AAPT Abstract Archive

Abstract Information

  Session: Assessment Issues in Undergraduate Instruction
  Paper Type: Contributed
  Title: Assessing Undergraduate Physics Program Learning Objectives at UC Merced
  Meeting: 2014 Summer Meeting: Minneapolis, Minnesota
  Location: N/A
  Time: 9:50AM
  Author: Carrie A. Menke, University of California, Merced
209-228-3078, cmenke@ucmerced.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: Establishing and assessing program learning objectives (PLOs) provides a research-based method to improve our undergraduate physics education. We have five PLOs: (1) physical principles, (2) mathematical expertise, (3) experimental techniques, (4) communication and teamwork, and (5) research proficiency. We use a six-stage assessment cycle for each PLO that either validates current practice or drives needed modifications to our assessment process and/or program. We focus on one PLO each year and have just finished our first assessment of each. Our approach strives to maximize the ease and applicability of our assessment practices while maintaining faculty's flexibility in course design and delivery. A curriculum matrix elucidates skills development and applicable evidence. Descriptive rubrics result in higher inter-rater reliability and, in some cases, can be utilized at the course and program levels. http://www.aapt.org/test/forms/aaptmeeting/pactools/chairtool-abstracts.cfm?listorder=s2Utilizing existing campus resources, challenges with evidence & rubrics, and strategies for increasing student and faculty participation are also discussed.
  Footnotes: None
  Presentation: APS-Su2014_Menke-PST1D10_letter.pdf

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