Unit: Life Sciences
Program: Biology (BA, BS)
Degree: Bachelor's
Date: Mon Oct 06, 2014 - 9:06:52 am

1) Institutional Learning Objectives (ILOs) and Program Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

1. Student will be able to demonstrate scientific literacy by making informed, evidence-based decisions on science-related issues.

(1a. General education)

2. Student will be able to explain biological processes from molecules to ecosystems in an evolutionary context, including examples from Hawaii.

(1b. Specialized study in an academic field)

3. Student will be able to propose potential solutions to real-world problems by applying biological knowledge.

(1a. General education, 2a. Think critically and creatively)

4. Student will be able to identify gaps in knowledge and apply the scientific method to generate and test new hypotheses to fill those gaps.

(1a. General education, 1b. Specialized study in an academic field, 2a. Think critically and creatively, 2b. Conduct research)

5. Student will be able to form strong biological arguments by critically evaluating scientific evidence and arguments, and applying logic and quantitative methods.

(1b. Specialized study in an academic field, 2a. Think critically and creatively, 2b. Conduct research, 2c. Communicate and report)

6. Student will demonstrate inquisitiveness regarding, and respect for, the biological world.

(1a. General education, 2a. Think critically and creatively, 3a. Continuous learning and personal growth, 3b. Respect for people and cultures, in particular Hawaiian culture, 3c. Stewardship of the natural environment)

7. Student will strive for excellence, work ethically individually and in teams and demonstrate respect for diversity of opinions.

(3a. Continuous learning and personal growth)

8. Student will in oral and written forms, be able to communicate clearly and professionally.

(2c. Communicate and report)

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

Department Website URL: http://manoa.hawaii.edu/biology/education
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:

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 Department of Biology faculty addopted a new, colaborative set of SLOs and a corresponding curriculum map for the core courses required for the undergraduate degrees.

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.

The Manoa Assessment Office led us through multiple workshops to meet this goal.  First, they facilitated a workshop that guided us through brainstorming our new SLOs, which align with the institutional SLOs.  After the faculty modified and approved those SLOs, they led us through a workshop that aided faculty in modifying their course SLOs to align with the new program SLOs and start our curriculum map.  We continued this map following the completion of the workshop and now have a curriculum map for all core courses.

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

Each faculty member teaching a core course was responsible for mapping their course.  Following the completion of mapping their courses, all core course faculty met to discuss gaps in the map and many offered to modify their courses to better cover the SLOs.

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)
Other: we were only creating new SLOs and a curriculum map, this question does not apply

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

We have a finalized set of SLOs and a curriculum map.  

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

From the curriculum map we identified a shortage of upper-division courses to perform assessment in.  The faculty is currently discussion how to modify the curriculum to ensure we have an appropriate number of upper-division courses to assess student learning and ensure that students are meeting our SLOs.

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.

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of our program, assessing mastery of SLOs in higher-level courses is challenging because our students have such a wide variety of major electives to select from.  We are now working to preserve the flexibility of upper-division electives while preserving the breadth of electives available to our students.

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.