Syllabus Checklist for Physical Science Courses

This checklist will help instructors of WSU General Education courses with Physical Science (PS) attributes to design a course syllabus that includes critical information about the General Education program.


Key Course Information

 Name of Course, with Gen Ed attributes specified (i.e., PS)
 Name of faculty member, meeting place and meeting time if F2F
 Contact info: office location, student hours, phone, email, faculty website link
 List of required texts   
 Provide the catalog course description
 Clearly outline the scope and focus of the class with course objectives
 Check with your department/program chair and the Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning for additional information and policies to be included in your syllabus, including:

 Attendance policies
 Plagiarism, academic honesty, and AI policies
 ADA policies & statement
 Core beliefs statement
 Professionalism and Respect statement
 Inclusivity statement
 FERPA Rights
 Student Responsibilities
 Recording policies

Big Question and Signature Assignment:

 State the “Big Question” (BQ) of your Gen Ed course.
 Describe the Signature Assignment (SA) for your Gen Ed course. Examples can be found in the eWeber portal app titled, Signature Assignment samples.
Include and modify this language to inform students of the BQ and SA in your Gen Ed course.

This course is part of the WSU General Education program. GE courses introduce students to academic disciplines through important “big questions” (BQ). At their core, “big questions” provide students the opportunity to integrate and apply their knowledge of the discipline to address a significant, personal, social, or professional issue. GE courses also introduce students to underlying foundational knowledge and intellectual tools that run through all academic areas and are part of the ongoing preparation to address real world problems.

All WSU General Education courses have “signature assignments” (SA) that require you to integrate and apply course content to address a big question with, for instance, critical or creative thinking, problem solving, or analysis. Signature assignments 1) will address a specific audience, 2) will tackle personal, social, or a professional question or issue, and 3) will integrate and apply course content through the use of 4) intellectual tools. You are enrolled in the WSU General Education course _______________ which is designed to tackle the following big question (BQ)____________________________ through the signature assignment (SA)____________________________. Please see ______ for more detailed information about the signature assignment for this course.

 Name your SA in the Canvas Gradebook as “Signature Assignment”

The words “Signature Assignment” must be in the assignment title - not merely in the description of the SA, or on the syllabus. The actual assignment title should be something like “Signature Assignment,” “Final Paper (Signature Assignment)” or “Signature Assignment: Final Paper”. The General Education program cannot assess courses unless the Signature Assignment is labelled as such in the Canvas assignment title.

Physical Science (PS) Area Learning Outcomes (LOs)

 List the Natural Science Learning Outcomes (LOs)

1) Nature of science: Scientific knowledge is based on evidence that is repeatedly examined, and can change with new information. Scientific explanations differ fundamentally from those that are not scientific.

2) Integration of science: All natural phenomena are interrelated and share basic prganziational principles. Scientific explanations obtained from different disciplines should be cohesive and integrated.

3) Science and society: The study of science provides explanations that have significant impact on society, including technological advancements, improvements of human life, and better understanding of human and other influences on the earth's environment.

4) Problem solving and data analysis: Science relies on empirical data, and such data must be analyzed, interpreted, and generalized in a rigorous manner.

 List the four Physical Science Learning Outcomes (LOs):
Students will demonstrate their understanding of the following four features of the physical world:

1) Organization of systems: The universe is scientifically understandable in terms of interconnected systems. The systems evolve over time according to basic physical laws.

2) Matter: Matter comprises an important component of the universe, and has physical properties that can be described over a range of scales.

3) Energy: Interactions within the universe can be described in terms of energy exchange and conservation.

4) Forces: Equilibrium and change are determined by forces acting at all organizational levels..

 Write the relevant Physical Science (PS) LO(s) next to the aligned course assignment(s).