Competency-Based Lab Skills Assessments: What have We Learned and Where are We Going? (poster 19)
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As part of our overall assessment of program learning objectives, our department has paid careful attention to the types of skills and abilities we expect our students to learn in laboratory courses. Examples of critical lab skills include measurement and error analysis, data analysis and programming skills, and use of diagnostic equipment such as voltmeters and oscilloscopes. A team of physics faculty have mapped out where and when certain skills will be taught, and competency-based lab skills exams have been developed to assess student learning. This presentation will summarize the results of these assessments, revisions of these assessments, and how results highlight the need for curricular change in certain areas. As an example of using assessment to close the loop, we will describe our latest curricular revision efforts which include a proposal to re-structure intermediate laboratory courses.