Abstract by Erica Suh
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Developing Student Process Skills in a Freshmen Chemistry Laboratory
Process skills, also known as soft skills or workplace skills, are fundamental elements of a successful education and efficient workforce, and are especially brought to the forefront in academic laboratory settings. Previous research has shown that integrating process skills into undergraduate STEM programs supported student development of those skills. To facilitate and study such improvement, a National Science Foundation-funded project based at the University of Iowa—Enhancing Learning by Improving Process Skills in STEM—has developed process skills rubrics for use in university STEM courses. Upon adapting some of these rubrics in a general chemistry laboratory course, analysis showed that students demonstrated improvement of process skills over time and became more familiar with group dynamic skills than cognitive skills. We anticipate that further integration of these rubrics will assist students to better understand process skills and also open possible adoption at other institutions.