The bachelor of science in physics degree is among nine Washington State University bachelor’s-degree programs from five colleges recognized for outstanding assessment of student learning that helped guide changes to undergraduate curriculum or instruction.

The programs were announced Nov. 8 at the Fall 2022 Celebration of Assessment Excellence. Hosts of the event were the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President, the Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement, and the Office of Assessment for Curriculum Effectiveness (ACE).

“Assessment of student learning is one of the ways we can fortify WSU’s strengths and position as a top research and land-grant university,” said Bill Davis, interim vice provost for academic engagement and student achievement. “It can provide vital evidence and data to guide programmatic evaluation and evolution to better meet the current and future needs of our students, our disciplines, and our state.”

Michael Allen.

Led by faculty assessment coordinator Michael Allen, the physics department examined students’ ability to think independently and critically in acquiring, reproducing, and assessing information from a variety of sources. It evaluated research poster presentations in the senior-thesis course and found that students need to improve communication of research information from various sources. Based on this, faculty introduced a new prerequisite course where students create a thesis proposal to better prepare them to present their research in the course.

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