plan_sci_earthsci_BS_2010

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					                                   Draft Assessment Plan
Program       B.S. in Earth Science
Assessment Coordinator for the program
Department(s) or Interdisciplinary Council Responsible for the Program
Five-Year Implementation Dates (2010-2011 to 2014-2015)

Is this program accredited by an external organization? No x

1. Student Learning Outcomes for the program. List the Student Learning Outcomes for the
program.

   1. Demonstrate the ability to recognize, formulate, employ, and interpret the scientific
      methodology

   2. Demonstrate the knowledge of major rock types, geologic time, evolution, and earth history
      events

   3. Demonstrate the knowledge in various specializations within the field of earth science to solve
      appropriate research or applied problems.

   4. Demonstrate the ability to function independently, collaboratively, and ethically with others in
      the profession as colleagues and supervisors

   5. Demonstrate the written and verbal communications skills required to convey contemporary
      theories in earth science and in how the Earth operates as a system

   6. Demonstrate sufficient skills in computers and multi-media systems for the application and
      presentation in earth science
2. Curriculum Alignment of Student Learning Outcomes. Where is the information introduced,
enriched, and/or reinforced in the courses required in the program?

                              Student Learning Outcome I=Introduced,
                              E= Enriched, R= Reinforced
Courses in the Program           1      2      3    4       5      6
(Required and Electives)
ENG 101, 102                                               I
ENG 231 or 232                                             E
Multicultural and                                    I
International
MATH 126/127, 128 or            I
181
ENG 405B, 407B, 407A, or                                   R      E
407a
GEOL 100, 101 or GEOG           I      I      I      I     I      I
103
GEOL 102                        E      E      E      E      E     E
GEOL 220                        R      R      R      R      R     E
GEOL 335                        R      R      R      R      R     R
CHEM 121/121L                   I
PHY 151/151L                    I
Geology/ Geography
Electives 200 level or         E/R   E/R    E/R    E/R    E/R    E/R
above, 28 credits
Additional Electives in
Geology or other topics        E/R   E/R    E/R    E/R    E/R    E/R
above 300 level, 32 credits
3. Evidence/Artifacts used to assess Student Learning Outcomes over the 5 year period of this
Plan. What instruments will be used in each of the five years? When and where will they be
administered in each of the five years? Which Student Learning Outcomes will be assessed during
each of the 5 years? How will results be reported (e.g. percentages, ranks, state or national
comparisons) for each of the 5 years?


Student           Methods/Instrum    Person            Expected Measures   When and where will
Learning          ents (Direct and   Responsible for   from the            the
Outcomes for      Indirect) to be    instrument and    Methods/Instruments Methods/Instruments be
the Program       used               data collection                       administered and data
                                                                           collected?
1. (Scientific    a. Course grades   a. Instructor,    Progress            Grades at end of each
Method)                              tabulation by                         academic year, courses
                  b. Course          Assessment                            each semester, and
                  evaluations        Coordinator                           during mandatory
                                     b. Dept. Chair                        advising
2. (Geological    a. Course grades   a. Instructor,    Progress            Grades at end of each
Knowledge)                           tabulation by                         academic year, courses
                  b. Course          Assessment                            each semester, and
                  evaluations        Coordinator                           during mandatory
                                     b. Dept. Chair                        advising
3. (Geological    a. Course grades   a. Instructor,    Progress            Grades at end of each
Applications)                        tabulation by                         academic year, courses
                  b. Course          Assessment                            each semester, and
                  evaluations        Coordinator                           during mandatory
                                     b. Dept. Chair                        advising
4.                Advising with      Academic          Progress report     During mandatory
(Collaboration,   student            advisor                               advising every Spring
Independence,                                                              semester
Ethics)

5.                a. Course grades   a. Instructor,    Progress            Grades at end of each
(Communication)                      tabulation by                         academic year, courses
                  b. Course          Assessment                            each semester, and
                  evaluations        Coordinator                           during mandatory
                                     b. Dept. Chair                        advising
6.(Computers      a. Course grades   a. Instructor,    Progress            Grades at end of each
and Multi-                           tabulation by                         academic year, courses
media)            b. Course          Assessment                            each semester, and
                  evaluations        Coordinator                           during mandatory
                                     b. Dept. Chair                        advising
4. Dissemination of Information over the 5 year period of this Plan. When, where, and how will
results be disseminated to stakeholders?

All results will be analyzed by the Assessment Coordinator, the Geology Undergraduate Program
Committee, and Chair with assistance of faculty and support staff. The tabulated results and a written
evaluation of them will be disseminated them will be made available in the department office, and sent
to the University Assessment Office.


5. Process for Program Improvement

1) The Geoscience Department is engaged in a continuous loop of educational and research activities,
assessment and self-reflection of these activities based on our outcomes, re-evaluation and revision of
our Departmental strategic plan; and implementation of these changes into our operation of educational
and research activities. On a typical year, our model is to have a department retreat just prior to the
Fall semester wherein we set the agenda for which aspect(s) of our department mission that we wish to
focus our efforts to improve over the academic year. We then establish working groups, and working
groups present their recommendations to the general faculty at faculty meetings staggered throughout
the academic year. Curriculum evaluation and revision within degree programs is included in this
process.

2) The Department of Geoscience takes student evaluations very seriously and uses this as a method to
"close the loop", by adjusting our teaching, field trips, scheduling and curriculum to consider the
expressed wishes of the students. Student evaluations are done for each class, with evaluators
remaining anonymous, and are a quantitative measure of classroom performance. The evaluations are
reviewed by the Department Chair and then distributed, with comments, to the relevant faculty
instructor. If the Chair perceives a need for discussion or revision of some curricular issue, this is
brought up to the faculty at a general faculty meeting. General faculty meetings are usually scheduled
once a week, and are typically attended by a graduate student representative. The faculty also have
smaller curricular groups that meet less frequently, and review course scheduling, textbooks,
laboratory issues, and coordination aspects of classes. Additionally, students in our 100-level physical
geology course are surveyed every semester regarding the textbook (price, level, graphics, etc.),
laboratory (utility, field trips, etc.), and other curricular aspects. The survey focuses entirely on
curricular issues, and excludes evaluating instruction. The resulting advisement from the students is
taken into account for planning purposes. Our responsiveness to student evaluations is a definite way
we continually and institutionally mandate review of teaching and learning in the Department.

3) The UNLV Geoscience undergraduate program has just undergone a complete reevaluation and
revision. This review involved a 1 ½ day National Science Foundation external peer workshop
attended by all faculty. There followed data gathering and committee reports on Objectives (what the
goals are for our academic programs), Expectations (what the professional/academic community
expects of our graduates and how we can improve), and Models (surveys of other geoscience programs
and their approaches). As a result, two of our three undergraduate programs have been entirely
revised, the third is still under consideration.

				
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