Building Strong Geoscience Departments > Curricula & Programs > Curriculum Design > Ideal Student Exercise

Ideal Student Exercise

This exercise was developed for use at Carleton College by Mary Savina (Geology), Deborah Gross (Chemistry) and Cherry Danielson (Institutional Research and Assessment). The Building Strong Geoscience Department's Visiting Workshop Program adopted it to help departments articulate their program level goals for their students. Many departments cited it as one of the most beneficial activities of their visiting workshop, so we are sharing it here. We recommend having each department member complete the exercise, then gathering as a department to share and discuss the results, perhaps at a departmental retreat. It can be used very effectively as an introduction to the Matrix Approach to Curriculum Design.
Students with compasses
Students in the field during the Catskills 2002 Lamont-Doherty field trip, measuring an apparent dip. Photo by Kim Kastens, Columbia University.

The Assignment

Write a recommendation letter for an ideal student in your program who is a new graduate, applying for graduate school or a job. In the letter, describe some of the following:

You can assume that these graduates have already met (in general) the institutional student learning outcomes.

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