Assessment of Module Goals
Below, you will find a list of assessments for each unit of the module, as well as assessments for the module as a whole. Each unit has associated with it formative and/or summative assessments to measure student progress toward individual unit learning outcomes.
Overall Module Assessments
This assessment is designed to measure student outcomes related to the four module goals:
- identify and explain key concepts related to sustainability and water systems in cities
- apply knowledge and skills from atmospheric science and hydrologic science to plan for water sustainability in cities
- use systems thinking to identify opportunities to enhance water system sustainability in cities
- create feasible alternatives and recommend options to improve the sustainability of water systems in cities
The module goals are assessed using the team project presented in Unit 9. The team project will also include other group and individual assessment elements:
Individual Assessment - Students are given a scenario and asked to create a plan for a sustainable urban water system. Students select strategies from the various units, make recommendations (based on qualitative and quantitative metrics), and justify their selection based on specified criteria. Students submit a report, which is assessed individually.
Group Assessment - Student groups develop a group plan for a sustainable urban water system utilizing the best elements of the individual plans from their group. The groups prepare a classroom presentation of their group design. Students need to justify their selection and in their selection, they demonstrate their understanding of sustainability as applied to urban water systems. This should include understanding of resiliency of the urban water system to natural hazards and to climate variability.
The Unit 9 rubric (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 31kB Jul5 16) can be used to assess both the individual report and the group presentation.
- Identify challenges and solutions to water sustainability in cities (Assessment: Pre-Class Questions (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 25kB Sep26 16) and In-Class Discussion)
- Define water sustainability in the context of cities (Assessment: In-Class Questioning (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 252kB Jun24 16))
- Explain systems thinking, triple bottom line, cradle-to-cradle, and other sustainability concepts and describe their relationship to water (Assessment: Muddiest Point (Microsoft Word 28kB Jun24 16) and In-Class Discussion)
- Describe using systems thinking terminology to explain the interconnections of a water system to infrastructure, governance, people, economy, and other systems in cities (Assessment: Mind Maps (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 19kB Jun24 16))
Prior to class, students complete the pre-class work and quiz (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 30kB Sep21 16).
Students will be divided into small groups to complete the following homework assignment:
- Unit 2 Assignment (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 24kB Sep21 16)
- Unit 2 Student Handout for USGS data download (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 1.6MB Sep21 16)
- Pre-class Quiz (20% weight)
- Group assignment due in a week (80% weight)
- Excellent: >90%; Very Good: 80–90%; Good: 70–80%; Poor: 60–70%
Prior to class and at the end of class, students complete the same quiz Urban Water - Atmospheric Environment Interactions Pre-Assessment Quiz (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 62kB Jul8 16). An
The summative assessment for this module involves Faculty-Coached Learning. In this activity, small student groups are tasked with being a consulting company that is creating a strategic plan for how to (1) map the city's urban heat island and (2) determine what months are likely to experience urban flooding.
Prior to class, students watch the following video Evapotranspiration and Landscape Plant Water Needs and complete the Introduction to ET and Landscape Water use activity - Activity 4.0 - Student Handout (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 1.6MB Sep22 16).
In class, students work on a water-efficient landscape design activity, which is assessed with the following rubric: Activity 4.2 - Rubric (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 21kB Jul4 16). The instructor selects which option will be used:
Option 1 - Single-family Residence Backyard Design
- Option 1a - Without computers in the classroom
- Student Handout (includes instructions and worksheet): Activity 4.2 - Option 1a - Student Handout (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 116kB Sep22 16)
- Instructor Solution (For instructor use only):
- Option 1b - With computers in the classroom
Option 2 - Institutional Building at University of Utah (computer required)
- Student handout: Activity 4.2, Option 2: Student Instructions (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 290kB Sep22 16)
- Student spreadsheet: Activity 4.2, Option 2: Student Spreadsheet (Excel 2007 (.xlsx) 17kB Sep9 15)
For homework, students answer discussion questions reflecting back on their group design project: Activity 4.4 - Discussion Questions (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 24kB Jul4 16) (Note: these questions are also included in the Option 1a student handout).
Prior to class, students watch two videos and complete and submit the pre-class questionnaire (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 20kB Sep13 15).
During class, students complete spreadsheets for three activities:
- Estimating indoor water use
- Student spreadsheet (Excel 2007 macro-enabled (.xlsm) 123kB Aug26 16)
- Reducing indoor water use
- Check net zero water
- Student spreadsheet (Excel 2007 (.xlsx) 14kB Sep13 15)
- Estimate outdoor water use (optional)
- Student spreadsheet (Excel 2007 (.xlsx) 12kB Apr9 16)
Prior to class, students complete a reading assignment, watch a video, and submit answers to questions listed in the pre-class assignment (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 22kB Jul4 16).
During class, students complete a spreadsheet showing water balance for original demand pattern and design demand patterns.
- Student spreadsheet (Excel 2007 (.xlsx) 18kB Sep20 15)
To complete the activity students must submit a paragraph summary.
Prior to class, students complete activities and submit answers to questions provided in the pre-class assignment (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 24kB Jul4 16).
During class, students complete a computer software activity and submit a summary memo as described in the activity handout (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 28kB Jul4 16).
After class, students complete a homework assignment (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 22kB Jul4 16).
Prior to class, students will complete the Pre-Class Assignment (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 28kB Sep21 16), after going through the pre-class reading materials and Pre-Class Slides (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 521kB Sep21 16).
Toward the end of the session, students divide into small groups to reflect on what was learned (metacognition) through some discussion questions using Think-Pair-Share approach.
- Pre-class assignment (50% weight)
- Notes of Think-Pair-Share group work (50% weight)
- Excellent: >90%; Very Good: 80–90%; Good: 70–80%; Poor: 60–70%
Unit 9 is designed to take two class periods. The instructions for the whole unit are provided in these Unit 9 instructions for students (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 2.8MB Sep22 16).
Prior to the first class session, students create three PowerPoint slides containing items related to water sustainability in cities: Synthesis Activity (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 24kB Jul5 16).
In class, during the first class session, students prepare a group preliminary plan for their assigned urban development scenario.
For homework that is due for the second class session, student perform their calculations for the design scenario individually and bring their results to the second class session.
In class, during the second class session, student work in their groups to prepare a final design and present their design to the rest of the class.
- Rubric for instructor assessment of group presentation (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 31kB Jul5 16)
- Students review their peers' presentation and review their group's design using the peer-review version of the rubric (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 22kB Jul5 16)
- This rubric is formatted with two rubrics per page, so that they can be cut in half after printing to reduce the amount of paper used.
- This rubric can also be used to ask students to asses their own group design for self-reflection.