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Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science

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					MS Program Learning Outcomes
Student Learning            Assessment Measures and Criteria                         Assessment Schedule
   Outcomes
1. Demonstrate              1a. Measure: The results of the Comprehensive            2006 and then on a yearly basis
    knowledge of broad           Examination are reviewed by the AOSC
    and specialty content        examination committee in order to provide
    areas.                       immediate feedback on the courses. The AOSC
                                 Department Curriculum Committee (ADCC) will
                                 select an appropriate problem from each
                                 Qualifying Examination and analyze the solutions
                                 of all the students.
                            1a. Criteria: The Qualifying Examination question
                                 used will be one that makes extensive use of the
                                 concepts of the core courses (covering dynamics,
                                 physics/chemistry, and climate/general
                                 meteorology) in the solution of the problem. The
                                 following criteria will be used when the ADCC
                                 evaluates solutions based on: relevance, and
                                 correctness of the solution. We will expect a 75%
                                 success rate for the ADCC evaluation based on
                                 these criteria.
                            1b. Measure The Graduate Director will consult with
                                 the faculty members teaching each course to
                                 ascertain the strengths and weaknesses of the
                                 course and the level of preparation of the
                                 students.
                            1b. Criteria A subjective experience-based set of
                                 criteria evaluating scientific breadth and depth
                                 will be used based on past course offerings at
                                 UMD and elsewhere.
   Assessment Criteria and Impact of Results
                              1a. Comprehensive Exam
Assessment Criteria
Evaluate one question from the Comprehensive examination. There are three potential outcome to this test:
Failure in summarizing the basic theories implies that the student has not got sufficient knowledge to pursue
atmospheric science research. In this case, (s)he may be asked to either retake the course or the exam, pending
the scores of other questions.
Demonstrates sufficient knowledge in the theory, but fail to apply it to solve a real problem. This may indicate
that the student is a good learner, but may not be suitable for pursuing original scientific research. (S)he may be
recommended to receive a M.Sc. degree, but not for a Ph.D, if he has similar performance in other exams.
Good in both theory and application. The student will be recommended for a Ph.D. study, if good achievements
are also accomplished in other exams.


Impact
Evaluation: Question examined for spring 2007: Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry: Part I (METO620)
This question tests how well students can apply the basic cloud physics theories learned in the classroom to
solve a practical problem that has been a hot topic in the arena of climate change. It deals with both the
fundamentals of cloud formation, droplet growth and initiation of precipitation, as well as the modern cloud
observation techniques.
Consequences: the faculty is still mulling the consequences of these results
  Assessment Criteria and Impact of Results
                             1b. Core Course Review

Assessment Criteria
A subjective experience-based set of criteria evaluating scientific breadth and depth will be used based on past
course offerings at UMD and elsewhere.


Impact
Assessment results: A survey of the current course offerings (winter 2006-7) based on discussions with the
instructors, exit interviews, and review of the student evaluations finds the following strengths and weaknesses
of the academic program:
1) Strengths: students are exposed not only to traditional dynamics and physics of the atmosphere and oceans,
but also to interdisciplinary research areas within earth system science. The core courses are exceptional among
those offered at competitor institutions in that they encourage students in areas of critical thinking, scientific
presentations and proposal development.
2) Weakness: Students are currently lacking education in synoptic meteorology.
Consequences: synoptic meteorology should be taught regularly.
Student Learning            Assessment Measures and Criteria                         Assessment Schedule
Outcomes
2. Demonstrate ability to   Measure As part of their coursework students will        2006 and then on a yearly basis
construct a research        have as an exercise the construction of a research
proposal                    proposal. The ADCC will consult with the course
                            instructor for AOSC680 to ascertain the level of
                            preparation of the students.
                            Criteria: The following criteria will be used when the
                            ADCC in concert with the student Advisor evaluates
                            the research proposals:
                            1. Adherence to formatting requirements.
                            2. Depth of knowledge of problem being proposed.
                            3. Clarity of written presentation.
                            We will expect a 75% success rate for the evaluation
                            based on these criteria.
         Assessment Criteria and Impact of Results
   2. Demonstrate ability to construct a research proposal

Assessment Criteria
Every year in AOSC 680 each student is required to prepare a mock proposal in response to an actual NASA Young
Investigator proposal solicitation. The students are required to prepare a letter of intent, which is then assessed by
the instructor and feedback is provided with respect to its suitability for a full proposal submission. Proposals are
then prepared by each student according to the solicitation criteria in the announcement of opportunity. Each
student presents their proposal in oral and written form. Each student’s oral proposal defense and written proposal
are reviewed by their peers in class according to the review criteria in solicitation .


Impact
Assessment: Students gain first-hand experience on proposal preparation and review. Feedback and review
comments are provided to each student. Input from each student is solicited regarding what he or she learned and
how the process can be improved.
Consequences: continue with the same approach
Student Learning            Assessment Measures and Criteria                                  Assessment Schedule
Outcomes
3. Demonstrate competence   Measure: Graduate students in AOSC MS program are                 2006 and then on a yearly basis
in research and extended    expected to develop competence in research and extended
exposition                  exposition by completing a scholarly paper and presenting the
                            work in a Department lecture forum. The subject is selected in
                            consultation with the faculty advisor, who provides feedback on
                            both the research and the oral and written presentation.
                            Criteria: The following criteria will be used when the ADCC in
                            concert with the course instructor evaluates the scholarly
                            papers/presentations:
                            1. Adherence to formatting requirements.
                            2. Depth of knowledge of problem being proposed.
                            3. Clarity of written and oral presentation.
                            We will expect a virtually 100% success rate for the evaluation
                            based on these criteria.
     Assessment Criteria and Impact of Results
3. Demonstrate competence in research and extended
                    exposition

 Assessment Criteria:
 The following criteria will be used when the ADCC in concert with the course instructor evaluates the scholarly
 papers/presentations:
 1. Adherence to formatting requirements.
 2. Depth of knowledge of problem being proposed.
 3. Clarity of written and oral presentation.
 We will expect a virtually 100% success rate for the evaluation based on these criteria.


 Impact
 Assessment: Success rate is 100% for the scholarly papers, somewhat less for the oral presentations for students
 who complete the MS degree. No students have left the program due to failure to satisfy these criteria. There is
 a continuing emphasis on having the students make a number of oral presentations during their courses.
Student Learning                  Assessment Measures and Criteria                                   Assessment Schedule
Outcomes

4. Students will be prepared to   Assessment and Measure: Students graduating from the MS            AOSC is already enhancing its
use their expertise in            program will be surveyed upon completing the program and           database monitoring students in its
Atmospheric and Oceanic           again approximately two years after graduation. The survey         MS and PhD programs and has
Science and more generally in     instrument will be designed to assess the extent to which their    developed an exit interview form for
scientific research skills in     preparation in Atmospheric Science advances their career           surveys of exiting students. The first
their future endeavors, not       directions toward a career in atmospheric and oceanic science,     surveys have been conducted in 2
only within the discipline        for example: working in academia, government or business.          005. The Graduate Director will be
itself but also drawing on this   Criteria The emphasis in evaluating the responses will be to       responsible for collecting and
information in other careers.     motivate a continuous process by which the Department              analyzing this data and making
                                  addresses the most serious (commonly cited and important)          recommendations from their analysis
                                  issues first. Thus, continual improvement, reflected partly by a   for the MS Program.
                                  shift in the most commonly cited issues and partly by the
                                  enthusiasm expressed in the responses to general questions, is
                                  our Criteria for success.
  Assessment Criteria and Impact of Results
                                 5. Exit Interviews

Assessment Criteria
The emphasis in evaluating the responses will be to motivate a continuous process by which the
Department addresses the most serious (commonly cited and important) issues first. Thus,
continual improvement, reflected partly by a shift in the most commonly cited issues and partly by
the enthusiasm expressed in the responses to general questions, is our Criteria for success.



Impact of Results
Assessment: Coursework: Some students found the courses are generally well structured for them
to study the processes regulating chemical and physical processes in the atmosphere and ocean.
Advising: our faculty are helpful in advising students to conduct their research projects and
present their scholarly work in conferences and journals. The students appreciate the fact that the
Department organizes regular seminars, on average, twice a week to help our students learn how
other scientists conduct their research and what is up-to-date in our science.
Consequences: no specific consequences now.

				
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posted:7/22/2012
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