The following question was asked as part of the final exam in Geos 251: Physical Geology - "List and discuss the major consequences of excessive groundwater withdrawal in southern Arizona. For full credit, you must list at least 3 consequences and discuss them in detail." to assess learning outcome #2 (Graduates will understand Earth surface processes and how humans affect and are affected by the processes.) to 77 students. The following scoring rubric was used:
1 point per consequence identified (max. 3 points)
2 points per consequence discussed (max. 6 points)
2 points = detailed and accurate discussion
1 point = some discussion and/or moderate accuracy
0 points -‐ no discussion or inaccurate discussion
1 point for mastery of subject (i.e. more than 3 consequences, very detailed answers, well
thought-‐out responses, etc.)
One third (26) of the students scored a perfect 10/10 on the question, and the average score was 7.17 A document summarizing the results is attached below (Learning Outcome #2: Geos 251 Spring 2015 Results).
Assessment activities in Geos 302: Principles of Stratigraphy and Sedimentation were also carried out in Spring 2015. The assessment activity was an assignment on identifying geology sequences and events in the geologic record (see assigment attached below: Geohistory.pdf). The grading rubric is shown below:
20 points are available for this assignment. The maximum points for each category are outlined below, with points subtracted for incorrect or incomplete responses.
5 points are awarded for correct order of geologic events.
5 points are awarded for correct interpretation of geologic processes responsible for creating the observed geologic relations.
5 points are awarded for correct use of geologic time terms.
3 points are awarded for correct use of magnetic, chemical, and orbital information to determine geologic time.
2 points are awarded for appropriate writing style.
The average score for the class on the assessment instrument was 14.1/20, and 17.9/20 for those who completed the assessment. Scores of the assessment activity are also plotted against final course score (see graphic attached below: Plot of Geos 302 Scores versus Course Score Spring 2015).
Assessment activities in Geos 255: Historical Geology were also carried out in Spring 2015. There were two separate assessment instruments administered that addressed: 1); Learning Outcome 2 (Earth Surface Processes) and 2) Learning Outcome 4 (Geologic Time). The instruments are attached below (Geologic Time Geos 255 Spring 2015 and Earth Surface Processes Geos 255 Spring 2015, respectively). When results of analyzing the data are available they will be posted here.
The graduating senior exit survey covered 38 students graduating in May and August 2015. Eleven students responded to this initial survey effort, for a 29% response rate. The survey included six questions (the six student learning outcomes), in addition to demographic and other data. The questions and average response values follow:
“I have a working knowledge of common Earth materials including their composition, origin, and uses. (Examples: working with/identifying rocks and minerals, soils, resources and economic geology topics.)”
Average Response: 8.2/10
“I understand Earth surface processes and how humans affect and are affected by the processes. (Examples: sedimentary systems, interaction of earth surface with oceans and atmosphere, geomorphical processes, climate and climate change, environmental geology.)”
Average Response: 8.9/10
“I understand processes in the Earth's interior. (Examples: the major geophysical and geochemical properties of the Earth's interior; their genesis and role in tectonics, earthquakes, magmatism, and other Earth properties.)”
Average Response: 8.5/10
“I know the geologic time scale and major Earth events. (Examples: determining absolute and relative time, the major timescale divisions and geologic and biologic events in Earth history.)”
Average Response: 8.8/10
“I have skills required for the study and interpretation of geological materials, history, and features. (Examples: map reading, field methods and observation, analytical methods, quantitative methods.)”
Average Response: 8.5/10
“I can read and critically evaluate primary earth science literature and data, I can present geological information clearly in written and oral form, and I understand the process of scientific inquiry.”
Average Response: 9.1/10
The faculty will discuss the findings from the three courses and the graduatng senior exit survey at an early faculty meeting of the 2015-16 academic year.