2019 BENCHMARKS PARTICIPANT
Physics & Astronomy
The Physics & Astronomy Department have been working to standardize and strengthen the content of lower level courses so that the courses prepare students better for junior/senior level coursework. To reach this goal, the undergraduate committee has worked to craft a minimum set of learning objectives for each course in the undergraduate curriculum. Furthermore, they have created a map of how these course-level learning objectives fit into the degree-level learning objectives. Their participation in the Benchmarks project will allow them to develop a more effective assessment of achievement of these objectives. They plan to use the rubric to evaluate faculty on the alignment of their course content and use of active learning approaches with the goals of the learning objectives and overall curricula.
Physics & Astronomy instructors involved in the Benchmarks project plan to first use the rubric to evaluate the teaching of a select group of tenure-track faculty and one teaching professor. They propose using the rubric in evaluation of teaching professors as a part of a larger conversation within the department about the procedures for evaluating promotion of the newly created position. Furthermore, they propose to use the rubric as a tool to evaluate the alignment of courses that must meet certain external accreditation requirements. The Benchmarks project will also supplement the department’s implementation of objective-based grading in introductory lecture and laboratory courses.