STUDENT OUTCOMES ASSESSMENT
UNIVERSITY OF NORTHERN IOWA
DEPARTMENT OF EARTH SCIENCE
Bachelor of Arts: Geology Major
I.
Departmental Philosophy of Student Outcomes Assessment
The Bachelor of Arts in geology provides a wider choice of electives than the Bachelor
of Science Degree-Geology Major. With the appropriate choice of electives, the B.A. geology
program can meet the needs of students preparing for additional study in selected fields of
geology, paleontology, and related earth science areas. An environmental science emphasis is
available with this program, effective fall 1994.
The Assessment Plan for the Bachelor of Arts Degree—Geology Major is based on the
primary purpose of generating information which will be useful for enhancing student learning
and program development. To this end, we are focused on four interrelated goals. First, we
believe that it is critical for our students to establish a basic background in the supporting
sciences and mathematics. Geology is becoming increasingly more quantitative and our
students must give special attention to developing quantitative and analytical skills. Second,
our students must master a broad understanding of the field of geology in order to become
competent professionals in today’s society. This requires the completion and understanding of
the basic 8-semester-hour sequence in geology as well as upper division offerings in
crystallography, mineralogy, optical mineralogy-petrography, structural geology, stratigraphy
and sedimentation, and various geology electives. Third, our students must be prepared to
apply their geologic knowledge to new situations and to engage in independent work, data
synthesis, and problem solving. Opportunities for these applications are found in upper
division courses, a required summer field experience, and in optional undergraduate research
work and independent study. Fourth, geologic knowledge as applied to any situation must be
communicated clearly to be understood and to be useful. Hence, we give special attention to
written and oral communication by our students.
The Bachelor of Arts--Geology Major combines a set of core requirements (geology,
related sciences, and mathematics) with general university requirements and electives. In order
to allow flexibility in our assessment procedure, we have selected student portfolios and
surveys as major components of our Assessment Plan. Our Assessment Plan incorporates those
student outcomes and assessment methods which will tell us most directly how well our
curriculum and program structures are responding to the four goals stated above. The
Assessment Plan for the BA-Geology Major has been reviewed by student representatives from
the Department of Earth Science.
II.
Outcomes and Competencies
Outcome 1 Students shall become familiar with basic principles from mathematics
and other sciences and of the relationship of these principles to the
solution of geologic problems.
Competency 1.1
Application of basic mathematical concepts through the
level of Elementary Analysis or Calculus I.
Competency 1.2
Application of the basic principles of chemistry through
the level of General Chemistry II.
Competency 1.3
Application of the basic principles of physics through the
level of General Physics II or Physics II.
Competency 1.4
Application of mathematics and science principles in
required upper-division courses in geology.
Outcome 2 Students shall become familiar with the basic principles of geology.
Competency 2.1
Develop an understanding of the broad discipline of
geology and its major subfields.
Competency 2.2
Application of the major principles in crystallography and
mineralogy, including the identification of minerals by
physical, chemical, and x-ray methods.
Competency 2.3
Application of the major principles in optical mineralogypetrography, including the identification of minerals by
optical methods.
Competency 2.4
Application of the major principles of structural geology,
including understanding the mechanics of rock
deformation and plate tectonics.
Competency 2.5
Application of the basic principles of sedimentation,
including the identification of common sedimentary rocks
and interpretation of their environment of deposition.
Competency 2.6
Application of additional principles in geology through
study in selected upper division courses and electives.
Outcome 3 Students shall pursue independent work, data synthesis, and problem
solving.
Competency 3.1
Be able to synthesize geological information and
interpretations from multiple sources.
Competency 3.2
Be able to successfully complete a summer field course in
geology.
Outcome 4 Students shall communicate orally and in written form according to
the standards of the discipline.
Competency 4.1
Be able to make an oral presentation to a group of peers
which successfully communicates geologic
understanding.
Competency 4.2
Be able to create a written paper (or report) in
conformance with discipline standards for scholarly
publication and in keeping with common standards of
expression for the English language.
Measurement of Competencies (B.A. Geology)
Competency
Method of Measurement
1.1--------------------------grades in required courses
1.2--------------------------grades in required courses
1.3--------------------------grades in required courses
1.4--------------------------grades in required courses;
observations by geology staff
2.1--------------------------grades in required courses;
observations by geology staff
2.2--------------------------grades in required courses;
observations by geology staff
2.3--------------------------grades in required courses;
observations by geology staff
2.4--------------------------grades in required courses;
observations by geology staff
2.5--------------------------grades in required courses;
observations by geology staff
2.6--------------------------grades in required courses;
observations by geology staff
3.1--------------------------required term papers and other writing
assignments in upper-level courses
3.2--------------------------copy of transcript of geology summer field course; co
student’s self evaluation of field course
4.1--------------------------presentations in classes
4.2--------------------------departmental writing requirement (see
attached copy of “Writing in the Earth
Sciences”)
Understanding of competencies 1.1-2.6 will also be judged from the results of the
(recommended) Graduate Record Examination. The GRE results will allow us to assess the standing
of our graduates with a national audience and national norms. At the time of their graduation, students
are invited to provide comments concerning the strengths and weaknesses of this program. The
student’s advisor will prepare a summary statement for the portfolio, commenting on the progress and
professional growth of the student.
Download

STUDENT OUTCOMES ASSESSMENT UNIVERSITY OF NORTHERN IOWA DEPARTMENT OF EARTH SCIENCE