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GEOL 1121

This is an archive of the Common Course Outlines prior to fall 2011. The current Common Course Outlines can be found at   
Credit Hours   3   
Course Title   Physical Geology   
Prerequisite(s)   Exit or exemption from all Learning Support and ESL requirements   
Corequisite(s)   GEOL 1121L    
Catalog Description   
Physical Geology is the study of the earth and processes that shape it.  The course offers an overview of plate tectonics, volcanism, earthquakes, mountain building, weathering, erosion, soil, origin of minerals and rocks, water, and energy resources.  A field trip is optional.
Expected Educational Results   
A student who successfully completes this course will be able to:
1.  Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of :
a.  The general physical properties of Planet Earth, its internal structure, and plate tectonics.
b.  The chemical composition, properties, and classification of minerals.
c.  The formation, properties, and classification of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks as well as the interrelationship among the three types of rocks.
d.  The external and internal processes which influence the evolution of landscapes, the distribution of geological resources, and their relationships to plate tectonics.
2.  Discuss the effects of human activity on the terrestrial environment.
3.  Recognize and apply scientific inquiry in a variety of geological settings.

General Education Outcomes   
I. This course addresses the general education outcome relating to communications as follows:
1. Students develop their reading comprehension skills by reading the textbook, handout materials, and/or web materials.
2. Students develop their listening/communication skills through lecture and group problem solving.  Course materials are presented that are not included in the textbook, and are included as part of the exams or tests.  These materials are presented as lectures, handout materials, and/or web materials
3. Students develop their writing skills through a variety of homework assignments, tests, and quizzes.

4. Students develop their speaking/communications skills through class discussions, by asking questions in class verbally or through electronic media as well as interactions with their peers in and out of class.
II. This course addresses the general education outcomes of recognition and application of scientific inquiry as follows:
1. Students must apply the geological principles to explain various observed natural phenomena that occur on the Earth's surface as well as in the interior of the Earth.
2. Students will develop their observation skills to be able to recognize the various geological features and materials the Earth is constructed from.
3. Students will develop the skills of inquiry by use of the scientific method to experience, evaluate, and synthesize data as applied to various geological problems.
III. This course addresses the general education outcomes of identification and evaluation of basic global, economic, and geographic forces as pertains to geology as well as to analyze how these forces shape the past, present and future.
1. Earth materials have a major impact on the global economic structure of our planet.  The study of geology will address the issues of the interaction of society with the Earth.
2. This course addresses the interaction of society and the environment as it pertains to internal and external forces that affect the Earth.
IV. This course addresses the general education outcomes of developing effective individual, and at times, group problem-solving and critical thinking skills as applied to geology.
Students will develop their ability to solve problems and think critically by applying their acquired knowledge of geology to various problems that deal with geological issues as well as geological hazards.

Course Content   
I. Earth Materials
A. Matter and Minerals
B. Igneous Rocks
C. Sedimentary Rocks
D. Metamorphic Rocks
II. Geologic Cycles
A. Hydrologic Cycle
B. Tectonic Cycle
C. Rock Cycle
III. Internal Earth Processes
A. Volcanism and other igneous activity
B. Metamorphism
C. Crustal Deformation/Structural Geology
D. Earthquakes
E. Interior of the Earth
F. Plate Tectonics
G. Sea Floor Spreading and Mountain Building

IV.  External Earth Processes
A.  Weathering, Soil, and Erosion
B.  Running Water
C.  Groundwater
D.  Oceans and Shorelines
E.  Mass Wasting

Assessment of Outcome Objectives   
1. Unit tests, quizzes, homework, and a final exam prepared by individual instructors will be used to determine the final course grade. Other work that the individual instructor deems appropriate may be substituted for the above or added to the above assessment tools to determine the final course grade.

2. A College Geology Assessment Test will contain objective questions that will assess the educational outcome objectives for this course.  Each instructor must include these questions on their final exam.  Each instructor must tabulate the outcomes from these assessment questions and send the results to the Geology Assessment Coordinator.

This course will be assessed every semester.  Common questions will be included in the final exam.  The construction of these assessment questions will be the responsibility of the college-wide Geology Faculty Curriculum Committee.  This Geology Faculty Curriculum Committee will meet every year to review the course and to evaluate the results from the prior year's assessment.  This review will re-evaluate the assessment test, the Teaching Objectives, and the Common Course Outline and modify any or all of these.  From this review, modifications or changes to the course will be implemented.

Last Revised April 8, 2005

Last Revised: Aug. 08, 2011
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