Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does an instructor have to implement CIITN in its entirety?

No, CIITN has a series of levels, starting with Level-1 where students are asked to read the news paper for science content working up to Level-6 where students engage in portfolio construction and international, inter-class peer review. Instructors are free to implement any level, building up to full implementation over time or limiting the implementation to a lower level. Take a look at the CIITN taxonomy table to learn more about CIITN levels.

2. Are students' portfolios always displayed on the World Wide Web?

No, students have the option to publish their portfolio to the group, the class, or the world. The students must publish their portfolio to the class in order to participate in intra-class or inter-class peer review, but students are not required to publish to the world.

3. Is CIITN limited to (organic) chemistry?

No. Currently, CIITN has only been implemented in sophomore-level organic chemistry classes; however, CIITN is easily adaptable to inorganic chemistry, biochemistry, biology, physics and any other science discipline. It is also adaptable to different levels of instruction, including introductory college classes and high school courses.

4. How does implementing CIITN affect the structure of the class?

Implementing CIITN can change classroom instruction very little or significantly.

First, because CIITN is ideally done in the context of small groups, one should encourage or require students to form small groups in which to engage in the CIITN activities.

Second, students are more likely to read CIITN portfolios and answer the questions (Level-2) if they are integrated into the classroom. Instructors should incorporate the portfolio topics into lecture and classroom discussion and integrate portfolio-based questions into exams. Without such reinforcement, student invest little to no time in reading CIITN portfolio in small groups or individually.

Third, if Levels-3 through 6 are implemented, there will need to be a change in the grading structure of the class to take into account the amount of time and effort students put into such a project. At the University of Missouri, the CIITN portfolio currently accounts for about 12% of the final grade. There are two additional preparatory assignments, which together account for another 12%, making the CIITN impact 24% of the final grade.

5. How do I sign up to use the CIITN web tool?

Download the CIITN Course Request form as a WORD document file or as a PDF file, fill it out, and return it to Dr. Glaser via email ( or fax (573-882-2754).

©2004 Dr. Rainer Glaser's group