Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Laboratory Research

I.     Course Prefix/Number: CHM 240

       Course Name: Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Laboratory Research

       Credits: 2 (0 lecture; 4 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

Consent of instructor

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course provides undergraduate research experience in an interdisciplinary course co-listed with BIO 240. Team-taught by faculty from several disciplines. Content includes active participation in a research experience that involves performing experiments, collecting data, analyzing results; interacting with other students and professors in their research; reading and critiquing research articles in the same research area and presenting at the end of the semester. Course can be repeated once for credit.

IV.   Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, students who satisfactorily complete all of the work will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the scientific research method
  2. Conduct a search of the primary scientific literature
  3. Read, critique and present primary research papers
  4. Design a research experiment
  5. Collect experimental data
  6. Analyze experimental data
  7. Develop a scientific research notebook
  8. Practice laboratory safety
  9. Document the results of research in a poster, oral presentation, or written format
  10. Develop interdisciplinary team research skills

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

The topics of the class will include:

  1. Scientific research method
  2. Understanding primary literature
  3. Experimental design
  4. Scientific Notebook
  5. Lab Safety
  6. Documentation of Results

VII.  Methods of Instruction

This course will be conducted in a laboratory setting where the students will be interacting with the instructors and other students.  This experience may be enriched by multi-media audio- visual activities, guest speakers, selected readings and field trips where appropriate.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Attendance, as well as active and productive participation, is required.  The student will be expected to complete all assigned readings and participate in critical discussions of these readings.  The students should exhibit proper safe use and care of laboratory equipment and maintain good lab citizenship.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

TBA, as appropriate for the subject matter.

Beginning with the Spring 2007 semester, students will be required to purchase their own Chemical Safety/Splash Goggles.  These goggles must meet the following criteria:

  • Fit snuggly against the forehead and face, protecting against splashes
  • Be impact resistant; ANSI rating of Z87 or higher
  • Include only indirect venting

Two varieties of such goggles compliant with the above criteria are available for purchase in the bookstore (cost range ~ $6-$12).  Students may also elect to find an alternative source for purchase, so long as the goggles meet the above criteria and are approved by the instructor.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Course grades will be determined by the student’s demonstration of proficiency and understanding of the course material based on the quality of projects and the presentation of same, attendance, quality of laboratory notebooks, and quality of primary research paper presentation.

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.