Julia’s Course Goals – Advanced Inorganic Chemistry

I posted this earlier as a comment but I just realized it should be a post…

I went to the University Profile System to find the goals for the advanced class I am currently teaching. I can already see there are problems ….

Course: CHEM4500 – Advanced Inorganic Chemistry

The student who is successful in this course will

  1. acquire useable knowledge of a range of topics in advanced inorganic chemistry.
  2. read and evaluate articles published in inorganic chemistry.
  3. present their ideas to their peers, in written and verbal forms.
  4. use spectroscopic techniques to characterize the structural and electronic properties of inorganic systems
  5. learn the importance of inorganic chemistry in biological environments.

My thoughts:
The first outcome doesn’t require the student to apply the knowledge, just that the knowledge be useable. I think this is going to need to be changed to something indicating that they will apply the knowledge to some end.

The fifth outcome is also vague and difficult to assess. I am also probably less concerned they learn the importance of something than that they could identify and articulate how this sub-discipline of chemistry fits into the larger world of science. I don’t yet know how I will fix this goal.

I also include a rubric for the course grade, which are in my syllabus. This rubric adresses the soft skills that a student needs to obtain and demonstrate to earn a grade. I am wondering how to incorporate some of these as assessable outcomes, or if that is even a good idea.


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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