Cossey/Zehnder: Designing a course using the Sencer Model & Developing Course Goals

Assignment:

1. Design a course using the Sencer Model. Faculty may work together, but there should be enough material to warrant a complete course for each (to avoid issues with course-load and scheduling conflicts).

2. Present goals that meet the following criteria. [ref]

  • a. student centered – focus on what the student will be able to do upon completing the course, rather than what the instructor will do
  • b. concrete – goals that have concrete outcomes that can be measured, rather than abstract qualities
  • c. measurable – can be evaluated in a practical manner using assessment tools common in educational/social science fields
  • d. higher order – skills that are at a higher level using Bloom’s taxonomy Criteria and original goals were discussed as a group with the GCSU cohort.

Later, we revised these according to feedback. We had planned to have another group revise this version.

Progress:

1. Course to be developed

Course: Climate change & Alternative Energy

Contributing Departments: Chemistry and Environmental Science

Type: Upper-level ENSC/CHEM course, elective

Students: Majors in Chemistry & Environmental science

Faculty:

Kimberly Cossey, Ph. D, is an organic chemist, who recently (2008) began teaching at GCSU. She is originally from Oklahoma, but more recently from Penn State University, where she attended graduate school. Her research focus is organic synthesis, which just means using store bought chemicals to make more complex molecules. The biggest employers of organic chemists are drug companies. She is looking forward to letting students take the reins in the lab, from choosing their own target molecule to make to designing the steps to get there.

Caralyn Zehnder, A.B.D., is a . . . .

2. Here is our second drafts of our course goals for the Environmental/Chemistry course on Alternative fuels. This is after getting feedback during the meeting, and finally getting some time to get together and settle on the final set. (Note, we have more specific subgoals for most of these as well. 😉

Student-oriented Goals

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 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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About Dr. J. Metzker

I believe in the power of a liberal education to transform individuals and society. I am currently the Executive Director of the Brown Center for Faculty Innovation and Excellence. Formerly, I led a community engagement initiative and held a full professorship in chemistry at a public liberal arts university. I am a proud product of The Evergreen State College.
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One Response to Cossey/Zehnder: Designing a course using the Sencer Model & Developing Course Goals

  1. cbzehnder says:

    Assignment:

    1. Design a course using the Sencer Model. Faculty may work together, but there should be enough material to warrant a complete course for each (to avoid issues with course-load and scheduling conflicts).

    2. Present goals that meet the following criteria. [ref]

    a. student centered – focus on what the student will be able to do upon completing the course, rather than what the instructor will do
    b. concrete – goals have to be based in reality, rather than abstract qualities
    c. measurable – can be evaluated in a practical manner using assessment tools common in educational/social science fields
    d. higher order – skills that are at a higher level using Bloom’s taxonomy Criteria and original goals were discussed as a group with the GCSU cohort.
    Later, we revised these according to feedback. We had planned to have another group revise this version.

    Progress:

    1. Course to be developed

    Course: Climate change & Alternative Energy

    Contributing Departments: Chemistry and Environmental Science

    Type: Upper-level ENSC/CHEM course, elective

    Students: Majors in Chemistry & Environmental science

    Class size: ~20 students

    Faculty:

    Kimberly Cossey, Ph. D, is an organic chemist, who recently (Fall 2008) began teaching at GCSU. She is originally from Oklahoma, but more recently from Penn State University, where she attended graduate school. Her research focus is organic synthesis, which just means using store bought chemicals to make more complex molecules. The biggest employers of organic chemists are drug companies. She is looking forward to letting students take the reins in the lab, from choosing their own target molecule to make to designing the steps to get there.

    Caralyn Zehnder PhD is an ecologist whose research forcuses on insect ecology, plant-insect interactions and agroecosystems. Caralyn is also the coordinator for the Environmental Science program at GCSU. Caralyn earned her PhD in ecology from the University of Georgia. Prior to coming to GCSU in 2008, she was a postdoc in the entomology department at Texas A&M University.

    2. Here is our second drafts of our course goals for the Environmental/Chemistry course on Alternative fuels. This is after getting feedback during the meeting, and finally getting some time to get together and settle on the final set. (Note, we have more specific subgoals for most of these as well.

    Student-oriented Goals

    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 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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