Introducing scientific literature to honors general chemistry students: Teaching information literacy and the nature of research to first-year chemistry students

Ignacio J. Ferrer-Vinent, Margaret Bruehl, Denise Pan, Galin L. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)617-624
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Volume92
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 14 2015

Keywords

  • First-Year Undergraduate/General
  • Inquiry-Based/Discovery Learning
  • Interdisciplinary/Multidisciplinary
  • Laboratory Instruction
  • Problem Solving/Decision Making
  • Student-Centered Learning
  • Testing/Assessment
  • Undergraduate Research

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