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Department Program Assessment

Department Programs Assessment Overview and Learning Goals and Outcomes for Individual MT and CS courses click here.

On the following link you will find:

  • Mathematics Program Assessment Procedures
  • Core Courses in Mathematics Major Programs
  • Graduate Programs in Mathematics
  • Assessment Coordinator Role and Responsibilities
  • Additional Assessment Activities
  • Goals for Majors and Nonmajors
  • Goals and Objectives for each Math Course
  • Computer Science Program Assessment Procedures and Goals
  • Additional Items as Part of the Computer Science Majors Portfolios
  • Additional Assessment Activities
  • Goals and Objectives for each Computer Science Course

Department Program Assessment Document

John Carroll University Mathematics and Computer Science Program Assessment

The John Carroll University Mathematics and Computer Science Department has designed program assessment plans that focus on student learning goals, objectives, and outcomes. The following is a description of those plans. Since the Department is composed of two disciplines, mathematics and computer science, and since assessment in each of these disciplines is by necessity fundamentally different, the assessment plans for each are designed separately and contain significant differences. These plans are the result of a combined effort by the entire faculty of the Department. The Department will begin to implement these new assessment plans in Fall 2015.

Mathematics Program Assessment Procedures

Individual Course Assessment Procedure

  • Each faculty member includes student learning goals and objectives for each course and these are contained in each course syllabus. The departmental goals and, if applicable, the departmental objectives for multi-section courses and core courses in the majors are included.
  • In each course a method is devised by the faculty member of how the course objectives will be measured.
  • At the end of the semester the faculty member writes a brief report on an analysis of the assessment outcomes for the course and includes comments on a plan for improvement if needed.
  • Each course report is given to the department assessment coordinator.

Additional Assessment Procedures for Multi-section Courses

  • Student learning goals and objectives for the following multi-section mathematics courses are developed: MT 122, 130, 135, 160, 228.
  • Final exam problems designed to assess these objectives are developed and are included on each final exam for the respective multi-section course.
  • At the end of the semester the faculty members who teach multi-section courses gather to analyze the results and to write a brief report on an analysis of the assessment outcomes for the course and includes comments on a plan for improvement if needed.
  • Each multi-section course report is given to the department assessment coordinator.

Core Courses in the Mathematics Major Programs

The Department offers two majors in mathematics, a traditional Bachelor of Science in Mathematics program and a Bachelor of Arts in Teaching Mathematics program for students who are working towards the Adolescent to Young Adult teaching license. The Teaching Mathematics Program is a degree program consisting of mathematics content courses with a required support sequence of education courses. The education courses are assessed in the Department of Education and School Psychology. The following procedures apply to both major programs.

  • The methods developed for the assessment of student learning objectives for each of the following core mathematics courses are analyzed at the end of the semester by the faculty members teaching the courses: MT 229, 271, 331, 343, 450. Mathematics students in either major program are required to take each of these courses.
  • Each faculty member writes a brief report on an analysis of the assessment outcomes for the course and includes comments on a plan for improvement if needed.
  • Each course report is given to the department assessment coordinator.

Note that the above assessment activities take place just before each semester starts and immediately after each semester ends.

Graduate Programs in Mathematics

The Department offers two graduate programs in mathematics, a traditional Master of Science in Mathematics program and a Master of Arts in Mathematics program. The Master of Science program is based on a foundation of advanced courses in theoretical mathematics and its goal is to prepare students for the possibility of further graduate work in mathematics. The Master of Arts program consists of mathematics content courses especially designed for secondary school mathematics teachers and its goal is to provide teachers with a deeper understanding of mathematics related to the courses they teach. The following are the two main assessment tools used.

  • A final oral comprehensive exam administered and assessed by three faculty examiners. Demonstration of a mastery of fundamental mathematical concepts in the program is a requirement for completion of the program.
  • A master’s essay that demonstrates both an understanding of an advanced topic related to the respective masters degree program and the ability to communicate mathematics well. The mathematics essay is assessed by a faculty supervisor and is a requirement for completion of the program.

Successful completion of the above two graduation requirements is reported to the Associate Dean of Graduate Programs in the College of Arts and Sciences and is reported to the department assessment coordinator.

Department Assessment Coordinator and Department Responsibilities

  • Prior to, and at the end of each semester, the department assessment coordinator reminds mathematics faculty to perform the assessment activities listed above.
  • The coordinator collects the assessment reports and stores them for future use.
  • The coordinator analyzes the reports and during the following academic year convenes a meeting of the department faculty to present a summary of the assessment information.
  • The coordinator leads a discussion on how the previous assessment can be used to improve department programs and course offerings.
  • The coordinator writes a report on the recommendations of the Department and sends the report to the university assessment director.

Additional Assessment Activities

  • The Major Field Test (MFT) exam is taken by students majoring in mathematics near the end of their academic program.
  • The Chair of the Department conducts exit interviews with students who are graduating with a degree in mathematics.
  • Students are required to have an academic capstone experience as required by the university integrated curriculum plan. The assessment coordinator and the faculty involved in these capstone experiences meet to discuss the results of these capstone experiences for the purpose of suggesting recommendations for improvement.
  • The department Chair conducts a student survey in each course at the end of each semester using the Canvas software system. The survey questions are designed to gauge student perception of the quality and value of the courses.
  • Information is gathered concerning the quality and value of the major programs from program alumni.
  • The department Chair and the department coordinator analyze the results of the above additional assessment activities with the members of the Department and recommendations for improvement are developed. A summary of this analysis and the resulting recommendations are included in the assessment coordinator’s yearly report.

Goals for Mathematics Majors:

  1. Students will develop an in-depth integrated knowledge in algebra, geometry, and analysis.
  2. Students will be able to communicate mathematical ideas and present mathematical arguments both in writing and orally using proper use of mathematical notation and terminology.
  3. Students will be able to distinguish coherent mathematical arguments from fallacious ones, and to construct complete formal arguments of previously seen or closely-related results.
  4. Students will be able to give complete solutions to previously seen or closely-related problems.
  5. Students will be able to use definitions, theorems, and techniques learned to solve problems they haven’t seen before.
  6. Students will be able to synthesize material from multiple perspectives and make connections with other areas.
  7. Students will be able to use technology appropriate to each topic.

Goals for Non-Majors:

  1. Students will learn that mathematics is a discipline of important ideas and that it is essential for students to understand the concepts instead of simply learning to imitate a collection of techniques.
  2. Students will develop a working knowledge of the particular introductory mathematics course they are taking.
  3. Students will be able to communicate mathematical ideas in writing and will learn that oral communication in mathematics is important for everyone.
  4. Students will be able to transfer knowledge of concepts to a variety of practical applications. That is, given a problem they will be able to apply the appropriate mathematical model and technique.
  5. Students will learn the necessity of justifying mathematical results, as done formally by the instructor by proof or informally by the student with a good and complete argument.
  6. Students will be able to use technology appropriate to each topic.

Goals and Objectives for Each Course

MT122 (Elementary Statistics):

Goal: Students will learn that data can be intelligently analyzed by using a variety of statistical methods and be able to differentiate which methods are best to use in any given situation.

Objectives: Students will be able to,

  1. Find and pose precise questions that can be appropriately analyzed by quantitative methods.
  2. Draw inference from data.
  3. Represent data.
  4. Think critically about quantitative statements.
  5. Recognize sources of error.
  6. Encounter ethical arguments and consider the ethical use of data.
  7. Apply statistical methods in a variety of realistic research contexts.
  8. Use appropriate statistical software for data analysis.
  9. Use spreadsheet software such as Excel to enter and to manage data.

MT130 (Applied Calculus):

  1. Students will be able to understand concepts graphically, numerically, and algebraically (with the help of CAS).
  2. Students will be able to use correct techniques to solve previously seen or closely-related problems and correctly interpret the answers.
  3. Students will be able to set up a previously seen or closely-related application problem mathematically and use correct techniques to solve it.
  4. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus and know how to use it.
  5. Students will be able to use business examples when appropriate.
  6. Students will be able to use technology to support problem solving and the understanding of concepts.

MT135 (Calculus and Analytic Geometry I):

Goal: Students will understand that calculus is a unified mathematical theory and not just an assortment of techniques. They will learn that the underlying concept of limit leads to the fundamental ideas and techniques of calculus.

Objectives:

  1. Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the concepts of limit, continuity, differentiation, and integration.
  2. Students will understand each concept graphically, numerically, and algebraically.
  3. Students will be able to use correct techniques to solve previously seen or closely-related problems and correctly interpret the answers.
  4. Students will be able to set up a previously unseen application and use correct techniques to solve it.
  5. Students will know the statement of the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus, know how this theorem establishes a relationship between differentiation and integration, and be able to use it to calculate integrals.
  6. Student will be able to use technology to support problem solving and their understanding of concepts.

MT160 (Mathematics and Creativity):

Goal: Students will learn what mathematics is and what mathematicians do.

  1. Students will experience and demonstrate an understanding of mathematical reasoning. They should be able to prove at least two significant mathematical theorems including the proof that there are an infinite number of primes and the proof that the square root of two is irrational.
  2. Students will learn the basic concepts and applications pertaining to the following areas of mathematics: number theory, cardinality theory, group theory, geometry/topology, dimensionality theory, and logic as well as other topics selected by the instructor.
  3. Students will critique articles written by mathematicians and participate in discussions of those articles.

MT228 (Statistics for the Biological Sciences):

Students will be able to,

  1. Find and pose precise questions that can be appropriately analyzed by quantitative methods.
  2. Draw inference from data.
  3. Represent data.
  4. Think critically about quantitative statements.
  5. Recognize sources of error.
  6. Encounter ethical arguments and consider the ethical use of data.
  7. Apply statistical methods in a variety of realistic research contexts especially with respect to the biological sciences.
  8. Use appropriate statistical software for data analysis.

MT229 (Probability and Statistics):

Students will be able to,

  1. Find and pose precise questions that can be appropriately analyzed by quantitative methods.
  2. Draw inference from data.
  3. Represent data.
  4. Think critically about quantitative statements.
  5. Recognize sources of error.
  6. Encounter ethical arguments and consider the ethical use of data.
  7. Apply statistical methods in a variety of realistic research contexts.
  8. Use appropriate statistical software for data analysis.

MT 271 (Discrete Mathematics and Matrix Algebra):

MT 271 is the foundational course in abstract mathematics in the majors. We expect that students will attain these goals by the time that they complete the major in mathematics; we do not expect full mastery within a single course. The bullet points below each goal are the learning objectives for this particular course.

Goal: Students will state and use formal (precise) mathematical definitions.

  • State accurately the definitions of terms in the course: divisor, relation, function, set inclusion, integers modulo n, matrix, and related terms.
  • Give examples of structures that satisfy each definition.
  • Determine whether a given structure satisfies a definition. (e.g., Is the given map a function? Why or why not?)
  • Construct counterexamples.

Goal: Students will use algorithmic processes to solve computational problems.

  • Euclidean Algorithm
  • Elementary row operations to solve systems of linear equations

Goal:Students will construct mathematically correct and complete proofs, using a variety of techniques.

  • Use definitions appropriately.
  • Use correct logic.
  • Use previously proved results appropriately.
  • Use direct proof, proof by induction, proof by contrapositive, proof by contradiction, double inclusion.

Goal: Students will evaluate the validity and completeness of a mathematical argument.

  • Recognize correct and incorrect logic.
  • Determine the level of detail appropriate for a particular audience.

Goal: Students will communicate clearly in the language of mathematics.

  • Use correct language in both written and spoken mathematics.
  • Use mathematical symbols correctly.
  • Avoid reference to irrelevant results and definitions.

MT331 (Introduction to Real Analysis):

Goal: Students will learn the particular reasoning that is used to prove theorems in calculus and how it is dependent upon an understanding of the concept of limit and how that idea is a fundamental consequence of the real number system.

Objectives:

  1. Students will be able to understand the basic idea and results of limits, continuity, derivative, integration, and uniform convergence of sequences or series of functions.
  2. Students will know the Axiom of Completeness for the real number system, and the idea of supremum and infimum. Students will be able to understand the basic idea and results of limits, continuity, derivative, integration, and uniform convergence of sequences or series of functions.
  3. Students will be able to distinguish a coherent mathematical argument from a fallacious one, construct a mathematical proof, and solve a previously seen or closely-related problem.
  4. Students will be able to communicate mathematical ideas and present mathematical arguments verbally.
  5. Students will have a wealth of examples and counterexamples.
  6. Students will be able to use definitions, theorems, and techniques they have learned to explore problems they haven’t seen before.
  7. Students will be able to make connections between real analysis and other areas of mathematics.

MT343 (Introduction to Abstract Algebra):

Goal: Students will know different algebraic structures and their properties.

Objectives:

  1. Students will demonstrate an understanding of normal subgroups, ideals, the quotient structure and isomorphism theorems for groups and rings, and their properties.
  2. Students will be able to prove theorems, and solve previously seen and closely-related problems.
  3. Students will demonstrate a wealth of examples and counterexamples in Abstract Algebra.
  4. Students will be able to use definitions, theorems, and techniques learned to solve problems they have not seen before in Abstract Algebra.
  5. Students will demonstrate an ability make connections with other areas of mathematics.

MT450 (Euclidean and non-Euclidean Geometry):

Goals:

  1. Students will understand the mathematical importance of the axiomatic method and its consequences such as axiom independence and axiomatic consistency.
  2. Students will understand how examination of the Parallel Postulate led to the discovery of non-Euclidean geometry.
  3. Students will understand the respective benefits of analyzing geometry via the methods of axiomatic geometry, analytic geometry, transformational geometry, and calculus.
  4. Students will understand the historically important consequences of non-Euclidean geometry in mathematics, science, and philosophy.

Objectives:

  1. Students will be able to describe the various components of an axiomatic system.
  2. Students will be able to list the axioms of both Euclidean and Hyperbolic geometry and be able
  3. Students will be able to prove theorems in Euclidean geometry using both direct and indirect methods of proof.
  4. Students will be able to reproduce the proofs of the classification theorems in transformational geometry and be able to apply those theorems to compositions of rigid motions.
  5. Students will be able to describe the metric approach to hyperbolic geometry and be able to use calculus to derive related geometric results.
  6. Students will understand how the attempt by mathematicians to prove Euclid’s Parallel Postulate in the context of Absolute Geometry led to the discovery of non-Euclidean geometry.
  7. Students will be able to determine, with the aid of hyperbolic geometry and geometric software, if a theorem is equivalent to the Euclidean Parallel Postulate.

Computer Science Program Assessment Procedures

Computer Science Program Goals

Goal I: Computational Thinking and Problem Solving: Students will develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills and use these skills to solve complex computing problems.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will:

a) decompose a problem, system or task into parts that are easier to conceive, understand, implement, and maintain

b) recognize patterns among similarities or common differences between a variety of problems

c) use pattern abstraction and generalization in order to manage complexity

d) use stepwise refinement to produce an algorithmic solution to a problem as a result of problem decomposition and pattern identification

Goal II: Theoretical Foundations: Students will acquire a working knowledge of the theoretical foundations of computer science.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will:

a) apply mathematical foundations to the discipline of computer science

b) understand the theoretical and practical significance of computational theory and its application to important real-world problem domains

c) use, implement and compare fundamental abstract data types

d) analyze the complexity and computability of algorithmic solutions

e) determine the correctness and efficiency of the design of a software system

Goal III: Software Engineering Foundation: Students will acquire both a working knowledge and a theoretical understanding of the professional practice and formal methodologies of development of large software projects.

Student Learning Objectives

Students will:

a) understand strategies for effective design and their application in designing computing systems

b) learn to acquire problem requirements and specifications from the client and express them

c) develop and test software solutions using different design methodologies, application program interfaces, and programming languages

d) demonstrate appropriate uses of modern tools of the computing profession

Goal IV: Communication and Interpersonal Skills: Students will acquire communication and interpersonal skills necessary to perform effectively in a technical environment.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will:

a) use oral and written communication skills to convey technical information effectively and accurately

b) employ interpersonal skills to work cooperatively and productively in a team environment.

c)communicate effectively with those outside of computing

Assessment process overview

Direct program goals and objectives assessment in key courses within the Computing Core: CS125, CS128, CS150, CS228, CS225, CS242, CS270, CS470.

All of these classes are required by all of our majors: CS, CIS, HCIT, so they will serve as the foundational basis for assessing all three programs.

We propose to assess the majors in the Computer Science component of the Mathematics and Computer Science department with a blend of a capstone experience and a portfolio-based program. Each student taking one of the three intro classes (CS 125, CS128, CS150) will have a portfolio kept in the departmental office. The portfolios for students choosing one of the three majors will have four specific items included.

1. Baseline Student Experience and Skills Assessment.

In each one of the three gateway courses (CS 125, CS128, CS150), students will fill out a survey/skill assessment tool to establish a baseline of their computational experience, their programming exposure, and their ability to reason logically. (Portfolio item)

2. Programming Primitives Assessment.

At the beginning of CS228, all students will complete a programming skills assessment to determine their mastery of basic programming building-blocks: conditionals, loops, procedures, and parameter passing. (Portfolio item)

3. Software Development Skills Assessments.

At the end of CS270, all students will complete a software development concepts and techniques assessment to determine their mastery of the software engineering methodology. (Portfolio item)

4. Capstone Student Assessment.

At the end of CS470 (or afterward) all students will have a technical exit interview with a member of the computer science faculty. At this interview, the materials in the portfolio and the student’s experiences in the program will be discussed. A report of this interaction will be placed in the portfolio.

Additional items to be collected in the portfolio for all majors:

CS128 final project

CS128 final exam

CS228 final exam

CS225 final project

CS242 final exam

CS270 final exam

CS470 project

Additional items to be collected in the portfolios for CS majors:

CS328 final exam

Additional items to be collected in the portfolios for CIS majors:

CS475 paper

Additional items to be collected in the portfolios for HCIT majors:

CS312 final and CS476 project

Department Assessment Coordinator and Department Responsibilities

  • Prior to each academic year the department assessment coordinator reminds the computer science faculty to perform the assessment activities described in this document.
  • The coordinator reminds computer science faculty to collect the assessment information and to store it for future use.
  • The computer science faculty meets at the end of the academic year to analyze the assessment data and to make recommendations for improvement. A summary report is written and submitted to the department coordinator. During the following academic year the department coordinator convenes a meeting of the department faculty to present a summary of the assessment information and the corresponding recommendations.
  • The coordinator writes a report on the recommendations of the Department and sends the report to the university assessment director.

Additional Assessment Activities

  • The Major Field Test (MFT) is taken by students majoring in the CS and HCIT computer science programs near the end of their academic program. Students in the CIS program take a comprehensive exam designed by the computer science faculty.
  • The Chair of the Department conducts exit interviews with students who are graduating with a degree in computer science.
  • The department Chair conducts a student survey in each computer science course at the end of each semester using the Canvas software system. The survey questions are designed to gauge student perception of the quality and value of the courses.
  • Information is gathered concerning the quality and value of the major programs from program alumni.
  • The department Chair and the department coordinator analyze the results of the above additional assessment activities with the computer science faculty members and recommendations for improvement are developed. A summary of this analysis and the resulting recommendations are included in the assessment coordinator’s yearly report.

Goals and Objectives for Each Course

CS125 Introduction to web design and image processing.

Program Goals and Learning Outcomes: I(b,c), III(a,d)

Course Learning Outcomes: After successfully completing this course, students will:

1. create and edit basic static web pages in text-based HTML mode

2. design and publish multi-page websites with linked pages and images

3. employ CSS to specify presentation format separately from page content

4. know and apply good design practices for site organization, site navigation, page content, page layout, color and font selection, user accessibility, and image sizing

5. understand key concepts about web file types, web addresses, linking, publishing, and copyright law

CS128 Introduction to software application development.

Program Goals and Learning Outcomes: I(a,d), II(b,c), IV(a)

Course Learning Outcomes: After successfully completing this course, students will:

1. read and write basic procedural programs with text and/or graphical input/output

2. read and write code using control flow structures of branching, looping, and procedure invocation

3. use procedural decomposition and parameterization to create modular code

4. read and write code using basic data structures of variables and arrays

5. methodically verify and debug programs to insure that they are correct

6. use language-specific variable naming conventions and formatting standards

7. understand and apply an algorithmic approach to problem-solving

CS150 Database Systems

Program Goals and Learning Outcomes: I(a,b,c,d), II(a,b)

Course Learning Outcomes: After successfully completing this course, students will:

1. install, configure, and interact with a relational database management system

2. describe, define and apply the major components of the relational database model to database design

3. learn and apply the Structured Query Language (SQL) for database definition and manipulation

4. utilize a database modeling technique for a single entity class, a one-to-one (1:1) relationship between entity classes, a one-to-many (1:M) relationship between entity classes, a many-to-many (M:M) relationship between entity classes, and recursive relationships

5. define, develop and process single entity, 1:1, 1:M, and M:M database tables

6. determine functional dependencies between entities

7. determine the normal form for a table

8. normalize a table to third normal form

9. apply ethical computing concepts and practices to database design and implementation

CS228 Object-oriented programming

Program Goals and Learning Outcomes: I (a,b,c,d), II(c)

Course Learning Outcomes: After successfully completing this course, students will:

1. write a class, create an object of that class and access methods of that object

2. differentiate between the static and dynamic structure and behavior of an object

3. use the appropriate level of access to a class member

4. write a class and a subclass of that class, create an object of the subclass and invoke methods of that object

5. write an interface, implement the interface in a class, create an object of that class, and invoke the interface method

6. determine the result of a polymorphic method invocation

7. demonstrate the use of method overloading

8. demonstrate the use of method overriding

9. construct appropriate object diagrams to demonstrate understand of object references

CS242 Computational Modeling

Program Goals and Learning Outcomes: Goal II (a, b)

Course Learning Outcomes: After successfully completing this course, students will:

1. design finite state automata and regular expressions

2. convert amongst DFAs, NFAs, and regular expressions

3. prove that a language is not regular

4. design push-down automata and context-free grammars

5. convert amongst push-down automata and context-free grammars

6. prove that a language is not context-free

7. design Turing machines

8. apply automata theory to important real-world problem domains

CS270 Software Programming Practices

Program Goals and Learning Outcomes: I(a,b,c,d), II(b,c,e), III(a,b,c,d), IV(a,b)

Course Learning Outcomes: After successfully completing this course, students will:

1. understand and experience requirements analysis, design process, implementation, testing

2. understand both traditional (waterfall) and agile development methodologies

3. experience all phases of the development in isolated components of ongoing projects

4. teach themselves a programming language that they previously did not know

5. apply programming concepts to problems not designed to teach programming concepts

6. experience a code walkthrough from the perspective of the developer and a colleague

7. learn and experience pair programming and test-first design

CS470 Software Engineering Project

Program Goals and Learning Outcomes: III(a,b,c,d), IV(a,b,c)

Course Learning Outcomes: After successfully completing this course, students will:

1. experience in an academic setting a simulated professional software development process

2. work with an independent client with a real programming need for an entire semester

3. learn, teach, and research technologies, tools, and concepts necessary for a project

4. create all documentation for a project – code comments, user’s guide, programmer’s guide

5. develop software development team skills: communication, responsibility, coordination

In addition, specific majors will have another course to be considered:

CS major:

CS328 Advanced Programming

Program Goals and Learning Outcomes: II(c,d,e)

Course Learning Outcomes: After successfully completing this course, students will:

  1. understand the properties of various data structures
  2. identify the strengths and weaknesses of different data structures
  3. design and employ appropriate data structures for solving computing problems
  4. create threads to coordinate concurrent execution of program statements
  5. synchronize threads to avoid race conditions
  6. understand Java Exceptions Hierarchy
  7. understand exception handling
  8. formulate a recursive solution to a problem
  9. implement standard searching and sorting algorithms
  10. analyze and compare the efficiency of algorithms in terms of time/space complexity
  11. think critically for improvement in solutions

CIS major:

CS475 Technical Writing

Program Goals and Learning Outcomes: IV(a,b,c)

Course Learning Outcomes: After successfully completing this course, students will:

1. be able to independently research technical topics for application to specific project goals

2. express themselves effectively in a written manner on technical subjects

3. be able to critically consider the written ideas of others and express their critiques in multiple ways

4. communicate complex technical material to a non-technical audience

5. understand and create the document tools used in the development of software projects

HCIT major:

CS 476 Professional Practices Seminar

Program Goals and Learning Outcomes: III(c,d), IV(a,b,c)

Course Learning Outcomes: After successfully completing this course, students will:

1. research and prepare for interacting with technical professionals in their area of expertise

2. deconstruct a technical presentation by considering and debating ideas promoted therein

3. compare their academic knowledge with the professional knowledge of the guest speakers

4. develop a significant project based on new ideas brought to them through research and seminars