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Learning Outcomes
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UW Botany Major Goals and Learning Outcomes

April, 2011

The learning outcomes for the B.S. in Botany build on the goals and learning outcomes established by the UW Life Sciences Program. Learning outcomes are defined for the following areas:

     •    Acquisition, Application and Synthesis of Knowledge

     •    Communication Skills

     •    Critical Thinking and Problem Solving    

     •    Research Skills

Upon completing the 1000-3000 level LIFE courses and additional upper-level courses required for the major, students completing the B.S. in Botany will be expected to meet the following learning outcomes:


Acquisition, Application and Synthesis of Knowledge

     Students will be expected to acquire, apply and synthesize fundamental concepts in the following areas, particularly as they apply to plants:

     1)    cell and molecular biology

     2)    structure and function from molecules to organisms

     3)    evolutionary biology

     4)    genetics

     5)    ecology

     6)    biological diversity


Communication Skills

     Students will be expected to:

     1)   read and identify key points in scientific writing.

     2)   summarize key points from oral presentations. 

     3)   write effectively and evaluate writing.

     4)   discuss and present scientific findings verbally.

     5)   construct effective and appropriate visual displays of information.

     6)   formulate insightful questions about scientific content from written and oral presentations.


Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

     Students will be expected to:

     1)   differentiate between fact and opinion.

     2)   recognize and evaluate author bias.

     3)   develop inferential skills.

     4)   recognize logical fallacies and faulty reasoning.

     5)   make decisions and judgments by drawing conclusions using logical, quantitative and statistically-based reasoning.

     6)  assess the elements of a problem and develop and test a solution based on logic and the best possible information.


Research Skills

     Students will be expected to:

     1)   understand and appreciate science and its methods

     2)   understand how scientific methods are applied to everyday problems.

     3)   develop testable hypotheses to answer research questions.

     4)   understand how to design experiments to appropriately test hypotheses.

     5)   apply appropriate quantitative methods to research data.

     6)   understand the limitations of science.

     7)   develop a working concept of research ethics.

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