Curriculum & Student Assessment; Routes to Recruitment

Wednesday 11:30am-1:30pm UMC Aspen Rooms


William Hoyt, University of Northern Colorado
Graham Baird, University of Northern Colorado
Joe Elkins, University of Northern Colorado
Steven Anderson, University of Northern Colorado
Cindy Shellito, University of Northern Colorado
Byron Straw, University of Northern Colorado
Emmett Evanoff, University of Northern Colorado
After two years working in the Assessment Leadership Institute (ALI) at the University of Northern Colorado, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences faculty crafted student learning outcomes based on mission/vision. Faculty in Geology and Meteorology crafted assessment measures for both science content/skills and professional skills that were piloted in the 2014-15 academic year. In the ensuing year considerable work needs to be done in the curriculum revitalization and student assessment of the Environmental Earth Science track.

Recruiting geoscience students into attractive and vibrant programs, especially those from underrepresented groups, is a strong need; we have capacity for new majors and minors and a very strong job market in Colorado that should attract students. But we need to continue to clearly articulate to students, parents, and employers exactly what we expect our graduates to know and be able to do upon graduation. No longer is it sufficient to offer an excellent undergraduate bachelor of science degree in geosciences--we need to explain in some detail BOTH what students know and are able to do (science content knowledge)AND how students are able to represent their knowledge in the workplace (professional skills).

Toward that end, we developed a matrix of every significant science content domain, scientific and analytical skill set, and professional workplace skill PLOTTED AGAINST each course in our set of curriculum offerings in geology and environmental sciences. Instructors of each course scored the levels of treatment for each content area, scientific skill, and professional skill using the following scale: 1=Introduction to Skill; 2=Reinforcement of Skill; and 3=Mastery of Skill. Using that technique, we see where we are strong and where we need to scaffold skills more extensively.

Preliminary data analysis of student learning outcomes assessed during 2014-15 show that communication of scientific mechanisms and processes was not as strong as needed.

Presentation Media

Curriculum & Student Assessment; Routes to Recruitment (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 6.5MB Jul17 15)