Unit: Anatomy, Biochemistry, Physiology
Program: Developmental & Reproductive Biology (PhD)
Degree: Doctorate
Date: Fri Oct 10, 2014 - 1:02:47 pm

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

  • To train educators in Developmental & Reproductive Biology to carry out the health science education mission of the Manoa campus (including the medical school), the Hilo campus, our community colleges, and colleges throughout the Pacific basin and elsewhere
  • To train researchers in Developmental & Reproductive Biology who will contribute to human welfare in Hawaii and elsewhere through the creation of new knowledge
  • To provide a sound Developmental & Reproductive Biology background for persons who will work with the public in Hawaii and elsewhere in the medical science or basic science fields, or other capacities.


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

Department Website URL: http://www3.jabsom.hawaii.edu/Grad_DRB/index.html
Student Handbook. URL, if available online: http://www3.jabsom.hawaii.edu/Grad_DRB/students.html
Information Sheet, Flyer, or Brochure URL, if available online: http://www3.jabsom.hawaii.edu/Grad_DRB/students.html
UHM Catalog. Page Number:
Course Syllabi. URL, if available online: http://www3.jabsom.hawaii.edu/Grad_DRB/students.html

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.

Our assessment goal is to verify that the students are learning sufficient materials in the fields of Developmental and Reproductive Biology through our required and recommended courses.

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.

1.  Student survey/evaluation (DRB601, DRB613, DRB650, ANAT603, ANAT604, ANAT607)

2.  Embedded exam (DRB601, DRB650, ANAT603, ANT604, ANAT607)

3.  Oral performance (DRB614, DRB650)

4.  Thesis/dissertation

5.  Qualifying exam

6.  Faculty discussion

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

1.  Student survey was conducted for all registered students for the corresponding courses, including DRB graduate students as well as non-DRB students:  DRB601 (7), DRB613 (6), DRB650 (10), ANAT603 (13), ANAT604 (11), ANAT607 (7)

2.  Embedded exams were conducted for all registered students for the corresponding courses:  DRB601 (7), DRB650 (10), ANAT603 (13), ANT604 (11), ANAT607 (7)

3.  Oral performance:  DRB614 (6), DRB650 (10)

4.  Dissertation (1)

5.  Qualifying exam (5)

6.  Faculty discussion (6; program committee members)

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.

1.  Student survey generally covers the four main questions:  i) Gained a good understanding of factual materials and concepts in this field, ii) Lecturer’s oral presentation was clear and effective, iii) Lecturer’s slides were organized and helpful, and iv) Had sufficient background to follow the lecture.  Generally, the students gave very positive response to the questions i), ii) and iii), as the averages were about 4.5-4.8 out of 5 (5 being the best) for all the course that were offered from the DRB program.  In response to the question iv), on the other hand, was 4.2-4.5 out of 5.  Even though we consider this high enough, it implies that some students may not have enough background to keep up with the fast pace of the courses.

2.  Embedded exams tested whether the students gained sufficient knowledge and understanding that were presented during the courses.  All the students passed all the exams.

3.  Oral performances of the students were satisfactory based on the instructors’ professional judgment.

4.  The student defended her thesis successfully.

5.  All the students passed the qualifying exams.

6.  The DRB program committee members meet in person roughly every other month to discuss the program.  Based on discussion, the committee made a few changes in the program, as detailed in the section #14.

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

Student survey, including any additional comments that were made by the students, will be used to improve the quality and contents of the courses for the next year.  Embedded exam will be used to assess students learning with respect to course materials and instructors performance.

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.

We are planning to expand student survey.  Currently, survey is mainly about the courses that the program offers.  It is probably more informative if we have student survey/evaluation for, 1) Program overall, 2) Chair’s performance, 3) Usefulness of our website, 4) Orientation, 5) Administrative assistance, etc.

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.

Based on discussion/assessment by the DRB program committee (composed of 6 DRB faculty members), we have made several major changes between June 1, 2013 and September 30, 2014, as follows:

1.  Change in leadership:  Previously, the DRB program had two co-Chairs (S. Ward and R. Allsopp), with an intention to serve effectively for the students, as they need to take classes and conduct research at both Manoa and Kakaako facilities (Ward’s office at Manoa and Allsopp’s office at Kakaako).  However, the duties, responsibilities, as well as leadership were split between the two co-Chairs, which often caused confusion among the students, administrators, and faculty members.  To better operate the DRB program and to serve better for the students, the new, single person (Y. Marikawa) took all the duties and responsibilities of the DRB program chair since July 2014.  Marikawa has bee serving as a program committee members since 2009, and he has been responsible for management of the website content.  This change has been so far well-received by the DRB students, faculty members, and Department Chair (S. Lozanoff).  The DRB program chair’s performance will be assessed regularly at the bi-monthly committee meetings.

2.  Accept fewer students when appropriate:  The DRB program emphasizes laboratory research component, i.e., we promote the students to actively engage and spend more time and energy on their thesis research project, with an expectation that each student publishes a research paper in a peer-reviewed international journal, preferably her/him as the first author, based on their thesis project.  The best way to achieve this goal is to give Graduate Assistance (GA) position to as many students as possible.  However, in our program, availability of GAship is solely dependent on extramural grant funding of the faculty members, which varies every year.  In fact, research funding is getting tougher to obtain in recent years in general, which limits the number of GA positions in our program.  The DRB committee closely monitors funding situations of our faculty members.  Depending on the amount of funding, we admits appropriate numbers of students.

3.  Prioritization of PhD candidates for available TAship:  The DRB program has several TA positions under the Department of Anatomy, Biochemistry and Physiology.  Previously, we limited each student to have TAship only up to two years.  The intension was to have more students to have TAship.  But, with reduction in extramural grant funding in recent years, we have made a new policy and procedure (posted on the website), which allows students to have more than two years of TAship, contingent on assessment and approval by the committee.  This change should support PhD candidate students, who typically need more than two years to complete the program.