B.A. Physics & B.S. Astronomy – Information Literacy

Have formal Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) or Student Learning Outcomes (SLOS) been developed?

Yes, “Goals for Student Learning in the Major”

Published where? (website)

Physics webpage

Do PLOs include or imply link to Core Competency? (AY 2015-2016: Information Literacy)?

We do not have a wording but we require students to be proficient in reading scientific papers, deliver talks on scientific topics and write scientific papers as part of their performance at various non-required courses and activities such as presentations at meetings, internship reports, and seminar courses.

Process of Core Competency Assessment:

Course (400- level)

PHYS 371 – Classical Mechanics


Paper on Classical Mechanics

Type of Student Artifact

Paper length will be 2-3 pages with citation format conforming to the physics and astronomical literature found in professional papers i.e. Astrophysical Journal and Physical Review Letters.

Rubric or other instrument

Rubric for Information Literacy

Data (measurement of the competency)

The sole reader in Physics was assisted by members of the assessment committee in reading al seven papers.

Two out of five students showed above competent writing; whereas five exhibited skills near (approaching) competency.
The weakest skills were in documentation conventions and integrating sources. Some readers noted that it was not clear what specific academic format was being utilized.

Evaluator Tabular Data

Action Taken in Response to the Data (What will you do in response to the Findings?)

  • Students will be invited to participate in research experiences in astronomy related fields (majority of the faculty pursue this field)
  • The department will regularly offer ASTR/PHYS 352 Senior Lab Thesis Project as a WI where students will have several opportunities to prepare drafts, obtain feedback, rewrite, consult with faculty and researchers in the field to learn the conventions of papers written in journals of Astronomy and Physics (different than in other fields)
  • Students will be advised to take ENG 225 if it fits in their schedule and if the advisor deems it necessary

Date of Last Program Review