This paper describes the methodology and implementation of a case study introducing the scientific literature and creative experiment design to honors general chemistry laboratory students. The purpose of this study is to determine whether first-year chemistry students can develop information literacy skills while they engage with the primary chemical literature. Subject-specific library instruction was paired with student assignments by using the scientific literature as a resource for ideas on developing general chemistry experiments of their own creation. Student performance and experiences were measured through examination of literature search processes; bibliographic citation analysis; in-class exercises; course grades; and pre-, post-, and longitudinal surveys. Statistical analysis indicated a positive relationship between the number of literature resources viewed during course activities and the final course grade. We identified a way to measure students ability to narrow a range of information down to an important few, which is an essential part of establishing information literacy. Results show that the approach provides immediate and long-term benefits to student performance. First-year students were capable of effectively using sophisticated literature search tools, and as evidenced by their perceptions, students placed a high value on these skills.
- First-Year Undergraduate/General
- Inquiry-Based/Discovery Learning
- Laboratory Instruction
- Problem Solving/Decision Making
- Student-Centered Learning
- Undergraduate Research