Student Learning Outcomes for Physics major, Sep 2009

Graduates of the physics program will:

To assess student progress toward the learning outcomes, we will assess how well students perform the following:

1. Understand the concepts of classical and modern physics

Demonstrate an understanding of classical mechanics

Demonstrate an understanding of quantum mechanics

Demonstrate an understanding of thermodynamics and statistical physics

Demonstrate an understanding of electromagnetism

Demonstrate an understanding of optics

Demonstrate an understanding of Modern physics

2. Be able to solve quantitative problems in physics

Set up a problem in the context of the physical laws governing the situation

Use mathematical strategies to solve a problem

Interpret a solution in the context of a problem

Work effectively with vectors

Work with units of measurement

3. Be able to perform experimental work

Acquire experimental data

Use experimental equipment

Use a variety of methods to analyze data

Perform a computer experiment

4. Be able to communicate, in form and content, both, orally and in writing, the results of scientific work.

Write a lab report

Give an oral presentation

Write a paper

Give a conference presentation

5. Be aware of the larger field of physics

Locate, organize, and evaluate information from multiple sources

Locate information about currently active fields in physics research

Visit locations with a strong physics relation

Conduct a research project

Be a teaching assistant

Be active in physics club activities


 Assessment of the outcomes for the Physics Major:

General Process:

1.     Assessment meeting in Fall: Pick one individual goal from each of the four categories at the beginning of the academic year.

2.     Program assessment in individual courses: Assess the individual goal during the academic year in each relevant course. This will be done by the instructor during the semester, for example during the grading process, by assigning checkmarks for the demonstration of a particular outcome.

3.     Exit survey: Assess the general student perception of the program  using the senior exit survey.

4.     Assessment meeting in Spring: Review the outcomes and assessments during a meeting in early May.  Consequences may include a refinement of outcomes, recommendations for readjustments of courses, other possible improvements to the program.

Academic year 2009-2010:

Assessment Goal 1:

                  Students will understand an understanding of classical electromagnetism.

                  Relevant courses:  Phys4101 Electromagnetism


Assessment Goal 2:

                  Students use a mathematical strategy to solve problems.

                  Relevant courses:            Phys1101 General Physics 1

                                                                        Phys1102 General Physics 2

                                                                        Phys2101 Modern Physics


Assessment Goal 3:

                  Students are able to acquire experimental data.

                  Relevant courses:            Phys3401             Experimental Physics

                                                                        Phys1102             General Physics 2


Assessment Goal 4:

                  Students give an oral presentation.

                  Relevant courses:            Phys 4901 Senior thesis

                                                                        Phys3401 Experimental Physics

                                                                        Phys2301 Atmospheric Physics