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Fernando Gilbes Santaella Assessment Coordinator UPRM-Department of Geology

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Presentation on theme: "Fernando Gilbes Santaella Assessment Coordinator UPRM-Department of Geology"— Presentation transcript:

1 Fernando Gilbes Santaella Assessment Coordinator UPRM-Department of Geology

2 Some Facts of the Department Founded in 1967 by Dr. John D. Weaver Graduate program started in 1995 It currently has 11 professors With over 100 undergraduate students and around 20 graduate students

3 Students graduated in the Department of Geology during the last 11 years

4 Geology Department Vision The Geology Department of the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez seeks to provide the highest levels of education through continuous revision and expansion of our educational, research, and outreach programs in order to produce well-trained, competent, academic and professional geoscientists capable of responding to societal needs.

5 Geology Department Mission The Geology Department will develop in each student, critical thinking, enthusiasm, initiative and the necessary skills to become lifelong students of Earth Sciences. Emphasis will be placed on learning basic concepts and techniques through research, in an environment that promotes the development of professionals with social, cultural and humanistic sensibility as well as profound ethical values.

6 Geology Student Profile Skills and Values 1. Critical thinking and problem solving skills 2. Team working skills 3. Communication skills in Spanish and English 4. Computer literacy and its scientific applications 5. Knowledge of up-to-date scientific tools and techniques 6. Awareness of contemporary scientific issues 7. Awareness of ethical implications in science 8. Ability to learn by him/herself (lifelong learners) 9. Knowledge Scientific Concepts 1. Paleontology 2. Sedimentology and Stratigraphy 3. Structure &Tectonics 4. Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology (including volcanology) 5. Geomorphology and Quaternary Geology 6. Hydrogeology 7. Geophysics and Seismology 8. Environmental Geology 9. Geochemistry 10. Engineering Geology 11. Mineralogy 12. Knowledge of the Geology of Puerto Rico

7 Assessment of student learning As first step, we prepared a questionnaire focused on the curriculum Three major areas were evaluated: (1) skills and values (2) scientific knowledge (3) overall performance Recommendation were generated for closing the loop of assessment.

8 The questionnaire was submitted to 44 junior and senior students 29 students enrolled in fall 2004 Geol 4045 (Petrogenesis of Crystalline Rocks) Geol 4046 (Sedimentary Env. and Lithogenesis) Geol 5026 (Tectonics) 15 students enrolled in spring 2005 Geol 4009 (Stratigraphy) Geol 4057 (Environmental Geophysics) Geol 5006 (Sedimentation) The average enrollment in the Geology Department is 100 students per semester, which means that the collected data represented around 29 % in fall 2004 and 15% in spring 2005 of the entire students’ population.

9 Effectiveness of the curriculum in developing skills and values

10 Effectiveness of the curriculum in developing scientific knowledge

11 Percent (%) of students that consider as poor or deficient the effectiveness of the curriculum in developing the knowledge of specific fields in the Geology Department Field AreaDec 04 May 05 Paleontology 2627 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy 013 Structure &Tectonics 1520 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology 720 Geomorphology and Quaternary Geology 413 Hydrogeology 4427 Geophysics and Seismology 417 Environmental Geology 1120 Geochemistry 6354 Engineering Geology 4413 Mineralogy 1120 Geology of Puerto Rico 377

12 Performance of the Geology Department according to the interviewed students CriteriaDec 04May 05 Variety of CoursesCC Laboratory Equipment and FacilitiesCC FacultyBB Flexible CurriculumCB Courses ContentBB Research OpportunitiesCB OVERALL PERFORMANCECB

13 Main Conclusions of the Curriculum Assessment In the last 11 years we have graduated 108 students, of which 50% have been Hispanic females (an underrepresented group in US). Our curriculum is strong in developing skills and values. But, scientific tools and techniques, and ethics must be improved. The curriculum is strong in sedimentology, stratigraphy, geophysics, seismology, geomorphology, and mineralogy. However, according to students it is poor or deficient in geochemistry. The overall performance was graded B+, which demonstrate that we are okay, but must improve certain areas.

14 Closing the Assessment Loop in Geochemistry Hired a geochemistry professor in fall Specific assessment for geochemistry topics in spring ASSESSMENT IMPROVEMENT

15 Four main areas were selected with a total of 67 topics. phase diagrams/phase equilibria (22 topics) thermodynamics (9 topics) igneous/metamorphic petrology (26 topics) stable isotope geochemistry (10 topics) A similar questionnaire with geochemistry topics was submitted to all faculty and 14 senior students registered in the Caribbean Geology course * The main areas and topics were suggested by the new geochemistry professor.

16 Examples of Questionnaire Thermodynamics TopicNot coveredBriefly mentionedCovered in detail Ideal Gas Law Law’s of Thermodynamics Equilibrium Constant Thermodynamics TopicNever heard of Familiar, but don’t remember I know this well Ideal Gas Law Law’s of Thermodynamics Equilibrium Constant For Faculty For Students

17 Faculty Results

18 Students Results

19 Percent (%) of students that consider as poor or deficient the effectiveness of the Geology curriculum in developing the geochemistry knowledge New professor in geochemistry

20 Final Conclusions/Further Steps Additional assessments suggest that our deficiency in geochemistry is due to the wrong impression produced by lacking a professor in that area. Many geochemistry topics are part of current courses, but apparently the students do not recognize them as part of their scientific knowledge in that specific area. Since there is not a specific course in geochemistry the students think they are not receiving that knowledge. A course in geochemistry will be offered in spring of Geology Symposium in Geochemistry.

21 Next Step in Assessment Undergraduate Research Two semesters vs. one semester Time table for proposal, research, written report and oral presentation Amount of students per professor Selected areas of research Professors vs. students expectations Next semester we will start the analyses of the data already collected during the last two years.

22 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Faculty of the Geology Department Johannes Schellekens (Department’s Director) Wilson Ramirez (member of the assessment committee) Aaron Cavosie (geochemistry professor) “Oficina de Avalúo para el Aprendizaje y Mejoramiento Continuo” of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences


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