The Global Environmental Science (GES) program offers a B.S. degree through the Department of Oceanography in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology. A defining characteristic of the program is the requirement for all majors to conduct a year-long senior research project working one-on-one with a faculty mentor. The research experience is directly integrated into the curriculum as follows: 1) students are introduced to research opportunities through OCN 100 Seminar in Global Environmental Science, 2) the GES curriculum is tailored to the student’s specific interests through selection of 4 upper division electives that complement and support their choice of research topic, 3) students earn OCN 499 Undergraduate Thesis credits while conducting their research, and 4) OCN 490 Communication of Research Results provides instruction and experience in written and oral presentations related to thesis results. Graduation requirements include submission of a written thesis and a public oral presentation of the research findings. This integrated capstone research experience provides a locus for assessment of nearly all GES program learning outcomes. Written theses are read and assessed by faculty mentors and the program chair. Oral presentations are assessed by the faculty mentor and the program steering committee, including the program chair. To date, assessments have been conducted through informal evaluations and group discussion. Development of assessment rubrics are under consideration. By Jane Schoonmaker
Schoonmaker, J.. (2009, December). The Global Environmental Science Senior Research Thesis: A Locus for Program Level Learning Outcome Assessment. Poster session presented at the Assessment for Curricular Improvement Poster Exhibit at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI.