Progress to December 2011
These data sets and reports are aimed at helping faculty, staff and students with discussions about curriculum renewal, including career advising.
- We are compiling a correlation matrix, relating newly articulated Program Outcomes for the B.Sc. Major in Geology with courses taken to obtain that degree. Stay tuned.
- An interactive course flow map, with active pointers to each course, might be useful for advising and/or thinking through curriculum and course-flow. An example for geophysics is here.
- Collected learning goals for EOSC1xx and EOSC2xx courses. (PDF)
- Department level learning goals for 'service courses', approved at Dep't retreat, 2009. (Webpage)
- Exit survey of students graduating with EOAS degrees. Very preliminary 2010 and 2011 results are compared here.
- Workloads data for each EOS course: results are being compiled (Aug 2011). Contact S. Harris.
- Hiring Practices in Geoscience Industries, based on SkyLight-funded interviews at Roundup 2009, done by F. Jones, J. Caulkins and two paid undergraduate helpers. (Final report at cIRcle: UBC's Digital Repository. Available at: https://circle.ubc.ca/handle/2429/37246 )
- Effects of Multiple Instructors See the Multiple Insturctors webpage for details and reports. (Webpage)
- Landform Identification and Time scales (LIFT): This honors thesis is of interest to all those teaching about landforms and/or geologic time. (Webpage)
- The LIFT test itself: internal EOS website, PDF.
- Incorporating "Expert-like" activities: Where practical, we strive to have students think more like experts, by carrying out expert task analysis to identify steps, then carefully crafting scaffolded activities. For example, professional reports were added as information for eosc329 labs, but with some parts removed, and homework in the form of a question set designed to help students identify and use important information. Here are examples of the types of questions used.
- Geological Time concept test: internal EOS website, PDF.
- Finally, we aim to tie curriculum initiatives to http://strategicplan.ubc.ca/ especially "UBC as a Living Laboratory" and "every one of our 44,500 undergraduate students would have access to at least two enriched learning experiences".
Other resources and results:
Results of discussions with the Vancouver professional geophysics community, and returns from questionnaires, are summarized here. Geology and Geophysics curricula are (theoretically) under review, and this discussion and questionnaire served as a good trial of a larger similar initiative we intend to carry out in January 2010 with the larger geosciencnce community at Vancouver's annual "Roundup" conference and trade show.
After two terms of (nearly) weekly meetings, the Service Courses Curriculum Committee (S. Harris, M.L. Bevier, F. Jones) delivered recommendations to the Department at the annual Department retreat (PDF of presentation). Learning Goals for all Department service courses were defined. See http://www.eos.ubc.ca/courses/ServiceCoursesGoals.html . Some of the data considered when preparing this report were:
- Original EOS proposal to CWSEI
- Demographics for service courses
- Grades for all sections of all service courses
- Learning goals for all service courses (fall 2008)
- End of Term (EOT) Survey data for eosc111, 112, 114, 116, 310
- Midterm and EOT survey data since fall 2008 for some courses
- Instructor interviews
- Student interviews
- Science course requirements for BA, BFA, BMus
- Minimum high school sci/math courses required to enter UBC
This summary of precedent (.doc format), and list of recommendations regarding goals and scope of curriculum reform, was delivered to the EOS Teaching Initiatives Committee in Sept. 2008.
Focus on curriculum, July 2008
We are addressing the challenging yet important aspect of curriculum by focussing upon specific components of the Department's curriculum separately, while maintaining the over-arching context of the Department's overall needs. A one page Proposal from the Teaching Initiatives Committee and the Curriculum Committee
was prepared at the Department's annual retreat, April 2008. It includes short- medium- and long-term planning for curriculum revision and maintenance.
We hope to follow a process loosly based upon the model described in the "Handbook for Curriculum Assessment", 2006, Peter Wolf, Art Hill, Fred Evers, Teaching Support Services, University of Guelph. (Link to PDF at U. of Guelph). The data acquisition phase has begun, with interviews of faculty and TAs who are involved in teaching service courses, as well as students who have taken these courses. There are also results from End-Of-Term surveying and attitudinal assessments from many of these courses. Results of these data are being analyzed and configured for use in the next phase of curriculum discussions, which should involve both faculty and students. Options for how to proceed are expected to immerge from these data collection, analysis and discussion steps.
The 17 specific programs at EOS are:
- 3 Majors: EOS, Atsc, Envr
- 11 Honours: 1 Envr, 3 Atsc, 2 Geol, 2 Geop, 3 Ocgy
- B.A.Sc. (Geological Engineering, admininistered out of Facutly of App Sci.)
- Co-op options for both B.Sc. and B.A.Sc. students.
Some indication of the complexity of the curriculum issue is provided by the following lists:
Potential scope of curriculum discussions:
- Are we describing, modifying or re-inventing curriculum?
- What is the intended use of the final result? eg: outcome should be easily translated into a web-based description for undergraduates about what to expect as a student in any EOS program.
- How to ensure the "outcome" is evolving - ie dynamic?
- What do Dep't people want to know about curriculum on an ongoing basis? (Students, Faculty, Staff)
- How do "values", "skills" and "knowledge" factor into curriculum?
- How do "content", "cognition" and "metacognition" factor in? These three can be roughly translated as "knowing", "thinking" and "thinking about thinking" (ie, asking one's self "how much do I know, where am I trying to get to, and what must I do to get there?").
- Are there FoS and/or UBC formal or implied constraints?
- To what extent will students be used to provide input? Examples of how undergrads can contribute include addressing questions such as these in interviews and focus groups:
- How do we define the needs of students in our courses and programs?
- Why did they take one of our service course and what did they get out of doing so?
- Can we assess their expectations for a course or program?
- How do they perceive the needs that are relevant for their intersts?
- How much can one expect a student to anticipate or understand needs?
- How much interaction with other departments will be necessary?
- No doubt there are other aspects worth considering. Please forward suggestions to <email@example.com>
What stake holders must be "satisfied", or at least involved?
- General Science students
- Non-science students
- Engineering students
- Co-op programs
- Employers of our graduates
- Future graduate students
- Instructors (our own faculty)
- Other departements - regarding prerequisites, and degree requirements.
- Others? Please forward suggestions to <firstname.lastname@example.org>