You are here: Home / Course Information / Assessment of Student Learning / Assessment Plan for Chemistry Majors

Assessment Plan for Chemistry Majors

Assessment tools include the following:
o In-house MFAT (Major Field Assessment Test)
o Student portfolios including
        Course exams
        Graded lab reports
        Observation notes evaluating lab skills, etc.
Senior year work including:
        A written report on a chemistry topic or research project
        An oral report based on a written report

Evaluation Criteria:
The general aim is to rate student achievement/accomplishment/development according to the following classifications:
Advanced: indicating performance typical of strong undergraduate students, capable of doing graduate-level work.
Intermediate: indicating performance typical of undergraduates
Novice: indicating performance of lower level undergraduates or high school level students.

Since the numbers of students in the Chemistry Major are typically small, evaluations will be averaged over five years in order to provide a sample with statistical significance. 

List of Goals and Assessment Tools
Goal/Objective #1
Upon completion of a Chemistry major, students will be knowledgeable about the factual and theoretical basis of chemistry. 
Specifically the students should be able to describe the structure and composition of matter,
plan the synthesis and characteristics of inorganic and organic compounds,
apply theoretical and mechanistic principles to the study of chemical systems employing both qualitative and quantitative approaches,
use theories of microscopic properties to explain macroscopic behavior,
and explain the role of energy in determining the structure and reactivity of molecules.
1.  Evaluation Instrument/Process
An in-house MFAT (Major Field Achievement Test) is administered during the senior year, as part of the senior seminar program.
Data from one exam for each upper level course is collected into student portfolios.
2.  (a)  Evaluation Criteria
The department members developed exams that will determine the level of a student’s achievement in each of the subcategories as
listed in Goal #1.  Questions are designed to test at levels designed novice, intermediate, and advanced.
     (b)  Standard of Success
The department judges that its program is adequately addressing the student outcome described above if:
o 80% of the seniors who have been in the program at least two years achieve at the intermediate level or above on the MFAT;
o 80% of the majors achieve at the intermediate level or above on exam questions.
3. Timetable for Development/Implementation of Above Sequence
    Developed MFAT 1995

Goal/Objective #2

Upon completion of a chemistry major, students will be competent to work in a laboratory situation. 
Specifically the student will be able to read and follow written experimental protocols,
properly set up and safely manipulate laboratory equipment,
plan and execute experiments (including the use of the chemical literature),
perform accurate quantitative measurements,
maintain accurate records of experimental work,
and analyze data statistically and assess reliability of results.
1.  Evaluation Instrument/Process
A portfolio of students’ graded laboratory reports has been established.  One report per student per semester is included.
Each report has a cover sheet with the instructor’s evaluation of the student’s laboratory knowledge and skills
based on observations of the student during laboratory, evaluation of the student’s laboratory notebook, and evaluation of the student’s laboratory reports.
2.  (a)  Evaluation Criteria
On the evaluation instrument (cover sheet) the student is ranked as novice, intermediate, or advanced for each of the goals listed above.
     (b)  Standard of Success
The department judges that its program is adequately addressing the student outcome described above if 80% of the majors achieve at the intermediate level or above.
3.  Timetable for Development/Implementation of Above Sequence
     The cover sheet was developed and implemented in Fall 1995.

Goal/Objective #3
Upon completion of a Chemistry major, students will be familiar with the use and application of modern instrumentation and computers. 
Specifically, students will be able to calibrate instruments,
use them for the proper applications,
verify results by independent techniques,
and demonstrate the use of instruments to novices.
1.  Evaluation Instrument/Process
An Evaluation document is included in the students’ portfolios.  This document is a check-off grid listing levels of competency in the use of
instruments and computers on the vertical axis, with the courses in which instruments are used on the horizontal axis.
Each student is observed and evaluated on their ability to operate an instrument.
2.  (a) Evaluation Criteria
For each of the evaluation instruments, the students are ranked as operating at the novice, intermediate or advanced level.
     (b) Standard of Success
The department judges that its program is adequately addressing the student outcome described above if 80% of the seniors who have been in the program at least two years achieve at the intermediate level or above on the evaluation instruments.
3.  Timetable for Development/Implementation of Above Sequence
Implemented Fall 1995.

Goal/Objective #4
Upon completion of a chemistry major, students will be able to communicate effectively both orally and in written form,
using correct chemical nomenclature and mathematical representations of physical phenomena.
1.  Evaluation Instrument/Process
Students prepare a written report on a chemistry topic or prepare a paper based on their research for in a format
suitable for submission to a professional journal.
Students give an oral presentation on the topic chosen for their written report.
2.  (a) Evaluation Criteria
Evaluation instruments list the departmental expectations for the students’ presentations and written reports. 
Each category has expectations ranked at the novice, intermediate, and advanced levels.
     (b) Standard of Success
The department judges that its program is adequately addressing the student outcome described above if 80% of the majors achieve at the intermediate level or above.
3.  Timetable for Development/Implementation of Above Sequence
Implemented 1995.

Goal/ Objective #5
Upon completion of a Chemistry major, students will be able to access and retrieve specific chemical information from the chemical literature,
including research articles, books, and databases;
read and understand technical material;
and comprehend and assimilate orally presented information.
1.  Evaluation Instrument/Process
Documents are collected for the students’ portfolios including:
The record of a simulated computer database search and/or hardcopy Chemical Abstracts search.
A list of appropriate references to support senior seminar.
A check-off grid of skills in the area of information retrieval in all appropriate courses.
2.  (a) Evaluation Criteria
For each of the evaluation instruments, the students are ranked as operating at the novice, intermediate, or advanced level.
     (b) Standard of Success
The department judges that its program is adequately addressing the student outcome described above if 80% of the seniors
who have been in the program at least two years achieve at the intermediate level or above on all evaluation instruments.
3.  Timetable for Development/Implementation of Above Sequence
Implemented 1995.

Goal/Objective #6
Upon completion of a Chemistry major, students will be able to anticipate, recognize, and respond properly to hazards of chemical manipulations,
know where to find information on chemical hazards, and how to dispose of chemical wastes safely.
1.  Evaluation Instrument/Process
The MFAT includes questions about chemical safety.
Observations of safe laboratory practices are included in the cover sheet developed as an evaluation tool for objective #2.
A check-off grid evaluates students' abilities in the area of chemical safety.
2.  (a) Evaluation Criteria
For each of the evaluation instruments, the students are ranked as operating at the novice, intermediate, or advanced level.
     (b) Standard of Success
The department has an accident-free standard.
3.  Timetable for Development/Implementation of Above Sequence
Implemented 1995

Goal/Objective #7

Upon completion of a Chemistry major, students will be able to work cooperatively in problem solving situations.
1.  Evaluation Instrument/Process
A summary of peer and faculty evaluations of teamwork on projects or in laboratory are included in student portfolios.
2.  (a)  Evaluation Criteria
For each of the evaluation instruments, the students are ranked on a 5 point scale from cooperative to non-cooperative.
     (b)  Standard of Success
The department judges that its program is adequately addressing the student outcome described above if 80% of the seniors who have
been in the program at least two years are ranked at level 3 or above.
3.  Timetable for Development/Implementation of Above Sequence
Implemented 1995

Goal/Objective #8
Upon completion of a Chemistry major, students will be able to identify benefits and problems of modern chemistry for society
and be aware of career opportunities for persons with chemical training.
1.  Evaluation Instrument/Process
An essay question is included on the MFAT that requires a student to identify and discuss a benefit/problem relating to chemistry and society.
Students prepare a resume with assistance from Career Services.
2.  (a) Evaluation Criteria
Student responses to the essay question are rated on a scale from novice level to advanced level.
     (b) Standard of Success
The department judges that its program is adequately addressing the student outcome described above if 80% of the seniors who have been in the program
at least two years are achieving at an intermediate level or higher in their discussion of one major benefit/problem relating chemistry and society.
3.  Timetable for Development/Implementation of Above Sequence
Implemented 1995.

THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN OSHKOSH — WHERE EXCELLENCE AND OPPORTUNITY MEET.
Copyright The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System