Unit: Urban & Regional Planning
Program: Urban & Regional Plan (MURP)
Degree: Master's
Date: Tue Oct 14, 2014 - 4:42:34 pm

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

Upon completion of the Masters in Urban and Regional Planning, students will be able to:

1)    Explain major planning paradigms and their applications;

2)    Articulate processes leading to urbanization and rationales for planned interventions;

3)    Apply planning methods to organize, analyze, interpret and present information;

4)    Critically and creatively develop planning inquiries or processes to foster solutions-oriented decision-making;

5)    Effectively collaborate as a planning team to work with a client and/or stakeholders to assess and address a relevant planning problem to create a plan or professional report;

6)    Effectively present oral and written work (as a plan, professional report, or research paper) in a coherent, persuasive and professional manner; and

7)    Reflect upon the ethical implications of the choices planners make as professionals.


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

Department Website URL: http://www.durp.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:

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 engaged in two levels of assessment activity this year: data gathering and signature assignments.  In terms of on-going data gathering, the faculty continued to use a rubric developed two years ago to assess student performance within the capstone.  Among other indicators, this rubric is used to assess SLO 6:  Effectively present oral and written work (as a plan, professional report, or research paper) in a coherent, persuasive and professional manner.  In addition, the student exit survey was made available on-line via qualtrics.  This will provide on-going student perspectives of their experience within the department upon their completion.

In terms of signature assignments, PLAN 603 Urban Economics was used in the Fall as the first of three core courses to integrate a signature assignment and undergo a first round of benchmarking and assessment.  Two writing assignments were given to students within the course pertaining to their knowledge of SLO 2: Articulate processes leading to urbanization and rationales for planned interventions. In the Spring semester, a faculty committee was formed (not including the instructor) to undergo a benchmarking and assessment process of student work using a rubric.  This process will be repeated after the course is offered again this Spring.  In addition, a signature assignment is being incorporated this Fall into PLAN 600 Planning Theory to assess SLO 1: Explain major planning paradigms and their applications.

In addition, the Department is currently developing a student entry survey to complement the existing exit survey as well as develop a more formalized alumni network and annual survey.

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.

See the response to #6.

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

For the assessment of SLO 2 using the two signature assignments in PLAN 603, a faculty committee of three was formed to each randomly read and assess 10 students work (from two assignments).  This means that 15 student essays were read for each assignment (30 in total), which is approximately half the essays written within the class.

For the exit survey and capstone rubric, data is collected for all graduating students.

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 rubric used for the signature assignment includes a 1-4 scoring (Poor to Excellent) for the following topics:

The essay presents a clean analysis and cohesive argument/logic.

The essay provides an appropriate literature review and background material.

The essay is well-edited.

Citations are done properly and consistently.

The essay effectively addresses the relevant SLO (SLO 2).

Overall, the essay is of high quality.

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

With on-going data collection, the program will use this information to make adjustments to the curriculum.  For example, preliminary data shows there is a weakness (a mean of 2.97, meaning slightly below "Good") in citations.  This means we need to include a module on proper citations within a core course earlie in the program.

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.

As this data is somewhat preliminary, we are waiting for one more round of assessment to draw strong conclusions.

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.