LA HARBOR COLLEGE Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) Assessment Report Course Assessment Division: Science, Family and Consumer Studies Discipline/Program: Geography Course Number and Name: GEOG 001 Physical Geography Program Contact Person: Dr. Melanie Renfrew Phone: 310-233-4557_____________________ Reviewed by: Lora Lane, SLO Assessment Coordinator Date: Fall 2011, assessed January 2012 Attach additional pages as necessary. Institutional Learning Outcomes 2 Course Intended Outcomes 1. Identify locations with Earth’s reference grid of latitude and longitude; relate latitude with incoming solar radiation and climate types. (Introduction, Atmosphere) Means of Assessment and Criteria for Success Map identification, multiple choice and matching questions 2 2. Differentiate common patterns of temperatures, high and low pressure, global and local winds, humidity and precipitation. (Atmosphere, Hydrosphere) Map Matching and multiple choice questions 2, 3 3. Correlate world maps of plate tectonics, volcanoes and earthquakes; and distinguish landforms associated with convergent, divergent, and transform (transverse) plate tectonic boundaries. (Lithosphere) Matching and multiple choice questions 4. Recognize and illustrate the roles of water and wind in shaping vegetation patterns, and fluvial (river), coastal, Karst (groundwater in solution), desert, and glacial landforms. (Hydrosphere, Atmosphere, Biosphere, Lithosphere) Landform diagram exercises, Matching and multiple choice questions 2, 3, 5 Summary of Data Collected Use of Results 44% (28/63) scored correctly Students need about 2 more handson map exercises to process this, relate it to their GPS devices, and review throughout the semester. 43% (34/79) scored correctly. Usually the Atmosphere is the hardest of the 4 spheres for them because temperature, pressure and humidity are invisible, but I try to teach from the sky itself and keep urging them to observe. 48% answered these correctly in Fall 2011. (I did not assign this as a separate map exercise but lectured and drew on board for students to copy, and they did not learn them as well.) In Fall 2011, I assigned “Lithosphere Study Guides” to incorporate textbook and Internet resources and take more responsibility for their own learning, but only A and B students performed well on test questions that should have been obvious. (Only 48% I’m going to try to write out and draw all the Atmosphere topics they need to know, each with textbook page numbers and Internet diagram websites for reference. For Spring 2012, I’ll add the plate tectonic map and landform diagrams (SLO’s 3 & 4) back in as required lithosphere assignments. I keep trying varying hands-on methods and creative projects to see if students will learn better and retain information longer, but too many are not trying hard enough, and hoping professors will “make C’s happen for them.” I won’t assign this particular project again, although A and B students raved [30/63] passed the Lithosphere test: they didn’t study their “Study Guides.”) 2, 5 5. Correlate Earth’s climates and biomes on world maps. (Atmosphere, Biosphere) Map exercises and map matching questions 58% (45/77) answered these questions correctly. about it, said they learned the most about the Lithosphere of all, and were very proud of their projects. “ Double Gold Stars” For everyone to absorb global map knowledge, we need to keep reviewing, and maybe do it earlier in the semester so they have a chance to process causes and connections. March 2009 Institutional Learning Outcomes 1, 2 Course Intended Outcomes 1. Define geography, physical geography, and Earth’s four integrated spheres: atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and lithosphere Means of Assessment and Criteria for Success Multiple choice question on quiz 1 Summary of Data Collected Use of Results (specific data not collected in 2000’s) (This longer list of older SLO’s was from an early 2000’s effort to specify everything, now simplified.) SLO #1: My tests are cumulative and comprehensive; and if by the end of Geography 1, students do not know what the 4 spheres are, they need to take the class again. I now allow them to study over tests (but not keep them), and keep asking core topics so they need to answer similar questions correctly on subsequent tests & final, to earn A’s, B’s, C’s. This SLO was shifted over to Geography 15, the Lab class. 1, 2 2. Explain Earth’s reference grid: latitude and longitude, latitudinal geographic zones related to climate, and the relationship of longitude and time Multiple choice and matching On early quizzes and tests, passive students generally perform poorly, as they are not studying enough yet. (Continue in next box.) 2 3. Using a time zone map, calculate time zone differences between different locations on earth 4. Record field observations and compose a 4-6 page report on a geography field trip, including descriptions of the site, weather characteristics on that day, water features, vegetation, animals, landforms, rocks, soil, and human activity in the area, with 3 labeled drawings (plant, rock, and landscape). 5. Recognize and record observations of plant characteristics that serve as adaptations to dry, medium, and wet environments 6. Distinguish plant forms and identify plant samples in five Southern California vegetation communities: coastal sage scrub (“soft chaparral” on drier, sunnier slopes), chaparral (taller, thicker, woody shrubs on hillsides with more moisture), oak woodland (grasslands with scattered trees), riparian/streamside woodland, and grasslands (meadows) 7. Compare and correlate the Earth’s major climates and biomes (global vegetation regions) Class map exercise Graded exercises Field Trip Reports Several hundred reports, Geography Notebooks It was difficult for all the Geography 1 students to have transportation to local canyons, so this is no longer a required part of Geography 1, but is an important part of Geography 15 Physical Geography Lab class. Plant and leaf drawing exercises, multiple choice and diagram identification questions Plant and leaf drawing exercises, multiple choice and diagram identification questions About 95% of Geog 1 students who complete the class do Plant diagram exercises, and they are 94% beautiful! Matching results show students keep mixing up “chaparral” and “coastal sage scrub,” as they don’t see the differences much (most are visual learners) This is a valuable exercise for urban students to learn about and “see into” the biosphere. Map creation and comparisons Test matching, map location matching of regions 1, 3, 4, 5 1, 2, 5 1, 2, 5 1, 2 I decided it wasn’t important to test them on this ecosystem variation in Physical Geography, that a global view is more important, and understanding generalized Mediterranean plant adaptations. It is part of Lab field trip observations, but no longer Geography1. Instead of teaching about Climates first in the Atmosphere section, I now teach about them as correlations with plant biomes, so 8. Illustrate the water cycle (hydrologic cycle) and explain its processes. Test question, “Draw and label the water cycle.” 1, 2, 3 9. Describe the unique properties and geographic distribution of Earth’s waters. Map matching of major seas and rivers, multiple choice and matching about water characteristics and functions 1, 2, 5 10. Explain cloud formation and identify major types of clouds. Cloud drawings from books and sky, multiple choice and matching 11. Describe the basic pattern of Earth’s ocean currents, and identify major currents in the Pacific Ocean and the northern Atlantic. 12. Describe remote sensing, G.P.S. (Global Positioning System), and geographic Information Systems (G.I.S.) as tools used in geographic analysis. Map drawing, multiple choice and matching test questions (specific data not collected in 2000’s) 2 13. Locate major physical features of Earth on a series of world maps. Creation of their own “lithosphere maps” with major mountain ranges, tectonic plates, islands, peninsulas, and tested by map matching. I use the backs of Scantron 883 forms which have 15 choices for map matching, which are more rigorous and less easy to guess. 2, 5 14. Describe and draw diagrams illustrating common patterns of temperatures, high and low pressure, ocean Multiple choice, matching, fill in and completion questions, map identification (specific data not collected in 2000’s) I have added Internet exercises about the 1, 2 1, 2 1, 3 If students need to draw it on Quiz 1 or 2, that is a better form of testing than just multiple choice selection of processes (but they take longer to grade). Specific data not collected on map success rates, but learning maps is usually correlated with their overall effort for an A, B, C, or lack of it. If students “skip” map learning overall or fail to try overcoming a spatial mental block, it can lower a final grade. (specific data not collected in 2000’s) students can visualize the differences and understand how air pressure and winds contribute to precipitation, and rain is correlated with biomass Keep reviewing it outdoors with sky and dew observations, weather reports and views of snow in mountains when it’s clear (See SLO # 13, Use of results.) I have added Internet exercises about the Atmosphere for students to appreciate photos, diagrams, and visualizations online. These currents are shown but not labeled in their current textbook, so I need to draw and emphasize them each time. This SLO was shifted to the Geography 15 Lab Class as part of a take-home midterm examination, to work on research competency (ISLO # 3). Although map location is only a minor part of Geography, it is an important part of the language of the lithosphere. Some students have never studied maps before. They have 2 chances, as the Final exam has a world map, so they need to review both water and physical land features. I take them outside to teach from the sky whenever possible, and stopped teaching and testing on and land winds (“onshore and offshore”), global wind systems, rain and desert patterns. 1, 2, 5 15. Distinguish between internal, mountain-building processes (uplift, folding, faulting, volcanoes, and convergence of tectonic plates), and external, landform-shaping processes (weathering, erosion, mass wasting, and deposition). Illustrate each with examples. Atmosphere for students to appreciate photos, diagrams, and visualizations online. Multiple choice, matching, drawing and labeling landform diagrams on Lithosphere and Final exams Drawing Earth features is a good way of learning, so what they drew in exercises, >80% remembered and were able to replicate the drawings on tests. “offshore and onshore” terms because L.A. and TV meteorologists don’t even know the difference, and are indoors so don’t see winds reversing. This is a continued part of Geography 1 Lithosphere learning: Earth is beautiful and aesthetic, and science is enhanced by Earth’s natural artistic designs.