Curriculum Performance Assessment Tool (CPAT)
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ASBOG® is concerned primarily with the development of standardized written examinations for assessing qualifications of applicants seeking registration/licensure as professional geologists, but the data generated during this process can be of great significance to academic departments in the assessment of the quality and relevance of Geoscience curricula. An Assessment Examination as used in the academic setting can mean two things: an examination that must be passed by a graduating student in order to earn a particular degree, or an examination that is used to help evaluate various aspects of the curriculum. It is this second use of an Assessment Examination that ASBOG® encourages. ASBOG® has developed a two-part written examination -- the Fundamentals of Geology (FG) and the Practice of Geology (PG) -- to test the national competency of candidates who wish to become licensed professional geologists; both parts are multiple-choice examinations with four hours allotted for completion of each examination. The Fundamentals of Geology (FG) Examination emphasizes knowledge and skills that are typically acquired in an academic setting and lead to a baccalaureate degree in geology. From the perspective of a university/college, the FG Examination can be utilized to assess how well the geology faculty is relating an educational background in geology to students at that particular university/college.
The use of the ASBOG® Fundamentals of Geology (FG) Examination as an Assessment Examination has been in place in Mississippi since 1999 and Georgia since 2006, both ASBOG® state Member Boards. When the examination is used in this capacity, it is administered to senior-level students majoring in geology on the university/college level. It may also be administered to graduate students majoring in geology provided that their undergraduate degrees are not in geology. All state universities in Mississippi require their students to take the examination. In Georgia, only the University of West Georgia (UWG) requires their students to take the examination.
Results obtained from administering the FG Examination as an Assessment Examination in Mississippi and Georgia demonstrate that, in heavily-weighted areas of geologic practice such as hydrogeology, students who performed poorly in that area may have done so because they lacked that course work. It is also true that if they did poorly in that area and have already taken the course work, that some sort of improvement may be needed in the communication of hydrogeological concepts, etc., within the teaching of that particular facet of geology. Assessment Examination in Georgia also demonstrate that, in heavily-weighted areas of geologic practice such as economic geology and energy resources, students who performed poorly in that area did so because economic geology and energy resources is not offered as part of the curriculum. UWG recognized this and added economic geology to their curriculum starting in the Spring of 2014. Furthermore, some institutions may offer specific geologic course work once every two years and a graduating geology major may not have been afforded the opportunity to take the course because of the infrequency of its offering. Mississippi identified this situation at one of its institutions, resulting in that institution changing its scheduled offering of the course from every other year to every other semester. UWG also recognizes this problem in the field of engineering geology which is offered during the fall semester of odd-numbered years.
To download the complete "Assessment" brochure click the following link...Assessment Paper
Last Updated:March 12, 2017