Challenges of Globalization and Successful Adaptation Strategies in Implementing a "Scientific Writing and Authoring" Course in China


This paper describes the adaptation of an upper-division undergraduate seminar course taught at the University of Missouri in Columbia (MU) to the Summer School Program of the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing (UCAS). The course "Scientific Writing in Chemistry" addresses an essential need for science students across the globe to receive experiential education in scientific writing. An assignment-based curriculum was developed to instruct students on best practices in writing a scientific paper and to educate students about the scientific publication process and peer review. The semester-long MU course that included three meetings per week and had low enrollment was adapted to 20 h UCAS block courses with much higher enrollments. The drastic differences in scale and mode of delivery posed numerous nontrivial challenges and required modifications of the teaching goals. Because of the short duration of the summer courses, the MU curriculum with its focus on "working on assignments and working with rubrics" was adjusted to a curriculum which is based on "working with posted samples of completed assignments and working with rubrics" at UCAS. Instruction on publication ethics was emphasized, and several adjustments were made to address cultural and language differences. Enrollment data and results of evaluations collected over five years (2011-2016) are presented to demonstrate the success of the adaptation. It is hoped that this paper will contribute to the wide and open dissemination of this "Scientific Writing" curriculum and, more generally, that the example of our course adaptation might encourage outstanding experts from many science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields to contribute in a significant way to international education.



Research Center/Lab(s)

Center for High Performance Computing Research


This research was supported in part by the National Science Foundation (PRISM 0928053; CHE 0051007), and acknowledgment is made to the donors of the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund (PRF-53415-ND4) for partial support of this research.

Keywords and Phrases

Communication/Writing; Constructivism; Curriculum; Ethics; Graduate Education/Research; Learning Theories; Minorities in Chemistry; Problem Solving/Decision Making; Student-Centered Learning; Upper-Division Undergraduate

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Article - Journal

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© 2018 American Chemical Society (ACS) and Division of Chemical Education, Inc., All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Dec 2018