Natural Sciences

 

Designing a Natural Sciences Course

Liberal Studies Natural Sciences courses emphasize foundational scientific principles and help students become effective interpreters of scientific results and critical analysts of claims about the natural world.

Two scientists wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) carefully monitor a laboratory instrument.

What are the learning objectives of Natural Sciences courses?

  1. Pose questions or hypotheses based on scientific principles.
  2. Use appropriate scientific methods and evidence to evaluate claims or theoretical arguments about the natural world.
  3. Analyze and interpret research results using appropriate methods.

What aspects of course design are necessary to certify a course for Natural Sciences?

The course submission must reflect the following information:

Natural Sciences courses help students become effective interpreters of scientific results and critical analysts of claims about the natural world. The course objectives, course materials, activities, and grading criteria should reflect how students will achieve these outcomes.

If not clearly incorporated into the course syllabus, a sample assignment or two (and associated grading criteria) should be included in an appendix to the syllabus. These materials should illustrate how students will be assessed on their achievement of the student learning objectives.

Note: General Education courses must be offered at a level of 1000, 2000, or 3000.

What language must be included in the syllabus?

There are two components of required syllabus language:

  1. Statements approved by the Faculty Senate, and
  2. Statements for each Liberal Studies designation the course is certified for

 

Faculty Senate required syllabus language:
All syllabi are required to include the syllabus language statements approved by the FSU Faculty Senate, available at https://facsenate.fsu.edu/Curriculum-Resources/syllabus-language.

Liberal Studies required syllabus language:

The following statement can either be 1) adapted specifically to the course content, or 2) pasted verbatim into the syllabus. In either case, the meaning of the language should be clearly communicated to students.

This course has been approved to meet FSU’s Liberal Studies Natural Sciences requirement and helps you become an effective interpreter of scientific results and a critical analyst of claims about the natural world.

By the end of this course, students will:

  1. Pose questions or hypotheses based on scientific principles.
  2. Use appropriate scientific methods and evidence to evaluate claims or theoretical arguments about the natural world.
  3. Analyze and interpret research results using appropriate methods.

 

For laboratory (L) or combined lecture/laboratory (C) courses:

As required by Florida State University, the student must earn a course grade of “C–” or higher in order to meet the Liberal Studies 1-credit laboratory requirement.

Can I combine Natural Sciences with any other Liberal Studies areas?

  • Natural Sciences can be combined with any of the University Wide Graduation Requirements.
    • If you choose to add a Diversity designation to your course proposal, note that courses cannot carry both Diversity designations.
      • A course may be Cross-Cultural (X) or Diversity in Western Experience (Y), but not both.
    • If you choose to add a writing designation to your course proposal, note that a course can only fulfill one type of Writing requirement.
      • A course may be E-Series/State-Mandated Writing “W” or Upper-Division Writing.
    • If you are considering a capstone experience for your course proposal, note that a course can carry either the Scholarship in Practice (SIP) or Formative Experience designation, but not both.

Is there a syllabus template I can use to develop a Natural Sciences course?

Yes. While there is no strictly required format for syllabi, our office has created the following document that you may use to facilitate the process of creating a Liberal Studies syllabus:  Syllabus Guide - Natural Sciences

Who should I contact if I have more questions or concerns?

  • For general questions about Liberal Studies requirements as well as questions about the Curricular Request Application (CRA), contact Kestrel Strickland.
  • For other questions, contact Lynn Hogan.
  • You may also browse the FAQ for commonly asked questions and answers.

 

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