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Developing Scientific Reporting Skills of Early Undergraduate Chemistry Students

Capel, Natalie J.; Hancock, Laura M.; Haxton, Katherine J.; Hollamby, Martin J.; Jones, Richard H.; Plana, Daniela; Mcgarvey, David J.


Natalie J. Capel

Laura M. Hancock

David J. Mcgarvey


Our aim is to initiate the development of selected generic skills of early undergraduate chemistry students by focussing on scientific reporting skills. To achieve this, we have developed an approach that draws upon chemistry journal articles as paradigms of professional conventions and practice, coupled with an assessment-feedback strategy that spans a full academic year. The strategy incorporates many aspects of contemporary thinking surrounding effective assessment-feedback practice, placing strong emphasis on the development of students’ assessment and feedback literacy. The approach is characterised by a series of iterative assessment-feedback cycles that are supported by scheduled assessment briefing sessions coupled to a range of formative and collaborative learning activities related to aspects of report writing. Having evolved the approach over a number of years, we find that students recognise and appreciate its rationale, show good engagement with the associated learning activities and, providing they fully engage across the year, produce work that evidences acquisition of reporting skills to a high standard for early undergraduate students. Its originality and value lies in its clarity of purpose, the early exposure of Year 1 undergraduates to journal articles, the novel assessment and feedback strategy, and the parallel, iterative development of a range of key skills including those related to information retrieval, data communication and analysis. The approach is flexible and adaptable to local contexts and different academic levels and scientific disciplines.

Acceptance Date Jul 5, 2019
Publication Date Jul 5, 2019
Publisher Creathach Press
Pages 333 - 333 (348)
Book Title Teaching Chemistry in Higher Education: A Festschrift in Honour of Professor Tina Overton
Chapter Number 23
ISBN 978-0992823313
Publisher URL
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