SC 130 Physical Science assessment grid

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Program Learning Outcomes

The relevant program learning outcomes are from the general education core.

Course Learning Outcomes

Learning themes cut across all activities and explorations in the course. These learning themes are the first three items on the course outline.

Students will be able to...

Learning Themes
Outcome Materials Sample Evidence
Explore physical science systems using scientific methodologies Syllabus Laboratory reports from laboratory 14 final practical laboratory. Students were given a system to study and no further guidance on how to analyze the system.
Generate mathematical models for physical science systems Math relations
Write up the results of experiments in a formal format using spreadsheet and word processing software Rubrics

Specific learning is centered on the laboratory experiences. Laboratory reports cited above are considered a primary measure of student performance. The final includes single numeric problems typifying that area of study. The last column below is the percent of students who answered that question correctly on the final examination; the results of the final examination item analysis.

Each final utilized a spreadsheet to randomly generate data values. A mail merge was used to produce individually unique final examinations for each and every student. The merge also generated an answer sheet for each student final, these were separated from the final and used to mark each unique exam paper.

Specific Learning
Outcomes Laboratory Photo documentation Final Exam IA
Explore dynamics of motion including performing calculations of velocity, acceleration, momentum, and kinetic energy, generating appropriate mathematical models such as linear regressions, making calculations of the conservation of momentum and energy Linear Rolling balls 0.62
Acceleration Falling balls 0.62
Momentum Marbles 0.59
Experiment with and determine the heat and electrical conductivity of materials Heat Conduction 0.90
Determine latitude, longitude, and find the mathematical relationship with standard linear measures; determine universal time Lat Long Lat Long 0.17
Observe and identify clouds, be able to describe precipitation processes in Micronesia such as collision-coalescence, Bergeron, and orographic precipitation; list the phenomenon associated with El Niño and La Niña Clouds Cloud formation and shape 0.48
Determine the speed of sound and perform experiments with sound Sound Echoes and waves 0.21
Explore reflection and refraction, determining the mathematical relationships for reflected image depths, angles, and refracted image angles Optics Optics 0.72
List the primary and secondary colors of light, generate other colors from primary colors, explore systems of specifying colors Colors of light 0.34
Develop a mathematical model using measurements of current versus voltage across a resistance; determine and sketch open, short, and closed circuits Electricity Circuits 0.72
Determine whether substances are acids or bases using locally available pH indicator solutions Chemistry Acids and bases 0.52

Comments and notes spring 2008

The core of the course are the activities and laboratories. The laboratories involve a write-up using spreadsheet and word processing software. The laboratories are marked using a rubric. The course focuses on physical science as a process and method, an exploration in search of mathematical models of system behavior.

The item analysis success rate is directly related to the complexity of the problem. Problems which required only memorized recall of a single fact such as the heat conductivity of a material saw 90% of the students answering correctly. Calculations which require only a single step such as calculations of velocity had a 62% success rate. Problems which involved multiple steps and internal conversions such as determining the number of meters per minute of longitude or the speed of sound based on echo times had 17% and 21% success rates respectively.

The course also sought to impact student values in regards science, specifically the course sought to make science interesting and enjoyable. Survey results indicated that opinions and values were shifted during the term. Instuctor evaluation by the students along with student self-evaluations were also conducted.