A plan to assess the impact of curriculum and department climate on undergraduate student learning

Wednesday 4:30pm-5:45pm Beren Auditorium
Poster Session Part of Wednesday Poster Session


Alexandra Snell, Texas A & M University
Julie Newman, Texas A & M University
David Sparks, Texas A & M University
The Department of Geology & Geophysics (G&G) at Texas A&M University recently completed a curriculum redesign. A data-driven backward design process incorporated data from current and former students, department faculty, peer institution faculty, and employers from a variety of target industries. The G&G curriculum redesign established and aligned learning outcomes (LO's) for a set of new and redesigned core classes. We are currently beginning the processes of assessing the new curriculum, implemented in the Fall of 2017. We assess both the effectiveness of the realigned learning outcomes and department climate on undergraduate student learning, with the goal of creating a more inclusive and accessible undergraduate educational environment, and an engaged and diverse student community.

The assessment of the new curriculum incorporates data and evaluations from both students and faculty. Assessment of undergraduate learning will consist of two parts: First, a Curriculum Review Committee (CRC) will assess course materials to determine if learning outcomes are met through an evaluation of course materials and student performance. Second, student feedback on learning and climate will be collected through three student surveys: 1) a course learning outcomes survey; 2) an annual department climate survey; and 3) a graduation exit survey. If CRC review of course materials and student surveys indicate that learning outcomes are not met, further review will attempt to identify possible problems. Items to be considered will include (though will not be limited to): inappropriate preparation (alignment of learning outcomes within courses and prior (high school) preparation); appropriateness of LO's; delivery of material (in the current or previous course); and departmental climate.