B.A. & B.S. Marine Science – Written Communication (2013-2014)

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

YES, “Goals for Students in the Major”

Published where? (website)

Marine Science Webpage

Do PLOs include or imply link to Core Competency? (AY 2013-2014: Written Communication)?

“The scientific method and critical thinking, including the ability to design and carry out an inquiry-based research or internship project, analyze primary scientific literature, write a scientific proposal, and write a research paper or compile a portfolio.”

Process of Core Competency Assessment:

Course (400- level)

B.A. – MARE480: Senior Internship in Marine Science

B.S. – MARE470 and 471

Assignment

B.A. – Students will write a summative final report on their Internship field experience, in the format that would be required by a granting agency as follow up to a formal proposal.

B.S. – Senior Thesis

Type of Student Artifact

B.A. – 4-8 page written report

B.S. – Thesis written in a scientific journal article format

Rubric or other instrument

GE rubric for written communication

Data (measurement of the competency)

BA: MARE 480 Results: 12 students papers (N = 12) were weighed against the Written Communication Rubric. One artifact was rated as “advanced, three scored between “competent” and “advanced,” and seven as approaching competent (scores were between 2.63 to 2.95)

BS: MARE 471 Results:

Overall, students performed well on this assessment and generally scored “competent” to “advanced” in all four categories defined by the rubric. 12 papers were reviewed (N = 12) with the average scores approaching these bands:

Line of Reasoning 3.4 ±0.5
Organization and Structure
3.7 ±0.7
Content
3.6 ±0.7
Language/Prose/Syntax
3.8 ±0.5

While all students scored at least “competent” for their line of reasoning, few were advanced. Students were competent largely because they identified a thesis, presented original data, and stated how their data supported their thesis. A smaller fraction of students were able to take this to the next level, and analyze their results within the larger framework of other published studies. While some of this comes down to the ability of the individual student, some students were focused on completing other aspects of the assignment (mainly the Quantitative Reasoning portion of the assignment, including data presentation and analysis), and simply ran out of time to make these connections.

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

BA: MARE 480: The Written Communication Rubric was found be to be a valuable tool for the course. The instructor will use this next semester more aggressively on all of the written assignments and drafts, and will introduce it into lower level courses as well, which will serve to scaffold assignments towards the capstone papers.

BS: MARE 471: Overall, the results of this assessment indicate that there is no immediate and severe issue with written communication skills, especially in senior-level assignments that involved instructor feedback and resubmission. However, there is of course room for improvement. This assessment will be used as a basis and one of the models we will follow in the Marine Science Program Review that will happen over 2015-2016.

Date of Last Program Review

n/a