Unit: Plant & Environmental Protection Sciences
Program: Tropical Plant Pathology (MS)
Degree: Master's
Date: Wed Sep 24, 2014 - 9:31:48 am

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

SLO 1. TPP students communicate effectively.

SLO 2. TPP students are competent and knowledgeable biologists.

SLO 3. TPP students conduct research in plant pathology.

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

Department Website URL: http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/peps/Academics/GraduateProgram/TropicalPlantPathology.aspx
Student Handbook. URL, if available online: http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/peps/Academics/GraduateProgram/TropicalPlantPathology/GradStudentHandbook.aspx
Information Sheet, Flyer, or Brochure URL, if available online:
UHM Catalog. Page Number: http://www.catalog.hawaii.edu/schoolscolleges/ctahr/peps.htm
Course Syllabi. URL, if available online:
Other: With graduate chair

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.

We assessed SLO 1: TPP students communicate effectively. We desired to know if our students are able to speak well and convey their thoughts and ideas. We desired to know if our students are able to convey their thoughts in an intelligent and convincing written manner.

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.

We gathered publications, thesis, dissertations, and posters written and developed by our students.  We attended public presentations where the students spoke.

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

We are a small program, consequently we use ad hoc faculty committees to evaluate samples from all available evidence.  For evaluation of oral communication, we evaluated submissions from 10 students. For written communication, we evaluated from 5 students. Sample evidences were not necessarily from different students. Some students contributed multiple evidences in written and/or oral formats. 

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.

We found that in general TPP students communicated effectively both orally and in written formats. In general, students farther along in their graduate program communicated better than those early in their graduate programs. Native English speakers tended to have better written and oral communication than English as a second language speakers. The final presentation, be it poster, thesis/dissertation, peer-reviewed paper, talk, or seminar, was good. 

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

With this assessment result, we begin discussing if we want more written assignments (grant proposals, papers, reviews, etc.) incorporated into our classes. We will also discuss whether we feel a common core of SLOs are appropriate for our topic seminar as we currently rotate among faculty in the program. This is a disruptive idea and will require time to vet and garner support from graduate faculty members.

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.

Not really.

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.

The indiscriminate targeting of programs with less than a minimum number of graduates per year was arbitrary and capricious. This was upsetting and seemed to fly in the face of assessment activities. The proclamation failed to recognize that the university provides different levels of resources to programs across campus. We are a program that does not receive substantial university resources for our graduate program. Consequently, assessment activities were questioned by the program faculty.