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Showing posts from July, 2014

Exploring physical science systems using scientific methodologies

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proposed outline for SC 130 Physical Science includes the following three course level student learning outcomes:
Explore physical science systems using scientific methodologiesGenerate mathematical models for physical science systems and use appropriate mathematical techniques and concepts to obtain quantitative solutions to problems in physical science.Demonstrate basic communication skills by working in groups on laboratory experiments and by writing up the result of experiments, including thoughtful discussion and interpretation of data, in a formal format using spreadsheet and word processing software.
The second learning outcome serves, in part, the general education program learning outcome, "3.2 Present and interpret numeric information in graphic forms." Student performance against general education program learning outcome 3.2 was reported on in Numeric information in graphic forms skills pre-post assessment.

The third learning outcome serves, in part, the general…

Lack of writing improvement in physical science for summer 2014

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proposed outline for SC 130 Physical Science includes the following three course level student learning outcomes:
Explore physical science systems using scientific methodologiesGenerate mathematical models for physical science systems and use appropriate mathematical techniques and concepts to obtain quantitative solutions to problems in physical science.Demonstrate basic communication skills by working in groups on laboratory experiments and by writing up the result of experiments, including thoughtful discussion and interpretation of data, in a formal format using spreadsheet and word processing software. The third learning outcome serves, in part, the general education program learning outcome 1.1, "Write a clear, well-organized paper using documentation and quantitative tools when appropriate." This article notes the lack of improvement in writing skills during the summer term as measured by a rubric, a reverse of the finding during the regular term.

When I took over an…

Liked and disliked laboratories

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Laboratories are at the core of the SC 130 Physical Science. While in-class tests and quizzes provide information on academic achievement, how the students react affectively to these laboratories is also important in the course design.



The course is not listed as a requirement by any major at the college, thus the course most frequently serves students taking the course to satisfy their general education science with laboratory requirement. The students are not planning a career in science and likely contain a larger percentage of students for whom science is not attractive as a subject of study. A goal of mine is to open up the thinking of the students. My best hope is that through the course the students will come to have an interest in science, see that even simple topics can be interesting, and gain an appreciation of how science is done.

As an affective learning domain study, students were asked to choose their favorite laboratory and provide comments on why that laboratory was t…