Student Learning Outcomes and Sample Syllabi

University Studies Courses

Many of our courses satisfy the Common Student Learning Outcomes of University studies for Scientific Approaches to the Natural World and Quantitative and Logical Reasoning as listed below.

University Studies - Scientific Approaches to the Natural World

SAN 1. Demonstrate an understanding of basic scientific principles, theories, and laws as well as an awareness of the changing nature of science.

SAN 2. Analyze, interpret, and evaluate scientific hypotheses and theories using rigorous methods (including statistical and mathematical techniques).

SAN 3. Demonstrate the ability to write and speak critically about the essential questions addressed by the natural sciences, using the conventions and language of one of those disciplines.

University Studies - Quantitative and Natural Reasoning

QRE1. Create, solve and interpret basic mathematical models.

QRE2. Make sound arguments based on mathematical reasoning and/or careful analysis of data.

QRE3. Effectively communicate the substance and meaning of mathematical problems and solutions.

Below are sample syllabi for the physics courses that count for University Studies. Note: These syllabi are not the official course syllabi. See your instructor for those.

PHY 101. Elementary College Physics (4)
Sample Syllabus

LEARNING OUTCOMES: This is not a complete list of all you will be asked to study and encouraged to learn. However, after successfully completing this lecture and laboratory course you should at least be able to:

1. The student will demonstrate the ability to think critically and to use appropriate concepts to analyze qualitatively�problems or situations involving the fundamental principles of physics. [SAN 1]

2. The student will demonstrate the ability to use appropriate mathematical techniques and concepts to obtain quantitative solutions to problems in physics. [SAN 2, QRE 1, QRE 2]

3. Students will demonstrate basic experimental skills by the practice of setting up and conducting an experiment with due regards to minimizing measurement error. [SAN 2, QRE 2, QRE 3]

4. Students will demonstrate basic communication skills by working in groups on laboratory experiments and the thoughtful discussion and interpretation of data. [SAN 3, QRE3]

PHY 102. Elementary College Physics (4) Sample Syllabus

LEARNING OUTCOMES: This is not a complete list of all you will be asked to study and encouraged to learn. However, after successfully completing this lecture and laboratory course you should at least be able to:

1. The student will demonstrate the ability to think critically and to use appropriate concepts to analyze qualitatively�problems or situations involving the fundamental principles of physics. [SAN 1]

2. The student will demonstrate the ability to use appropriate mathematical techniques and concepts to obtain quantitative solutions to problems in physics. [SAN 2, QRE 1, QRE 2]

3. Students will demonstrate basic experimental skills by the practice of setting up and conducting an experiment with due regards to minimizing measurement error. [SAN 2, QRE 2, QRE 3]

4. Students will demonstrate basic communication skills by working in groups on laboratory experiments and the thoughtful discussion and interpretation of data. [SAN 3, QRE3]

PHY 103. Great Ideas in Physics (3) Sample Syllabus

Student Learning Outcome: This course is designed to introduce the nature of science by emphasizing the concepts underlying four of the great ideas in physics, each of which has had impact and application far beyond science. The concepts chosen represent both important theories and laws governing physics and give examples of the use of both inductive and deductive science and develop the student's ability to analyze, evaluate and test scientific hypotheses. Students will apply these concepts to address both quantitative and qualitative problems chosen to amplify the text.� Humanistic sources and effects of these physical principles are suggested by reading and excepts from the original scientific literature, as well as history, literature, philosophy and art.� Both written and oral discussions challenge the student to think more broadly about the ideas, both scientific and humanistic.

a. The student will demonstrate basic understanding some of some of the most important physical concepts and their impact and application and demonstrate the ability to think critically and to use these concepts to analyze qualitatively problems or situations. [SAN 1]

b. The student will also demonstrate the ability to explore connections between ideas in science and in humanities and how the great ideas of science have changed our view of the world. [SAN 1]

c. The student will develop the ability to use appropriate mathematical techniques and physical concepts to obtain quantitative solutions to problems in physics. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the differences in applying the scientific method using both inductive and deductive reasoning to get results that accurately represent the physical processes taking place in the phenomenon. [SAN2]

d. Students will demonstrate a qualitative understanding of the core physics ideas and the relationship of this physics to the humanities through both written and oral communication. [SAN 3]

PHY 104. Physics for Future Presidents (3) Sample Syllabus

Student Learning Outcome: The purpose of this course is to teach the physics needed to be a critically thinking, scientifically literate citizen with the ability to evaluate and develop sound evidence-based decisions and discern decisions that are not evidence-based when dealing with technology. The course is inquiry based. Topics usually begin with a story, anecdote, or puzzling fact. The purpose is to make the student wonder, "how can that be?" Then the issue is addressed using sound qualitative and quantitative solutions requiring knowledge of physical principles. Class discussions and written critiques of scientific articles require the students to use basic oral and written communication skills to confidently present their case and argue their conclusions using basic physical principles.

1. Students will demonstrate the ability, both oral and written, to think critically and to use appropriate concepts to analyze qualitatively problems or situations involving the application of the fundamental principles of physics to real world situations. [SAN 1]
2. Students will analyze numerous examples of qualitative and quantitative
solutions to real world problems that demonstrate the importance of the material being learned and how it might be applied to real world situations.
[SAN 2]
3. Students will demonstrate ability and knowledge to discuss the material
clearly and objectively both orally and in writing in this course. [SAN3]
4. Students will show their understanding and knowledge of the fundamental physical concepts that they may need to make informed decisions in a highly technical world. [SAN1], [SAN 4]

PHY 105. Introductory Physics (4) Sample Syllabus

LEARNING OUTCOMES: These learning objectives satisfy the Common Student Learning Outcomes of University Studies for Scientific Approaches to the Natural World as listed below.

1. The student will demonstrate an understanding of the basic principles, theories, and laws of physics through the description of physical systems and understanding of the physical environment in terms of the concepts listed in the course content. [SAN 1]

2. Students will demonstrate basic experimental skills by setting up laboratory equipment safely and efficiently, plan and carry out experimental procedures, and report verbally and in written language the results of the experiment. [SAN 2]

3. Students will demonstrate basic communication skills by working in groups on laboratory experiments and the thoughtful discussion and interpretation of their results and observations. [SAN 3]

PHY 201. General Physics (4) Sample Syllabus

LEARNING OUTCOMES: This is not a complete list of all you will be asked to study and encouraged to learn. However, after successfully completing this lecture and laboratory course you should at least be able to:

1. The student will demonstrate the ability to think critically and to use appropriate concepts to analyze qualitatively�problems or situations involving the fundamental principles of physics. [SAN 1]

2. The student will demonstrate the ability to use appropriate mathematical techniques and concepts to obtain quantitative solutions to problems in physics. [SAN 2, QRE 1, QRE 2]

3. Students will demonstrate basic experimental skills by the practice of setting up and conducting an experiment with due regards to minimizing measurement error. [SAN 2, QRE 2, QRE 3]

4. Students will demonstrate basic communication skills by working in groups on laboratory experiments and the thoughtful discussion and interpretation of data. [SAN 3, QRE3]

PHY 202. General Physics (4) Sample Syllabus

LEARNING OUTCOMES: This is not a complete list of all you will be asked to study and encouraged to learn. However, after successfully completing this lecture and laboratory course you should at least be able to:

1. The student will demonstrate the ability to think critically and to use appropriate concepts to analyze qualitatively�problems or situations involving the fundamental principles of physics. [SAN 1]

2. The student will demonstrate the ability to use appropriate mathematical techniques and concepts to obtain quantitative solutions to problems in physics. [SAN 2, QRE 1, QRE 2]

3. Students will demonstrate basic experimental skills by the practice of setting up and conducting an experiment with due regards to minimizing measurement error. [SAN 2, QRE 2, QRE 3]

4. Students will demonstrate basic communication skills by working in groups on laboratory experiments and the thoughtful discussion and interpretation of data. [SAN 3, QRE3]

PHY 220. The Physics of Music (3) Sample Syllabus

Student Learning Outcomes:� Students enrolled in this course are expected to meet the minimum threshold of understanding in the following areas:�

A. Students will demonstrate and understanding of

  1. The mathematical structures of the Pythagorian Intonation, Just Intonation, Meantone Intonation, 12 tone equal temperament, and 24 tone equal temperament musical scales. [SAN 2]

  2. The mathematical structure of the harmonic series and its central role in the experience of timbre.� [SAN 2]

  3. The physical principles underlying the resonance behavior of wind, brass,� percussion, and stringed instruments, and the manner in which the harmonic series peculiar to each type of instrument shapes their particular sound qualities. [SAN 1]

  4. The mathematical relations between sound frequency and the geography of tone sensitivity in the eardrum.� [SAN 2]

  5. The mathematical structure of aural critical bandwidths and their influence on consonance, dissonance, and musical dynamics.� [SAN 2]

  6. The physical principles underlying transductive instruments and amplification. [SAN 1]

  7. The physical basis for various aural effects such as; reverb, echo, delay, phasing, flanging, tremolo, etc.; and the electronic basis for generating and shaping them. [SAN 1]

B. Students will demonstrate their ability to communicate what they have learned about the physics of music in classroom discussions and through an individual project. [SAN 3]

PHY 260. Introduction to Astronomy (3) Sample Syllabus

Student Learning Objectives

1. Students will demonstrate an understanding of basic astronomical phenomena such as the notion of the celestial sphere, early Greek cosmological models, Kepler's laws of planetary motion, Newton's laws of motion, the laws of light, etc. [SAN 1]

2. Students will demonstrate an appreciation of our understanding of our place in the Universe based on various theoretical models from an historical perspective. [SAN 1,SAN 2]

3. Students will employ procedures in positional astronomy with a planisphere: computations of rising, setting, and meridian passage of the sun, moon, planets, and stars. [SAN 2]

4. Students will demonstrate the ability to communicate an understanding of the principles, theories, and techniques of astronomy through discussions in the classroom, at outside viewings, or in written work.[SAN 3]


UNC Wilmington | 601 S. College Road, Wilmington NC 28403 | 910.962.3000 | About this Site | Copyright Notice | Feedback | Page maintained by:  R. Herman [ hermanr AT uncw DOT edu ]