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<0.001), and goal 3 approached statistical significance (p<0.06). However, goals 4 and 5 were not significantly achieved. These results indicate that at the time of graduation, our psychology undergraduates have attained some, but not all, of the major goals of our psychology program. Therefore, we plan to place increased emphasis on our student learning objectives relevant in attaining goals 4 and 5 through collaboration with the psychology faculty by applying these specific goals and outcomes in their teaching and research activities. By Lorey K. Takahashi & Mei Sze Choo
Takahashi, L., Choo, M.S. (2009, December). Assessing the Department of Psychology Undergraduate Program. Poster session presented at the Assessment for Curricular Improvement Poster Exhibit at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI.