2011 GSA Annual Meeting in Minneapolis (912 October 2011)
Paper No. 114-10
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:00 PM

CURRICULUM AND PROGRAM LEARNING OUTCOMES MAPPING TO ENHANCE PROGRAM ASSESSMENT

RHODES, Dallas D., Department of Geology and Geography, Georgia Southern University, 62 Georgia Avenue, Statesboro, GA 30460-8149, DRhodes@GeorgiaSouthern.Edu

Matrix mapping of program learning outcomes and course activities provides a rich graphical portrait of program content and can be used as a starting point for program assessment in the geosciences and other disciplines. The form presented here places program learning outcomes (PLOs) in the left-hand column of the matrix and groups them by content areas, e.g., discipline specific knowledge, problem solving skills, and communication skills. Because every PLO will require assessment by one or more techniques, outcomes should be generalized to keep their number, and therefore the assessment effort, reasonable. Many programs have 10-12 PLOs. The other columns in the matrix are for information about the geoscience courses used in the major. Core courses (typically physical and historical geology) are arrayed first, followed by required courses, and then electives (both in course number sequence). The matrix also includes rows for indicating the types of activities that occur during the courses. Instructors for the courses complete the matrix by indicating: 1) the amount of emphasis placed on each of the PLOs during the course (e.g., strongly emphasized, emphasized, considered, and not considered) and 2) the types of activities that occur during the course such as writing assignments, poster or oral presentations, group projects, fieldwork, and computer methods. When completed the matrix serves as a map that can be used to determine the courses in which assessment of each of the PLOs will occur. Most often these will be required courses in which the PLO is “strongly emphasized.” If a PLO is “not considered” in several required courses, the learning outcome may need to be revised, deleted, or incorporated into additional courses. Similarly, if important course activities are found to be fewer than desired, new activities can be incorporated into appropriate courses. The matrix produces a synoptic view of a program’s goals and where the program’s learning outcomes are assessed. Furthermore, the matrix has proven an effective means of conveying this information to institutional assessment officers, accrediting agencies, and institutional decision makers.

2011 GSA Annual Meeting in Minneapolis (912 October 2011)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 114--Booth# 318
What Are Undergraduates Learning in/from Our Programs? (Posters)
Minneapolis Convention Center: Hall C
9:00 AM-6:00 PM, Monday, 10 October 2011

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 43, No. 5, p. 300

© Copyright 2011 The Geological Society of America (GSA), all rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted to the author(s) of this abstract to reproduce and distribute it freely, for noncommercial purposes. Permission is hereby granted to any individual scientist to download a single copy of this electronic file and reproduce up to 20 paper copies for noncommercial purposes advancing science and education, including classroom use, providing all reproductions include the complete content shown here, including the author information. All other forms of reproduction and/or transmittal are prohibited without written permission from GSA Copyright Permissions.