• Harvey Thorleifson, Chair
    Minnesota Geological Survey
  • Carrie Jennings, Vice Chair
    Minnesota Geological Survey
  • David Bush, Technical Program Chair
    University of West Georgia
  • Jim Miller, Field Trip Chair
    University of Minnesota Duluth
  • Curtis M. Hudak, Sponsorship Chair
    Foth Infrastructure & Environment, LLC


Paper No. 11
Presentation Time: 11:30 AM


KOZIOL, Andrea M., Geology, University of Dayton, 300 College Park, Dayton, OH 45409 and MCGREW, Allen, Department of Geology, The Univ of Dayton, 300 College Park, Dayton, OH 45469-2364,

The University of Dayton Geology Department recently completed a comprehensive review of its program in light of a new learner-centered paradigm focused on outcomes such as scholarship, diversity, community, practical wisdom, critical evaluation of our times, and vocation. New curricular initiatives arising from this review include: (1) introduction of a 2nd year review to be completed in conjunction with a new seminar, “Critical Issues in Earth and Society;” (2) a Professional Practices seminar to be completed during Fall of senior year; (3) new courses in Advanced GIS, Remote Sensing, Earth Systems, and “The Inner Earth” (sophomore petrology); and (4) revision of our Field course. We developed a new, outcomes-based assessment strategy to be used both for internal department evaluation and for coordination with University-wide student-learning outcomes.

The Professional Practices seminar includes vocational development exercises such as building a resume, a mock interview, researching graduate schools and composing a statement of purpose. The Critical Issues seminar challenges students to analyze a topical issue in depth in order to develop a ‘tool box’ of scholarly skills such as literature discovery and synthesis, critical review, and competency in the basic modes of scientific communication (written, oral, and visual – i.e., posters). Each Spring the theme varies: For example, in 2010 the topic was the geology of New Zealand in preparation for the 2010 Field Course. In 2011 the students discussed climate change, including analysis of the IPCC report.

Second year review is part of the Critical Issues seminar and is required of all students who have completed the introductory sequence of Physical Geology, Historical Geology and Mineralogy. In addition to initiating a portfolio of scholarly work (written, oral and poster presentations), students take an online multiple-choice exam covering the basics of Geology and revealing both strengths and weaknesses that need to be addressed so that they can enter their upper-level classes with confidence. While students can re-take the exam until they pass, the results of the “first take” are compiled and used to evaluate and assess department-wide attainment of content knowledge goals. This second year review has been implemented once and results will be discussed.

Meeting Home page GSA Home Page