Writing and Computing across the USM Chemistry Curriculum

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Chemical Education


First-Year Undergraduate / General, Curriculum, Computer-Based Learning, Learning Theories


The faculty of the University of Southern Maine believes the ability to communicate effectively is one of the most important skills required of successful chemists. To help students achieve that goal, the faculty has developed a Writing and Computer Program consisting of writing and computer assignments of gradually increasing sophistication for all our laboratory courses. The assignments build in complexity until, at the junior level, students are writing full journal-quality laboratory reports. Computer assignments also increase in difficulty as students attack more complicated subjects. We have found the program easy to initiate and our part-time faculty concurs as well. The Writing and Computing across the Curriculum Program also serves to unite the entire chemistry curriculum. We believe the program is helping to reverse what the USM chemistry faculty and other educators have found to be a steady deterioration in the writing skills of many of today's students.