Development of an Assessment Plan for a General Education Course

General Education course:  Chemistry 104, Introduction to Chemistry of Materials

Step 1.  Identify which goals are related to the course.

The ten goals for general education are:

1. Effective written and oral communication
2. Skills related to critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity
3. Heightened intellectual, cultural, and humane understanding and sensitivity
4. The ability to manipulate symbol systems and use quantitative methods
5. Skills associated with the scientific method including rational inquiry, data collection, analysis, theory formulation and hypothesis testing
6. An understanding of world history, civilizations, and political processes
7. An understanding of economics and social sciences
8. An understanding of the interdependence of humankind and the natural world
9. An understanding of the principles of mathematics and the sciences
10. An understanding of literature, the arts, and systems of human thought

The five goals in boldface are related to general education science courses.

Step 2.  Develop specific objectives for student learning to be assessed for each goal.
Step 3.  Identify at least one assignment relating to each objective for student learning.

In this example, many of the objectives are things students learn in all of the chemistry department's
general education courses (101, 103, 104, 105) but the assignments would vary for each course.  

specific objectives
use reference data to solve problems

use chemical symbols and formulas for compounds
exam 1,2

write balanced chemical equations
exam 1, 2

draw and interpret Lewis structures
exam 2

create 3 dimensional models from Lewis structures
polymer lab

use algebraic equations to calculate properties
exam 1, lab 1

interpret a graph 
paper 2, light worksheet
make observations
concrete lab, exam 3

generate a hypothesis
concrete lab, exam 3

design experiment to test hypothesis
concrete lab, exam 3

carry out experiment and collect data 
concrete lab

analyze results of experiment
concrete lab
know sources of raw materials
exam 1

know methods to transform raw materials
exam 1, 2, 3
classification of matter
exam 1

atomic structure
exam 1

measure samples
exam 1, lab 1

use the Periodic Table
exam 1

conservation of matter / balance equations
exam 1

types of chemical bonds
exam 1, 2

interaction of light with matter
exam 2, 3, light worksheet

role of energy in structure and reactivity
exam 1

Step 4.  Evaluate the students' accomplishment of the objective.
Statistics will be collected for exam questions.
For the laboratory experiences, the instructor will observe the students' work and notes.         

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Last updated: May 26, 2004