Submit a Course Description

In the months and years after having finished a course, a student should be able to DO things in the discipline that he/she couldn't do before taking the course. Careful thought should go into what you want to enable your students to do, what value the course will add to their lives, and how the course will develop their skills and abilities. In this portion of the goals/syllabus submission form, you will have the opportunity to share goals of various types that you have for your students.

Please start by completing the entry for discipline-related goals. The entries for skills and attitudinal goals are optional.

Discipline-related goals

In the box following the instructions below, please describe the discipline-related goals that you want your students to achieve. Please read the guidelines and examples carefully before proceeding.

Please DO:
  • enter the goals as a list
  • use the format "Students should be able to..."
  • focus on the main goals of the course
  • emphasize higher order thinking skills (analyze, predict, synthesize, interpret, evaluate, formulate), rather than lower order thinking skills (recognize, describe, define, identify, list, explain). A well-constructed goal involving higher order thinking skills has lower order skills embedded in it.
  • Students should be able to interpret unfamiliar geologic maps and construct cross sections.
  • Students should be able to analyze and assess geologic hazards in unfamiliar areas (which is different than recalling those done in class).
  • Students should be able to formulate new research questions in X.
  • Students should be able to design computer or analog models of X.
  • Students should be able to predict the weather given appropriate meteorological data.

Please DO NOT enter a list of content items.

Please DO NOT use vague and difficult-to-assess goals involving phrases such as "appreciate", "understand", "be exposed to", "see the value in", "know about", "learn about". Here are two examples of what we don't want you to do:

  • "Students will be exposed to X." Such a goal does not focus on enabling students to do something.
  • "Students will be able to see the value of the scientific method" or "appreciate the complexity of Earth systems". While these are laudable aims, it is difficult to evaluate whether students have achieved such goals.

Skills Goals

You may also have goals related to general skills in the context of your course. These might include goals involving improving skills such as

  • student writing
  • quantitative abilities
  • critical analysis of web sites
  • peer-teaching
  • oral communication
  • accessing and critically reading the geologic literature
  • working in groups

Statement about achieving skills goals

Attitudinal Goals

You may also have goals related to student attitude. These might include goals such as

  • building students' confidence in course- or discipline-related abilities
  • developing students' sense of stewardship of the Earth
  • improving students' sense of healthy skepticism
  • increasing student excitement/personal wonder about learning about the Earth
  • improving students' awareness of the issues of ethics in doing science
  • changing student attitudes toward science

Statement about achieving attitudinal goals