CHEM 4094v -- New Course

Mon Oct 19 11:38:01 2009

Approvals Received:
on 10-15-09
by Nancy Thao
Approvals Pending: College/Dean  > LE > Catalog
Effective Status: Active
Effective Term: 1103 - Spring 2010
Course: CHEM 4094V
UMNTC - Twin Cities
UMNTC - Twin Cities
Career: UGRD
College: TIOT - Institute of Technology
Department: 11098 - Chemistry
Course Title Short: Dir Research
Course Title Long: Directed Research
Max-Min Credits
for Course:
5.0 to 1.0 credit(s)
Learning experience in areas not covered by regular courses. Individually arranged with faculty member.
Print in Catalog?: Yes
CCE Catalog
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Grading Basis: Stdnt Opt
Topics Course: No
Honors Course: No
Delivery Mode(s): Classroom
Contact Hours:
0.0 hours per week
Years most
frequently offered:
Every academic year
Term(s) most
frequently offered:
Fall, Spring, Summer
Component 1: DST (no final exam)
Progress Units:
Not allowed to bypass limits.
1.0 credit(s)
Financial Aid
Progress Units:
Not allowed to bypass limits.
1.0 credit(s)
Repetition of
Allow up to 15 repetition(s) totalling up to 75.0 credit(s).
for Catalog:
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No course equivalencies
(course-based or
000571 - honors student
Editor Comments: This is a copy of CHEM 4094W: Directed Research
Proposal Changes: <no text provided>
History Information: <no text provided>
Sponsor Name:
Gary Gray
Sponsor E-mail Address:
Liberal Education
this course fulfills:
Other requirement
this course fulfills:
Criteria for
Core Courses:
Describe how the course meets the specific bullet points for the proposed core requirement. Give concrete and detailed examples for the course syllabus, detailed outline, laboratory material, student projects, or other instructional materials or method.

Core courses must meet the following requirements:

  • They explicitly help students understand what liberal education is, how the content and the substance of this course enhance a liberal education, and what this means for them as students and as citizens.
  • They employ teaching and learning strategies that engage students with doing the work of the field, not just reading about it.
  • They include small group experiences (such as discussion sections or labs) and use writing as appropriate to the discipline to help students learn and reflect on their learning.
  • They do not (except in rare and clearly justified cases) have prerequisites beyond the University's entrance requirements.
  • They are offered on a regular schedule.
  • They are taught by regular faculty or under exceptional circumstances by instructors on continuing appointments. Departments proposing instructors other than regular faculty must provide documentation of how such instructors will be trained and supervised to ensure consistency and continuity in courses.

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Criteria for
Theme Courses:
Describe how the course meets the specific bullet points for the proposed theme requirement. Give concrete and detailed examples for the course syllabus, detailed outline, laboratory material, student projects, or other instructional materials or methods.

Theme courses have the common goal of cultivating in students a number of habits of mind:
  • thinking ethically about important challenges facing our society and world;
  • reflecting on the shared sense of responsibility required to build and maintain community;
  • connecting knowledge and practice;
  • fostering a stronger sense of our roles as historical agents.

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Writing Intensive
Propose this course
as Writing Intensive
Question 1: What types of writing (e.g., reading essay, formal lab reports, journaling) are likely to be assigned? Include the page total for each writing assignment. Indicate which assignment(s) students will be required to revise and resubmit after feedback by the instructor or the graduate TA.

This course requires a formal research paper that is written in the style and format of any leading journal in the field of investigation.  These papers are typically 15-20 pages in length including any necessary tables, figures, and graphs.  However, students who use this course to meet the requirement for graduation with honors are required to write a thesis that is usually much longer ( typically, 30-50 pages).
Question 2: How does assigning a significant amount of writing serve the purpose of this course?

In Directed Research, students are introduced to important, unsolved problems in chemistry, given guidance by an individual faculty member in developing a research plan, selecting the appropriate methodology, and conducting the experiments, and, finally, given instruction in the preparation of a formal research report.  The latter must contain the background to the research problem, the experimental methods that were used, the results that were obtained, a discussion of those results relative to the results of published work, and a reference list of cited work.
Question 3: What types of instruction will students receive on the writing aspect of the assignments?

See paper copy.
Question 4: How will the students' grades depend on their writing performance? What percentage of the overall grade will be dependent on the quality and level of the students' writing compared with the course content?

Research is of no value unless the results are clearly and accurately presented and, thus, available for scrutiny by others.  Students will not be given a grade in this course until they have submitted a written report that meets minimal standards for presentation, style, and clarity.  It will be at the discretion of each research advisor to establish the percentage of the final grade that the written report will represent, but from experience, I would recommend that it be in the range of 10-20% (approximately one letter grade).  Setting an exact percentage is quite difficult, however, as it is often impossible to discern the actual quality of the research itself if the report is poorly written.
Question 5: If graduate students or peer tutors will be assisting in this course, what role will they play in regard to teaching writing?

See paper copy.
Question 6: How will the assistants be trained and supervised?

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Question 7: Write up a sample assignment handout here for a paper that students will revise and resubmit after receiving feedback on the initial draft.

Students enrolled in this course are not given an assignment handout.  Instead, when they first meet with their research advisor to get an overview of the project, they are given leading references to published work, as well as copies of any unpublished work emanating from the research advisor's laboratory, that describe the nature of the research problem and any progress made on that problem to date.  They are also typically given references to any special techniques that are to be used.  At this point, they are expected to research the background to the problem and to familiarize themselves with the theoretical basis of the appropriate techniques.  At this stage they are in a position to develop a research plan which outlines the goal(s) of the project and the experimental method(s) to be employed.  This research plan, which is formulated with help from the research advisor, is continually revised as necessitated by experimental results.  Thus, the scope of the writing assignment and its basic content are evident at all stages of the research project.
Course Syllabus
Course Syllabus: For new courses and courses in which changes in content and/or description and/or credits are proposed, please provide a syllabus that includes the following information: course goals and description; format;structure of the course (proposed number of instructor contact hours per week, student workload effort per week, etc.); topics to be covered; scope and nature of assigned readings (text, authors, frequency, amount per week); required course assignments; nature of any student projects; and how students will be evaluated. The University "Syllabi Policy" can be found here

The University policy on credits is found under Section 4A of "Standards for Semester Conversion" found here. Course syllabus information will be retained in this system until new syllabus information is entered with the next major course modification. This course syllabus information may not correspond to the course as offered in a particular semester.

(Please limit text to about 12 pages. Text copied and pasted from other sources will not retain formatting and special characters might not copy properly.)

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