Building Strong Geoscience Departments > Program Assessment > Developing an Assessment Plan > Student Learning Goals or Outcomes > Calgary Geology

Student Learning Outcomes or Learning Goals

Department of Geoscience, University of Calgary


Undergraduate Geology Program

Conceptual Knowledge:

1. Identify common Earth materials and interpret their composition, origin and uses.

  • Recognize and classify the common rocks and minerals in hand samples, thin sections, outcrops and drill cores; understand their origin and uses (including engineering contexts)
  • Distribution of Earth resources (water, energy, minerals) and their extraction, development, exploitation and sustainability

2. Describe the processes that operate on or beneath the Earth's surface at a variety of temporal and spatial scales and the resulting planetary features.

  • Plate tectonics and related internal Earth processes versus those that operate at or near Earth's surface
  • Visualize and reason features created in three dimensions as a function of time

3. Outline the broad physical and biological history of the Earth and the evidence for that history.

  • Evolution of the solid earth and life on Earth
  • Geologic time and the interplay of gradual and catastrophic change

4. Explain the components of the Earth system, and how humans affect, and are affected by, global change.

  • Interaction of the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere in space and time
  • Interaction of Earth with the solar system/space environment
  • Material and energy cycles
  • Natural hazards and environmental responsibility

Problem-Solving & Communication Skills:

5. Apply biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics concepts to analyze scientific ideas and data and solve problems in pure and applied geoscience.

  • Think like a scientist; distinguish between observation and interpretation
  • Generate new knowledge and understand the limits of knowledge
  • Integrate concepts; transfer and develop knowledge and skills from one course or discipline to another

6. Use specific skills such as field methods, analytical techniques, and image/data processing to interpret Earth materials, processes and history.

  • Observe and record data in the field, make interpretations and generate scientific reports that include images and graphical representations
  • Use computers/software and laboratory equipment or instrumentation
  • Work with real geoscience data

7. Locate, acquire and critically assess relevant Earth science literature and spatial resources such as maps and images.

8. Design and complete independent research in the form of regular term work and/or a senior thesis.

9. Present geoscientific information effectively in a variety of written, graphic, visual and oral formats.

10. Articulate the benefits and responsibilities of working as a member of a team.

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