MS Program Learning Outcomes. Assessment Criteria and Impact of Results 1a. Comprehensive Exam. Assessment Criteria Evaluate one question from the Comprehensive examination. There are three potential outcome to this test:
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Evaluate one question from the Comprehensive examination. There are three potential outcome to this test:
Failure in summarizing the basic theories implies that the student has not got sufficient knowledge to pursue atmospheric science research. In this case, (s)he may be asked to either retake the course or the exam, pending the scores of other questions.
Demonstrates sufficient knowledge in the theory, but fail to apply it to solve a real problem. This may indicate that the student is a good learner, but may not be suitable for pursuing original scientific research. (S)he may be recommended to receive a M.Sc. degree, but not for a Ph.D, if he has similar performance in other exams.
Good in both theory and application. The student will be recommended for a Ph.D. study, if good achievements are also accomplished in other exams.
Evaluation: Question examined for spring 2007: Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry: Part I (METO620)
This question tests how well students can apply the basic cloud physics theories learned in the classroom to solve a practical problem that has been a hot topic in the arena of climate change. It deals with both the fundamentals of cloud formation, droplet growth and initiation of precipitation, as well as the modern cloud observation techniques.
Consequences: the faculty is still mulling the consequences of these results
A subjective experience-based set of criteria evaluating scientific breadth and depth will be used based on past course offerings at UMD and elsewhere.
Assessment results: A survey of the current course offerings (winter 2006-7) based on discussions with the instructors, exit interviews, and review of the student evaluations finds the following strengths and weaknesses of the academic program:
1) Strengths: students are exposed not only to traditional dynamics and physics of the atmosphere and oceans, but also to interdisciplinary research areas within earth system science. The core courses are exceptional among those offered at competitor institutions in that they encourage students in areas of critical thinking, scientific presentations and proposal development.
2) Weakness: Students are currently lacking education in synoptic meteorology.
Consequences: synoptic meteorology should be taught regularly.
Every year in AOSC 680 each student is required to prepare a mock proposal in response to an actual NASA Young Investigator proposal solicitation. The students are required to prepare a letter of intent, which is then assessed by the instructor and feedback is provided with respect to its suitability for a full proposal submission. Proposals are then prepared by each student according to the solicitation criteria in the announcement of opportunity. Each student presents their proposal in oral and written form. Each student’s oral proposal defense and written proposal are reviewed by their peers in class according to the review criteria in solicitation.
Assessment: Students gain first-hand experience on proposal preparation and review. Feedback and review comments are provided to each student. Input from each student is solicited regarding what he or she learned and how the process can be improved.
Consequences: continue with the same approach
The following criteria will be used when the ADCC in concert with the course instructor evaluates the scholarly papers/presentations:
1. Adherence to formatting requirements.
2. Depth of knowledge of problem being proposed.
3. Clarity of written and oral presentation.
We will expect a virtually 100% success rate for the evaluation based on these criteria.
Assessment: Success rate is 100% for the scholarly papers, somewhat less for the oral presentations for students who complete the MS degree. No students have left the program due to failure to satisfy these criteria. There is a continuing emphasis on having the students make a number of oral presentations during their courses.
The emphasis in evaluating the responses will be to motivate a continuous process by which the Department addresses the most serious (commonly cited and important) issues first. Thus, continual improvement, reflected partly by a shift in the most commonly cited issues and partly by the enthusiasm expressed in the responses to general questions, is our Criteria for success.
Impact of Results
Assessment: Coursework: Some students found the courses are generally well structured for them to study the processes regulating chemical and physical processes in the atmosphere and ocean. Advising: our faculty are helpful in advising students to conduct their research projects and present their scholarly work in conferences and journals. The students appreciate the fact that the Department organizes regular seminars, on average, twice a week to help our students learn how other scientists conduct their research and what is up-to-date in our science.
Consequences: no specific consequences now.