April 3, 2009


TO: Michael Korth


FROM: Chemistry Discipline


SUBJECT: Assessment Plan


Objectives—The Chemistry discipline is designed to

1.     serve students from other disciplines requiring knowledge of chemistry

2.     advance student learning in contemporary chemistry/biochemistry at a level appropriate to undergraduates

3.     advance student competence in research in chemistry/biochemistry

4.     advance student skills in writing and speaking about chemistry/biochemistry

5.     prepare students for postgraduate work in a variety of fields and/or for careers in industrial or clinical settings or for careers in secondary education


         Assessment data and dates.

         Objectives 1-2. TedÕs general chemistry assessment, fall 2006. Jenn and JimÕs projected standardized tests (ACS exam) in general chemistry, spring 2009.  Math placement exam (S09) and algebra quiz (S08, S09) data for General Chemistry II.  During Academic year 09-10 contact disciplines (Environmental Studies and Science, Biology and Geology) requiring our courses to survey regarding material they believe is taught and compare to what we teach.  Recently completed (07-08) Education licensure documents provide data on meeting the needs of students hoping to teach High School.  A new non-major course will be offered in Summer 09 and students will be assessed.  Chem club matters here.

         Objective 2. JennÕs analytical chemistry & JimÕs physical chemistry assessments, fall 2006. NancyÕs standardized tests (ACS exam) in organic, springs of 2002, 2003, and 2007. Nancy and TimÕs standardized tests (ACS exam) in organic II, spring 2009. JennÕs standardized test (ACS exam) in analytical and her follow-up survey about notebooks and lab reports, fall of 2008. TedÕs standardized test (ACS exam) in inorganic, spring 2008. The ACS exams will be compared to national data and administered on a regular basis.   Not only can student scores be assessed but also whether material on the exams is covered in our courses. The ACS exams can also provide a way to evaluate students who are taking courses abroad and would like a UMM Chemistry course waived.  Recent evaluation (completed Fall 2008) for ACS certified degree by the ACS CPT committee provides an external assessment of our curriculum.  During S09, the discipline is reviewing its elective offerings and prereqs.  Primary literature has a place here: begin working in s10 to identify where primary lit appears in the curriculum and faculty who have such assignments can provide a summary of student work.  (mustnÕt forget Biochem)

         Objective 3. NancyÕs study of ItR ca. 2007-8. During 09-10 compile a list of students who have participated in UROP, MAP, MSAF, Directed Study Research, ACS meeting presentations, URS, REU.  Some of this data exists on the bulletin board at the top of the atrium stairs.  In Fall 2008, we reviewed our 3901/4901 course and made some curricular changes.  3901/4901 typically results in a capstone presentation on either the studentÕs own research or a research project appearing in the primary literature.  See Objective 2 for more on primary  lit.

         Objective 4. On-going assessments and revisions of Chem Seminar (3901/4901), at least for the speaking component. JennÕs F08 survey about notebooks and reports is relevant here. NancyÕs ItR study has something about writing.  Begin working in F09 to identify where writing appears in the curriculum and faculty who have writing assignments can provide a summary of student work.  (mustnÕt forget Biochem) Chem club matters here.

         Objective 5. JimÕs study of the graduating classes of 1994-2008.  Planning a comprehensive survey of alumni in 10-11.  TA and Tutor work can be included here.  Chem club matters here.


         OVERALL PLAN:

Ongoing data collection as outlined above.  Each objective will have data collected yearly but our annual report will have a different focus on a four year cycle.  We expect individual objective assessment data collection plans to be added, some repeated and some are one-time only.  Plan for each year will be formalized at annual discipline retreat in Aug.

08-09 Academic Year – External review for ACS Certified Degree, In-depth review of electives and timing of electives as well as pre-req.  Plan for future catalog changes. 


09-10 Academic Year – Focus: Compile data related to Objectives 1 and 2


10-11 Academic Year – Focus:  Compile data related to Objective 3 and review Objectives


11-12 Academic year – Focus:  Compile data related to Objective 4


13-14 Academic Year – Focus: Compile data related to Objective 5 and review Objectives


Repeat 09-10 to 13-14