Social Sciences

In 2018, the Communication program in the School of Communications conducted a program assessment of undergraduate senior capstone ePortfolios to evaluate the evidence of quality learning within the Communication major. The poster presents our assessment results and pre- and post- evaluation activities toward curriculum improvement.

Advancing Learning in the Communication BA through ePortfolios

In 2018, the Communication program in the School of Communications conducted a program assessment of undergraduate senior capstone …

Faculty and doctoral students of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning (DURP) initiated a review of their PhD program requirements and curriculum. This poster highlights the usefulness of faculty-student collaboration for program assessment to enable program improvement. The assessment coordinator organized a colloquium in which PhD candidates presented their dissertation research. Faculty evaluated the presentations based on the PhD program student learning outcomes (SLOs). Written comments from faculty evaluators were then coded as strengths and weaknesses corresponding to each SLO component to generate a preliminary qualitative assessment. At a subsequent meeting, faculty and doctoral students reviewed the preliminary qualitative assessment, PhD curriculum, core course syllabi, and PhD guidelines. They identified shortcomings in the existing curriculum, mapped degree requirements and program SLOs, and proposed revisions to better align the curriculum with program SLOs. They also outlined next steps toward improving the curriculum such as increasing the number of core course credits and providing more teaching opportunities for PhD candidates through summer school and online courses.

An Assessment-Informed Collaborative Initiative: Curriculum Mapping for PhD Program Improvement

Faculty and doctoral students of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning (DURP) initiated a review of their …

The UH Manoa Anthropology Program, established in 1934, is the leading department of anthropology in Hawai'i, the Pacific, and Asia with full subfield offerings in archaeology, cultural anthropology, and biological anthropology. Presently, it offers BA, MA and PhD degree programs. In 2016, twenty-six (26) students were enrolled in the doctoral program. This poster describes the processes by which assessment procedure/tools were selected and/or developed to measure SLO achievements of these doctoral students. Building on the assessment activities conducted during 2014-2015, specific efforts that led to programmatic improvements and enhanced student learning outcomes are outlined, including faculty engagement strategies that were employed. Faculty expectations of students were better clarified in the newly developed PhD dissertation defense rubrics. Next steps involving close-the-loop strategies to further enhance student learning are also described.

The Anthropology PhD Dissertation Defense Rubric: Enhancing Student Learning

The UH Manoa Anthropology Program, established in 1934, is the leading department of anthropology in Hawai’i, the Pacific, …

The Public Administration Program offers a Master’s of Public Administration (MPA) degree. Currently our program is 30 credits, but after using assessment our program will be 39 credits starting in Fall 2015. Using curriculum mapping, the PUBA was able to align our program learning outcomes with our student learning outcomes. We revised our student learning outcomes to include content areas and skills the curriculum was not covering. In addition, we mapped out three degree pathways and identified learning opportunities and assignments that we can use to assess outcomes. After using these assessment tools, in addition to adding an additional 9 credits to PUBA, we have added 3 new courses, and revised individual course student learning outcomes and opportunities.

Leading The Way To Accreditation With Assessment

The Public Administration Program offers a Master’s of Public Administration (MPA) degree. Currently our program is 30 credits, …

The Communication Department’s undergraduate curriculum is currently guided by seven SLOs (Student Learning Outcomes), which are demonstrable skills or abilities that students are expected to possess before the conferral of a bachelor's degree. We, with our poster presentation, propose an additional SLO in civic engagement. Civic engagement has not been a formally assessed part of the department's curriculum in the past, but a recent internal evaluation has revealed it to be an important aspect of our faculty's teaching. A department-wide curriculum change to formally include this area would, therefore, pose no undo imposition on faculty independence. The students, more importantly, would benefit from new competencies and gain an awareness of issues of public concern that are essential to sound democratic governance. The SLO framework, by design, promotes effective learning through the application of a cohesive curriculum. Put simply, each class serves to advance a common educational aim or aims. Our proposed SLO—and its accompanying curriculum map—functions no differently. The assessment of student portfolios was directed by a rubric endorsed by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, but other assessment tools may be used in its place. In addition to advocating an official position on the teaching of civic engagement, our poster project is intended to foster faculty discussion on enhancing the Communication Department's curriculum.

Encouraging Civic Engagement Among Undergraduates

The Communication Department’s undergraduate curriculum is currently guided by seven SLOs (Student Learning Outcomes), which are demonstrable skills …

The Political Science faculty modified existing departmental, undergraduate student learning outcomes (SLOs), which informed assessment development and curricular improvement. Using informal appraisal by individual faculty of student performance at the senior capstone level, the undergraduate curriculum committee found that students’ writing skills need to be addressed in a more cohesive and purposeful way in the curriculum. A 200- level writing politics course was designed to address the gap. In short, the discussions around the learning outcomes revision resulted in faculty collaboration in assessmentdriven curricular improvement. These discussions and innovations are part of a two-year plan to improve program assessment in the department.

Learning Outcome Driven Curricular Improvement – An Example from Political Science

The Political Science faculty modified existing departmental, undergraduate student learning outcomes (SLOs), which informed assessment development and curricular …

In the last 6 months, the Department of Psychology has initiated a new plan that is expected to provide useful information that will eventually assess our Psychology Undergraduate Program. This new Undergraduate Assessment Plan (UAP) emerged from training in Assessment Leadership Institute at UHM, which highlighted major principles and strategies to assess academic programs. With this training knowledge, an undergraduate curriculum map was developed with faculty input that incorporates the most recent Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) from the American Psychological Association (APA). These SLOs that graduating psychology majors should know include: psychological knowledge of key concepts; scientific inquiry and critical thinking using scientific reasoning to interpret psychological phenomenon; ethical and social responsibility in diverse settings; communication development for effective writing and oral presentation; and professional development for meaningful direction after graduation. The curriculum map is important in describing specific SLOs associated with each Psychology undergraduate course taught at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Effective Fall 2014, all instructors will include SLOs in their syllabus that reflects their course content. Another feature of the UAP in development is the incorporation of a rubric to assess student writing. To do so, a rubric for writing to meet the APA communication SLO was obtained from the American Association of Schools & Universities and modified to assess the writing occurring in our Psychology W courses. Pilot work is being conducted to determine the feasibility and reliability of a rubric to assess student writing in a small sample of student papers. On the basis of this study, the scoring and assessment method of papers may require modifications before presenting a working rubric to the department faculty for discussion. The UAP is to eventually require a final paper written in Psychology W courses to be assessed by the instructor using a rubric accepted by the Psychology faculty.

Department of Psychology Undergraduate Assessment Plan

In the last 6 months, the Department of Psychology has initiated a new plan that is expected to …

The Department of Psychology has adopted the learning goals and outcomes proposed by the American Psychological Association Task Force. We selected five major goals and outcomes to be assessed with surveys distributed to our undergraduates at the time they declare their major in psychology and again when graduating with their B.A. degree. The surveys serve as a means to determine whether the Student Learning Outcomes in our Psychology courses were achieved. The five major goals that are assessed include: 1) knowledge about psychological concepts and theory; 2) knowledge of basic research methods; 3) use of critical and creative thinking skills in solving problems; 4) understanding of how psychological concepts are used in everyday life; and 5) developing communication skills including writing, interpersonal and oral communication. Student rate the extent to which these goals were achieved at the time of graduation and their ratings are statistically compare to their earlier scores made at the time of major declaration. Analysis made of the rating scores obtained in the Fall 2008 to Spring 2009 academic year indicated significant improvement in attaining goals 1 and 2 (p

Principles That Guide Assessment

The Department of Psychology has adopted the learning goals and outcomes proposed by the American Psychological Association Task …

The philosophy undergraduate program has a relatively small number of student learning outcomes and most of these refer to acquired skills rather than to content knowledge. Mapping courses to these was a pretty uncontroversial and painless process. Development of assessment tools for the skills is a bit more challenging but we are making progress.

Keeping Program Assessment Simple

The Philosophy undergraduate program has a relatively small number of student learning outcomes and most of these refer …

Assessing Civic and Community Engagement in Ethnic Studies

Ethnic Studies was born out of community demand and community engagement has had a central place in the …

Assessing the Planning Practicum: Lessons for Engaged Scholarship

The planning practicum is a required course in the Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) program in …