Session S38 (Tuesday, 9:30am, Life Sciences 011)

P372: Learning-to-write while writing-to-learn: New research with CPR

Arlene Russell, Breeyawn Lybbert (University of California – Los Angeles, USA)

Not uncommonly, CPR users have assumed that their students’ writing skills would automatically improve when they implemented CPR assignments in their courses.   Experience has shown, however, that whether this happens or not depends on the focus of the assignment the students are given.  Students write what is asked for.  If assignments focus only on content and reward facts to the exclusion of writing and reasoning, or if no guidance is given for writing, then students writing skills do not change.  To address the need for scientists to have well-honed written communication skills, we have begun to frame our content-heavy assignments within different writing genres.  This talk will discuss our efforts and assessment of assignments centered on letters, scientific reports, and critiques.  The ability within CPR5 to upload documents that complement student texts facilitates the dual goals of assignments to teach chemistry and enhance communication.


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