Physical Science General Education Assessment

Students in our general education physical science courses learn foundational concepts in science, the application of science to society, the nature of science, and critical thinking.

In the course Science and Society (Physical Science 1000) students learn about the interaction between people and the environment with an emphasis on how modern technologies are impacting impacting the environment. In Fall 2019, this course begin using the textbook Chemistry in Context and include more interactive simulations to help ensure that students can connect environmental issues with physical science concepts.

Practical Physics I (Physical Science 1100) uses the research-based, hand-on curricula Next Generation Physics and Everyday Thinking.  The course provides a foundation of physics and chemistry content, as well as Nature of Science and science processing skills, and it particularly useful for education majors since it aligns with Next Generation Science Standards.  Post-test assessments show students have made particular gains in understanding the explanations and conceptual foundations for forces and energy transformation.

Students in Physical Science 1150 Basic Astronomy use the Big Ideas in Cosmology curriculum which was developed with funding from NASA.  Attitudinal assessment in the course show large gains for students having confidence to “use science terms to share my results” as well as gains in content knowledge about astronomy and cosmology.  Based on student feedback, new aspects of the course include increased emphasis on the contributions of scientists of color was incorporated into the course and additional connections between science and the arts was also introduced.

Where in the text it says "Big Ideas in Cosmology" 

Science majors typically fulfill their general education requirements with either General Chemistry I and Laboratory (Chemistry 1400 and 1410) or Physics I with Calculus (Physics 2110).  Both of these course are also available to non-science majors who are interested in a more in-depth discussion of physical science concepts.  More on the assessment of these courses can be found in chemistry assessment and physics assessment.