University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

CA3 Assessment and Learning Outcomes

Provisos:

1) Feedback from relevant departments on the learning goals and learning objectives proposed here would be useful.

2) We strongly believe that the resources required for assessment should not negatively impact the overarching missions of the university: instruction, research, and service.

Mission:

To acquaint students with scientific thought, observation, experimentation and formal hypothesis testing

To introduce students to the basic vocabulary of science and technology and the process of scientific inquiry so they can make informed assessments of the physical universe and of technological developments.

To enable students to consider the impact that developments in science and technology have on the world, its processes, and the quality of life

Learning Goals :

Students should:

1. know the basic concepts and vocabulary of two areas of science or technology and the importance of these areas to modern society

2. be familiar with at least two contemporary scientific or technical methods and understand how they are applied to gain scientific or technical knowledge

3. be able to explain the conceptual basis of the Scientific Method , including its definition, motivation, steps of application, hypothesis testing, and misapplications

4. be able to distinguish between science and pseudoscience

5. be able to describe a scientific experiment that he or she is familiar with and explain how it applies the steps of the scientific method

6. be familiar with some unresolved scientific questions

7. be able to analyze debates about the roles science and technology play in shaping the world and human society

8. acquire skills associated with scientific inquiry

Learning Objectives:

Students must be able to:

1a. describe the underlying principles of two areas of science or technology.

1b. explain why these areas of science and technology are important to modern society

2. describe at least two contemporary scientific or technical methods and how these methods are used to advance knowledge

3. explain the conceptual basis of the Scientific Method , including its definition, motivation, steps of application, hypothesis testing, and misapplications

4. analyze hypothetical or real scenarios to discern integrity of scientific claims

5. describe a scientific experiment or test and explain how it applies the steps of the scientific method

6. give examples of experiments that address unresolved scientific questions using established techniques, methods, or instruments

7. discuss at least two current issues related to how science and technology impact the world, including human society.

For laboratory courses, students should be able to

8a. Appropriately handle and utilize instruments, glassware or other laboratory tools

8b. identify experimental variables, record data and describe observed phenomena using scientific terminology

8c. state how changes in the variables impact results and identify trends and sources of error

8d. logically derive and state valid conclusions from analyzed experimental data

Definition and Criteria (from GEOC guidelines):

These courses acquaint students with scientific thought, observation, experimentation, and formal hypothesis testing, and enable students to consider the impact that developments in science and technology have on the nature and quality of life. Knowledge of the basic vocabulary of science and technology is a prerequisite for informed assessments of the physical universe and of technological developments.

Courses appropriate to this category should: 1. Explore an area of science or technology by introducing students to a broad, coherent body of knowledge and contemporary scientific or technical methods;

2. Promote an understanding of the nature of modern scientific inquiry, the process of investigation, and the interplay of data, hypotheses, and principles in the development and application of scientific knowledge;

3. Introduce students to unresolved questions in some area of science or technology and discuss how progress might be made in answering these questions; and

4. Promote interest, competence, and commitment to continued learning about contemporary science and technology and their impact upon the world and human society.

Laboratory courses in this category must teach fundamental principles of the biological and/or physical sciences through hands-on participation.

Click here to view Assessment Reports from:

July 2008
June 2009
September 2010