Student learning outcomes in all laboratory courses (both majors and non-majors) will be assessed using pre-laboratory quizzes, to gauge student preparedness, and post-lab final examinations, to assess achievement of outcomes.
The content of the pre- and post-lab assessments will be uniform for all sections of each laboratory course each semester. Thus the performance of students in each section can be compared to those in all other sections. This strategy will also enable comparison of current student performance to that in previous years, since the content and difficulty of the pre- and post-lab assessments is expected to be consistent over a several year period.
This strategy of pre- and post-course assessment will also be applied to the CHEM 101a/b lectures, which is the non-major general chemistry sequence. In addition, the final exam in CHEM 101b will incorporate questions from the ACS standardized exam in fundamental chemistry. This will allow the achievement of 101b students to be compared to national achievement standards in several subject areas of fundamental chemistry.
Assessment of critical thinking and presentation skills will also occur in specific courses. In several laboratory courses (e.g. 102b), student participation in a research project is mandatory. Presentation of the results at a poster session is part of the requirement. The poster session is judged by CBC faculty and technical staff who question the students about their projects and their understanding of underlying principles. These results will be used by the faculty to judge if students in these courses are learning to interpret experimental results, draw reasonable conclusions, and communicate them effectively.