The Department of Chemistry’s undergraduate program within the College of Science and Engineering comprises 43 faculty and over 400 undergraduate students. This program provides a world-class education through its classroom and laboratory teaching and creates new scientific knowledge through research aimed at solving some of society’s most important human health, energy, and environmental problems.
To implement its first-edition writing plan, a research assistant is gathering assignments and effective examples from both introductory and advanced lab courses to understand how writing instruction is scaffolded in lab courses. This research assistant reports back at biweekly meetings with the WEC liaison, William Pomerantz, and WEC consultant, Dan Emery. This past summer, the research assistant attended a two-day workshop on effective presentation of data presented by Edward Tufte in preparation for this assignment. In the spring of 2018, the department will host the first of a series of workshops for graduate instructors and TAs on responding to student writing, drawing from the materials gathered in the fall term. To gather relevant feedback for future revisions to the writing plan, faculty will gather for an end-of-semester lunch to discuss innovations and insights for effective implementation of the writing plan across a broad selection of writing intensive courses. Finally, to make the writing plan accessible to students, it has been made available on the department website, and faculty are encouraged to include this link in their syllabi.