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Skidmore College
Physics Department

Student Learning Goals

Below are the departmental learning goals mapped to College-wide goals for student learning.

  • Understand and apply physical models to solve problems. (Ia, IIb, IIId, IIe, IVa, IVd)
  • Identify the conditions in which particular physical models are applicable. (IIa, IIb, Iva)
  • Find, create, interpret, and analyze abstract representations of the physical world. (IIa, IIb, IIc)
  • Troubleshoot a circuit, experimental setup, or computer program. (IIa, IIIc)
  • Identify information needed to answer a scientific question. (IIa, IIb)
  • Develop an experimental procedure that is capable of answering a particular scientific question. (IIa, IIb, Ic)
  • Recognize legitimate sources of scientific information. (IIa, IIb)
  • Access and properly cite sources. (Ia, IIb)
  • Gather, analyze, and make appropriate claims based on data. (IIb)
  • Effectively communicate scientific information in oral and written form to a variety of audiences. (IIc, IId)
  • Use appropriate form for scientific papers, presentations, and posters. (IIc)
  • Use software necessary for success in science. (Ia, IIIc)
  • Demonstrate proficiency in scientific programming. (Ia, Ic, IIIc)
  • Work in groups in a productive and collaborative manner. (IId, IIe, IIIb, IIIc, IVb)
  • Communicate a nuanced understanding of the relationship between society and the discipline of physics. (Ib, IIIa, IIIb, IIIc, IVa, IVb, IVc, IVd)

Learning goals associated with each general education literacy in the major:

Information Literacy

  • Identify information needed to answer a scientific question. (IIa, IIb)
  • Recognize legitimate sources of scientific information; access and properly cite sources. (IIa, IIb)
  • Gather and analyze data. (IIb)

Oral Communication

  • Choose a message and organize supporting evidence according to scientific norms. (Ia, IIa, IIb, IIc)
  • Use language appropriately, including technical terminology. (IIc)
  • Deliver the message effectively. (IIc, IId)

Technology Literacy

  • Use spreadsheet software such as Excel. (IIb, IIIc)
  • Use communications software such as Word, Powerpoint, and LaTeX. (IIb, IIc, IIIc)
  • Troubleshoot and use scientific instrumentation. (Ia, IIa, IIIc)
  • Perform basic scientific computing, using programs such as Matlab, Python, and IDL. (Ia, IIb, IIIc)

Visual Literacy

  • Find and select appropriate images and other visual content, with an awareness of copyright restrictions. (IIa)
  • Create and interpret graphs and diagrams. (IIa, IIb)
  • Use appropriate format for problem solutions, presentations, and papers. (Ia, IIc)

Writing in the Major

  • Communicate thought processes through problem solving and/or derivations. (IIc)
  • Write in the style of a scientific paper. (IIc)
  • Write scientific ideas to a general audience. (IIc)