Unit: Physics & Astronomy
Program: Physics (MS, PhD)
Degree: Master's & Doctorate
Date: Wed Sep 03, 2014 - 2:11:37 pm

1) Below are your program's student learning outcomes (SLOs). Please update as needed.

PHYSICS / STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES / Master’s and Doctorate          

[1] Engage in advanced theoretical and experimental physics studies of core principles of physics

[2] Establish expertise in focused areas of physical theory and experiment

[3] Gained exposure in current topics in theoretical and experimental physics in specific areas of physics research

[4] Produced directed study or original research in theoretical or experimental physics in a specific discipline

[5] Developed skills or gained experience as a physics or science educator

Student learning outcomes for individual courses are described in courses syllabi found on the departmental web site:



2) Your program's SLOs are published as follows. Please update as needed.

Department Website URL: http://www.phys.hawaii.edu/
Student Handbook. URL, if available online:
Information Sheet, Flyer, or Brochure URL, if available online:
UHM Catalog. Page Number:
Course Syllabi. URL, if available online: http://www.phys.hawaii.edu/

3) Select one option:

Curriculum Map File(s) from 2014:

4) For your program, the percentage of courses that have course SLOs explicitly stated on the syllabus, a website, or other publicly available document is as follows. Please update as needed.


5) Did your program engage in any program assessment activities between June 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014? (e.g., establishing/revising outcomes, aligning the curriculum to outcomes, collecting evidence, interpreting evidence, using results, revising the assessment plan, creating surveys or tests, etc.)

No (skip to question 14)

6) For the period between June 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014: State the assessment question(s) and/or assessment goals. Include the SLOs that were targeted, if applicable.

The assessment questions provided to graduate students who had not yet passed the qualifying exam can be found at https://www.dropbox.com/s/zqxchn8wcelfn07/140410_grad_pre_qual.pdf?dl=0 The assessment questions provided to graduate students who had already passed the qualifying exam can be found at https://www.dropbox.com/s/gp1fymw162y63ap/140410_grad_post_qual.pdf?dl=0

7) State the type(s) of evidence gathered to answer the assessment question and/or meet the assessment goals that were given in Question #6.

These surveys were administered to the graduate students (both those who had already passed the qualifying exam and those who had not) using Survey Monkey. The completed survey results were then compiled.

8) State how many persons submitted evidence that was evaluated. If applicable, please include the sampling technique used.

30 (out of 40) students submitted evidence that was evaluated. These students were referred to a website applicaton where they could fill out a survey. Different surveys were given to students who had already passed the qualifying exam and to those who had not, and these surveys were tailored to students level of progress through the program.

9) Who interpreted or analyzed the evidence that was collected? (Check all that apply.)

Course instructor(s)
Faculty committee
Ad hoc faculty group
Department chairperson
Persons or organization outside the university
Faculty advisor
Advisors (in student support services)
Students (graduate or undergraduate)

10) How did they evaluate, analyze, or interpret the evidence? (Check all that apply.)

Used a rubric or scoring guide
Scored exams/tests/quizzes
Used professional judgment (no rubric or scoring guide used)
Compiled survey results
Used qualitative methods on interview, focus group, open-ended response data
External organization/person analyzed data (e.g., external organization administered and scored the nursing licensing exam)

11) For the assessment question(s) and/or assessment goal(s) stated in Question #6:
Summarize the actual results.

The assessment results for both the undergraduate and graduate physics programs are summarized in the following report: https://www.dropbox.com/s/0zorhuscufs18nc/140806_program_assessment.pdf?dl=0 The following appendix includes the detailed survey responses: https://www.dropbox.com/s/fnxhn3bkmbnd64u/140806_program_assessment_appendix.pdf?dl=0

12) State how the program used the results or plans to use the results. Please be specific.

The assessment results have been forwarded to the department chair and the Graduate Program Advisory Committee.  They will use thes results as guidance in determining ways in which the department can better achieve its student learning outcomes.

13) Beyond the results, were there additional conclusions or discoveries?
This can include insights about assessment procedures, teaching and learning, program aspects and so on.

This is the first year in which assessment surveys were conducted using a survey website application, as opposed to emailing surveys which then must be emailed back.  This new method has produced a much higher response rate, and will be continued.  Also, this is the first year in which we have surveyed all students, not only those who have just completed the program.  This information will allow the department to assess its progress in achieving student learning outcomes throughout the academic trajectory of a student.

14) If the program did not engage in assessment activities, please explain.
Or, if the program did engage in assessment activities, please add any other important information here.