ERIC Number: EJ1050745
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jan
Abstractor: As Provided
"On Course" for Supporting Expanded Participation and Improving Scientific Reasoning in Undergraduate Thesis Writing
Dowd, Jason E.; Roy, Christopher P.; Thompson, Robert J., Jr.; Reynolds, Julie A.
Journal of Chemical Education, v92 n1 p39-45 Jan 2015
The Department of Chemistry at Duke University has endeavored to expand participation in undergraduate honors thesis research while maintaining the quality of the learning experience. Accomplishing this goal has been constrained by limited departmental resources (including faculty time) and increased diversity in students' preparation to engage in the research and writing processes. Here we assessed the relationship between iterative changes in pedagogical and mentoring support of honors research that efficiently employed departmental resources (including the chemistry thesis assessment protocol, ChemTAP) and students' scientific reasoning and writing skills reflected in their undergraduate theses. We found that, although we cannot disentangle some gradual changes over time from specific interventions, students exhibited the strongest performance when they participated in a course with structured scaffolding and used assessment tools explicitly designed to enhance the scientific reasoning in writing. Furthermore, less prepared students exhibited more positive changes.
Descriptors: Undergraduate Students, Theses, Student Projects, Student Research, Honors Curriculum, Intervention, Student Characteristics, Evaluation Methods, Regression (Statistics), Predictor Variables, Writing Processes, Educational Resources, Mentors, Academic Support Services, Scientific Literacy, Thinking Skills, Science Process Skills, Outreach Programs, Student Participation
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://pubs.acs.org/jchemeduc
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina
Grant or Contract Numbers: 1225768