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Showing posts from July, 2013

Institutional Student Learning Outcomes

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Early draft work on the next college catalog includes the revised Institutional Student Learning Outcomes (ILOs). There were a number of reasons for stepping down as division chair in 2007 after six years, one of them was to take over physical science and to experiment with serving the ILOs I had proposed in 2006.

The recently revised ILOs for the college are more similar to my 2006 proposal than those that had been circulated. The revised ILOs now provide an opportunity to report on course level outcomes in terms of the ILOs, as I had hoped to do over seven years ago. The following report examines how SC 130 Physical Science attempts to inform four of the eight ILOs.

Communication, oral:
1. Effective oral communication: capacity to deliver prepared, purposeful presentations designed to increase knowledge, to foster understanding, or to promote change in the listeners’ attitudes, values, beliefs, or behaviors.

SC 130 Physical Science does not currently have this institutional level out…

Numeric information in graphic forms skills pre-post assessment

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Underneath the focus on physical systems, SC 130 Physical Science is built on a foundation of connecting physical systems to their mathematical models and communicating the results in writing. Laboratory exercises lead to the writing up of a full laboratory report that is marked for content, syntax, grammar, vocabulary, organization, and cohesion.

The majority of the laboratories investigate systems that involve a linear mathematical relationship. Reports include xy scatter graphs, best fit linear trend lines, slope, and y-intercept analysis. The course outline includes the learning outcome, "Students will generate mathematical models for physical science systems."  This serves a general education program learning outcome, "Present and interpret numeric information in graphic forms."

As a way of measuring progress against these two learning outcomes summer 2013, I give a six question pre-assessment and then included the same material on the final examination.

The s…

Site swap notation

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Laboratory fifteen pushes the mathematical models box by introducing a set of mathematics not previously seen by the students that generates predictions


Jimmy Silbanuz catches on quickly



Kamleen doing a two ball "dapwadapw"



Elmira also began on a two ball and then added in the third ball. This seems to make sense for dapwadapw'ers.



Tracy Donre practicing.



Risenta



Elmihra, three balls up



Elmira and Kamleen move immediately into cooperative passing.



Shane, right side lost.



Rose Ann still watching the one aloft while one escapes left.



Marson two-ball dapwadapw





Tracy, three space balls under control



Mackleen contemplating





Planetary distances and frisbee exploratory lab

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This term the loss of class on Tuesday led to my simply bringing the 13 planets book along during the planetary placement walk.


Jane rose shows Saturn, which was located at the LRC.



That would be me, lecturing from a rather unorthodox position.



Little wonder my students are sometimes baffled and confused. This is their view of my lecture.



That would be Uranus, a mini-marble.



Jane Rose reads from the book.



Neptune out by the men's residence hall.



Risenta, Michael, Rockson, Shane, Mackleen, Tina Sue, Tracy - in an apparent state of shock - and Jimmy.



Uh, that would be Pluto. The BB under my thumb was the size of Earth.

The afternoon laboratory was an experiment. I asked the class to explore whether the flight time, distance, and velocity of a horizontally thrown Frisbee could be plotted against each other pairwise to generate a linear relationship. I know how to calculate flight distances and times for freely falling objects, but Frisbees do not free fall.



Jane Rose with a stop w…

Electricity and Floral litmus solutions

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For 121 in the morning I again opted not to cover magnetism but rather to focus on power, voltage, current, and resistance relationships. After running a series of examples of P = iV and V = iR on the board for various appliances, I took the class to visit an air conditioning unit.  The text has yet to be rewritten to take into account this shift in curriculum to a focus on electrical power usage, a shift that has also occurred during the regular term.


We worked out the power used by some of the split AC units. Some units are 1200 BTU 110 volt units, others are 2400 BTU 220 volt units. Then I took the class down to the library to see the solar panel output.



Risenta and Jimmy in the library.



By the time we reached the panel, the students had already been introduced to Watts, kiloWatts, DC, AC, and even to Celsius day time temperatures (chapter six and eight)





Notes on the board from the morning session. The other board was not imaged.



As I chose to do spring 2013, I used a decade resis…