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Chemistry & Biochemistry

College or Campus: College of Arts and Sciences

Student Learning Outcomes

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry seeks to serve students who are interested in careers related to Chemistry or Biochemistry. The department offers eight undergraduate majors in order to serve the diverse interests of our students: B.S. in Forensic Chemistry (BS3310), B.A. in Chemistry (BA3311), B.S. in Chemistry (BS3311), B.S. in Chemistry—Predentistry (BS3312), B.S. in Chemistry—Prepharmacy (BS3313), B.S. in Chemistry—Premedicine (BS3314), B.S. in Environmental Chemistry (BS3315), and the B.S. in Chemistry—Biochemistry (BS3316). The B.S. degrees in Chemistry and Environmental Chemistry are accredited by the American Chemical Society (ACS) and the B.S. in Forensic Chemistry is accredited by the Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC).

Accreditation by the American Chemical Society (ACS) requires the following development of student skills*:

  1. Problem solving skills
  2. Chemical literature skills
  3. Laboratory safety skills
  4. Communication skills
  5. Team Skills
  6. Ethics

*Taken from Undergraduate Professional Education in Chemistry: ACS Guidelines and Evaluation Procedures for Bachelor’s Degree Programs, Spring 2008

Therefore the students in Chemistry and Biochemistry will:

  1. Be able to demonstrate foundation knowledge in the five areas of chemistry (analytical, biochemistry, inorganic, organic and physical).
  2. Be able to integrate knowledge learned in discipline specific courses.
  3. Be able to access, search and use the chemical literature.
  4. Be knowledgeable in classical laboratory techniques and be able to use modern instrumentation.
  5. Be able to design and conduct scientific experiments and analyze the resulting data.
  6. Be able to work as a member of a team.
  7. Be knowledgeable in proper procedures and regulations in handling and disposal of chemicals.
  8. Be able to communicate (written and oral) scientific information to chemists and non-­‐chemists.
  9. Be knowledgeable of ethical practices in science.

Assessment Plan

Be able to demonstrate foundation knowledge in the five areas of chemistry (analytical, biochemistry, inorganic, organic and physical).

Assessment of this foundational knowledge is demonstrated through the use of ACS standardized exams. These are used in the CHEM 1510/1520 sequence to assess knowledge of general inorganic, physical and analytical chemistry. The use of the standardized exams in CHEM 3050/3060 assesses the student’s knowledge of organic chemistry. The use of the standardized exam in CHEM 4760 assesses the student’s knowledge of inorganic chemistry. Assessment of forensic chemistry majors takes place via the Forensic Science Assessment Test (FSAT) administered by the American Board of Criminalists (ABC) each spring.

Be able to integrate knowledge learned in discipline specific courses.

Assessment of this learning outcome is largely addressed through participation in one of two undergraduate research courses. Both CHEM 4940 and CHEM 4941 (Tier III) are undergraduate research courses. Both of these research courses provide an opportunity for the student to utilize chemistry knowledge obtained in multiple discipline specific courses.

Be able to access, search and use the chemical literature.

Assessment of this learning outcome is addressed through participation in undergraduate research (CHEM 4940 and CHEM 4941). Assessment is also provided through courses such CHEM 4310 and CHEM 4840 in which students must prepare a written or oral presentation on a topic from the chemical literature.

Be knowledgeable in classical laboratory techniques and be able to use modern instrumentation.

Assessment of the student’s knowledge of laboratory techniques and use of instrumentation is largely carried out through laboratory courses, which include CHEM 1510/1520, CHEM 3080/3090, CHEM 2410L, CHEM 4310L, CHEM 4760L, CHEM 4840L, CHEM 4870L, CHEM 4903.

Be able to design and conduct scientific experiments and analyze the resulting data.

Assessment of this learning outcome is largely addressed through participation in one of two undergraduate research courses. Both CHEM 4940 and CHEM 4941 (Tier III) are undergraduate research courses, participation in these research courses as well as presentations at the Research and Creative Activity Expo and peer-reviewed publications provide an excellent measure of assessing chemistry majors in terms of their research skills. Both of these research courses provide an opportunity for the student to utilize chemistry knowledge obtained in coursework as well laboratory experience.

Be able to work as a member of a team.

Assessment of this learning outcome occurs through courses such as CHEM 2410 and CHEM 4310 in which students work together to prepare a written review article.

Be knowledgeable in proper procedures and regulations in handling and disposal of chemicals.

Assessment of this learning outcome occurs in every laboratory course.

Be able to communicate (written and oral) scientific information to chemists and non-­‐chemists.

Assessment of this outcome is provided by several courses. For example, participation in undergraduate research often entails presentations at the Research and Creative Activity Expo. CHEM 4310, 4600 and 4870 are listed as courses that are part of the writing certificate. CHEM 2410: students are put in small groups and required to write a group paper on a current application of electrochemistry; students are then required to evaluate/grade each other’s papers. In CHEM 4840 each student is required to give a 15-20 minute presentation on a case study. Each student is also required to write a review paper on a novel forensic chemistry research paper. In CHEM 4310L students are put into small groups, and each group is responsible for giving a pre-lab presentation and checking student notebooks for that lab. In CHEM 4310 groups of four or less choose a topic on a current application of spectroscopy and give a class presentation on the topic. Students are then required to evaluate/grade each other’s presentations.

CHEM 4310 PRESENTATION EVALUATION

Speakers:

Title of Presentation:

Please rank the following 1 = poor 5 = outstanding (please feel free to indicate different values for different speakers)

Presentation Quality

  1. Volume of the presentation

1               2                     3                     4                     5

  1. Appearance of the presentation

1               2                     3                     4                     5

  1. Ability of the speaker to stay on topic

1               2                     3                     4                     5

  1. Ability of the speaker to clearly explain topic

1               2                     3                     4                     5

  1. Enthusiasm of the speaker

1               2                     3                     4                     5

  1. Organization of the presentation

1               2                     3                     4                     5

Scientific Quality

1. Overall quality of the science presented

1               2                     3                     4                     5

2. How well the presentation pertains to the course material

1               2                     3                     4                     5

3. How well the presentation relates to modern use of the subject

1               2                     3                     4                     5

4. Speaker’s grasp of the material presented

1               2                     3                     4                     5

TOTAL POINTS________

Comments:

Be knowledgeable of ethical practices in science.

Assessment of this learning outcome occurs in the upper division laboratory courses and the undergraduate research courses.

Evidence of Student Learning

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Use of Student Learning Evidence

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