required. Students are also expected to search the literature via library and electronic sources for background information about their original research problem.

Activities: Modern instrumentation and appropriate software packages (such as HyperChem for molecular modeling, Mathcad for scientific calculations, Excel for graphical and statistical analysis, LabWorks for on-line data collection and analysis, and Word for report composition) are used to collect data, interpret results, and compose the laboratory report. In addition, students will compare their experimental results to work being done by others in the literature, which can be searched via chemistry journals/references in both non-electronic and electronic formats.

e. learn the conventions of evidence, format, usage, and documentation in their fields.

Requirements: Students are required to follow conventions of evidence, format, usage, and documentation as listed in the ACS Style Guide.

Activities: By composing a research report and by receiving critiques of their drafts throughout the semester, students will gain a thorough understanding of the format of research reports and the format used in chemical journals.

Submitted with this proposal is a sample CHEM 430 syllabus, which includes the course description, course outcomes, and evaluation criteria. In addition, one copy of a sample Student Research Report has been provided for the USP Director.

Sample Syllabus

Chemistry 430 Individual Problems in Chemistry

Credits: 1-3 s.h.

Winona State University

 

 

Instructor: Dr. Chemistry, 457-xxxx,

 

Required Materials: (1) A bound notebook to use as a research notebook. (2) Safety Goggles

Recommended References for aid in writing research proposal and final report:

J. S. Dodd (ed.), The ACS Style Guide, 2nd ed., American Chemical Society, Washington, D.C., 1997

J. M. Lannon, Technical Writing, 5th ed., Harper-Collins, New York, 1991.

H. Beall and J. Trimbur, A Short Guide to Writing about Chemistry, 2nd ed., Addison Wesley

Longman, 2001.

Course Purpose: Chemistry is a continually evolving research oriented science. The purpose of this course is to introduce the advanced undergraduate to the process of research through a one-on-one original project with an instructor. This is a capstone experience wherein students will be able to apply the methods of scientific inquiry and chemical knowledge to a real-world problem whose answer is unknown. To that end, students will, in consultation with the instructor, design and perform experiments, analyze data, interpret results, and transform these activities into a written report and possibly a manuscript for submission to a scholarly journal, or a formal poster at a scientific meeting. The evaluation of the experimental work will be based primarily on the contents of the written report submitted at the end of the semester. Guidance will be provided on how to prepare reports in the format of a modern scientific journal. The ACS Style Guide, published by the American Chemical Society, will be used for directions on the organization of a scientific paper, including correct grammar and style, and the accepted formats for citing chemical names, chemical symbols, units, graphs, tables, and references. During the semester, and often, over the course of several semesters, students will be asked to submit preliminary reports and background sections. These "rough drafts" will be critiqued and discussed with the student and re-submission will be expected. This will provide a feedback mechanism so students can improve upon their work and their writing skills in general. This course will emphasize writing as one of the essential components in academic learning and in the intellectual development of students in Chemistry.

Catalog Course Description:

An opportunity for the qualified advanced undergraduate to work independently on chemical research under the direction of a chemistry faculty member. A careful write-up of results is required. Time arranged. Prerequisites: 13 semester hours of chemistry and instructor’s permission. May not be taken for more than 3 credits per semester; may be repeated to a total of 11 credits. May apply up to 3 credits toward the university studies writing flag. Offered every semester.

Completion of this course will include requirements and learning activities that promote your abilities to achieve the following Outcomes:

a. practice the processes and procedures for creating and completing successful writing in Chemistry;

b. understand the main features and uses of writing in Chemistry;

c. adapt your writing to the general expectations of readers in Chemistry;

d. make use of the technologies commonly used for research and writing in Chemistry; and

e. learn the conventions of evidence, format, usage, and documentation in Chemistry.

This course will also enhance the laboratory requirement in the Natural Sciences and will additionally provide you the opportunity to improve scientific inquiry through an original research project and to analyze and report the results of this project. The completion of this course will satisfy one to three credits toward the Writing Flag Requirement in the University Studies Program.

Course Details/Requirements/Activities:

In order to do well or pass the course, students are expected to:

1. design and perform experiments in trying to solve an original research problem, [Outcomes a to e],

2. compile experimental results into a format typical of scientific publications as recommended by the ACS Style Guide, [Outcomes b, c, e],

3. turn in drafts of research proposals and final reports in order to make improvements on subsequent drafts by recognizing critiques, [Outcomes b, c, d, e],

4. utilize modern instrumentation and software packages in the compilation of reports, [Outcome d],

5. discuss data with instructor to more effectively plan future work and to learn chemical

principles more deeply, incorporate these discussions in research reports, [Outcome c],

and

 

6. review journal publication styles and literature searches, [Outcome b, c, e].

Students are encouraged to consult with the instructor regarding questions or problems encountered in the writing process. Furthermore, students are encouraged to make use of services provided at the Writing Center.

Time Commitment: Three to nine hours per week depending on the number of credits. Ordinarily 2/3 of the time is spent in the laboratory or meeting with the instructor. The other 1/3 represents an external time commitment spent writing up results, preparing for experiments, doing library research etc. (i.e., "homework"). Ideally students should stick with the same professor for at least two contiguous semesters.

Course Components:

1. Identify the Problem - In initial meetings with the instructor, potential research projects will be discussed. You will be asked to choose one based on your personal preferences. These initial meetings ideally are held during the semester prior to beginning the course but can also be done during the first week of classes.

2. Arrange a Regular Time for Carrying out Lab Work - Also done during initial meetings with the instructor.

3. Research Proposal - A formal research proposal is required and should be completed within five weeks of the beginning of the semester. The proposal may be submitted as part of an application for a WSU Undergraduate Research and Creative Projects Grant and may also be submitted to external granting agencies. The instructor will assist in writing the proposal through written and oral comments on initial drafts and by providing lead literature references. (Ideally, Chemistry 360 - Chemical Information, a course that includes details on the process of writing a research proposal, is taken prior to taking Chemistry 430.)

4. Research Notebook - A laboratory research notebook is to be kept, strictly adhering to traditional guidelines as learned in previous chemistry courses. The notebook is turned in upon completion of the course.

5. Presentation of Results - It is hoped that you will make either an oral or poster presentation of the results of the project (the results presented may be preliminary depending on the amount of progress made at the time of the presentation). At the very least, the results should be presented to the Chemistry Department as part of the Chemistry 475 - Seminar in Chemistry course. Off-campus presentations are desirable and will increase your chance of getting an A in the course. The instructor will make suggestions of possible venues for off-campus presentations, including regional and local ACS meetings.

6. Final Report - A final report, written up in a style suitable for publication (ACS Style Guide) is required. Drafts of this final report and drafts of the background section should be submitted throughout the course of the semester(s) as you get results. The report is due before the last day of class of the final semester in which research is done.

7. Laboratory Clean Up - All glassware should be washed thoroughly. Chemicals should be returned to proper storage places, and any wastes should be placed in appropriate well-labeled waste bottles.

Grading

Course grades depend upon the quality of your laboratory work and written reports. Assessments of your written reports will reflect your level of achievement relative to outcomes a-e. Successful completion of this course will satisfy one to three credits toward the writing flag in the University Studies program.

 

 

Approval/Disapproval Recommendations

 

 

Department Recommendation: Approved_____ Disapproved_____ Date______

Chairperson Signature_______________________ Date______

Dean's Recommendation: Approved_____ Disapproved _____* Date______

Dean's Signature_______________________ Date______

*In the case of a Dean's recommendation to disapprove a proposal a written rationale for the recommendation to disapprove shall be provided to USS

USS Recommendation: Approved_____ Disapproved_____ Date______

University Studies Director's Signature_______________________ Date______

A2C2 Recommendation: Approved_____ Disapproved______ Date______

A2C2 Chairperson Signature_______________________ Date______

Faculty Senate Recommendation: Approved_____ Disapproved_____ Date______

FA President's Signature_______________________ Date______

Academic VP's Recommendation: Approved_____ Disapproved_____ Date______

VP's Signature_______________________ Date______

President's Decision: Approved_____ Disapproved_____ Date______

President's Signature_______________________ Date______