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ERIC Number: EJ1101539
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-May
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Developing Students' Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Analysis Skills in an Inquiry-Based Synthetic Organic Laboratory Course
Weaver, Marisa G.; Samoshin, Andrey V.; Lewis, Robert B.; Gainer, Morgan J.
Journal of Chemical Education, v93 n5 p847-851 May 2016
A course is described where students are engaged in an inquiry-based quarter-long research project to synthesize a known pharmaceutical target. Students use literature search engines, such as Reaxys and SciFinder, and the primary chemical literature as resources to plan and perform the synthesis of their pharmaceutical target. Through this process, students develop critical thinking, problem solving, and data analysis skills in the laboratory setting. Teaching assistants guide students through three phases of the research process: (1) literature-based proposal, (2) experimentation and analysis, and (3) communication of research findings by oral presentation and written report. This course is designed for upper-division chemistry majors, taken as the third-quarter organic laboratory class after two quarters of introductory laboratory courses and two quarters of the associated organic chemistry lecture courses. Nine different teaching assistants have taught the course described to over 90 students in four different quarters.
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:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A