Cossey&Zehnder – course goals

Kim and I have been discussing an upper-level ENSC/CHEM course (for science majors since the only science classes that non-majors take are core classes and this is not a core-class).  The course will focus on climate change/alternative energy.

Course goals: Upon completion of this course students will be able to….

  • Evaluate ‘good’ sources of data  (learn how to evaluate if data are credible/reliable) and conflicting data.
  • Use a scientific approach to problem-solving, and use scientific ‘expertise’ for reasoning through ‘real-world’ issues.
  • Appreciate and understand uncertainty.
  • Communicate science to non-majors and the public (aka ‘Joe the plumber’ and ‘Joe six pack’ – why is Joe such a population name for these sorts of things?).
  • Understand (in a nutshell) how public policy decisions are made and the role of science (and scientists) in this process.
  • Recognize bias (in data collection and presentation).
  • Get involved (recognize opportunities to put their scientific knowledge to good use).
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One Response to Cossey&Zehnder – course goals

  1. cbzehnder says:

    Here are our new & improved course goals for our upper level CHEM/ENSC course on climate change/alternative energy

    1.Students will be able to assess (judge/evaluate) bias in published data, both in data collection methods and authors’ presentation of findings, and students will be able to search out, find and recognize credible data sources.

    2.Students will be able to apply problem solving skills (scientific method) to real world issues, including problem identification, narrowing down large problems into smaller (workable) pieces, designing experiments and analyzing data.

    3.Students will be able to recognize sources of uncertainty in data and will be able to make decisions/ recommendations based upon ‘uncertain’ data.

    4.Students will be able to understand that role of science and scientists in the global community and be able to convey their knowledge and understanding to a non-scientific audience.

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