Unit: Communications
Program: Communication (BA)
Degree: Bachelor's
Date: Fri Oct 16, 2009 - 3:47:21 pm

1) List your program's student learning outcomes (SLOs).

Abstracted from the Catalog & the Website: The undergraduate program reflects the department's commitment to the mission of the College of Social Sciences: to offer courses that provide students with a sound understanding of fundamental communication processes in contexts ranging from formal organizations to the community, and the society at large. The program also provides students the opportunity to select courses that allow them to specialize in a variety of interest areas within the field, including interpersonal communication, intercultural communication, international communication, organizational communication, information and communication technologies, telecommunication and multimedia production. Specialization pathways can be self-selected or chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor.
Among the learning outcomes we anticipate are that students can:

  1. Design communication and media projects to make meaningful contributions to diverse social, professional, or academic communities.
  2. Reflect critically on communication products such as media productions, research and policy reports and everyday texts.
  3. Demonstrate preparedness for academic and professional careers in communication.

2) Where are your program's SLOs published?

Department Website URL: http://www.communications.hawaii.edu/com/pages/undergrad.html
Student Handbook. URL, if available online:
Information Sheet, Flyer, or Brochure URL, if available online: NA
UHM Catalog. Page Number: 108
Course Syllabi. URL, if available online: http://socialsciences.people.hawaii.edu/esyllabi/index.cfm
Other: Most faculty post syllabi on their own UHM websites

3) Upload your program's current curriculum map(s) as a PDF.

Curriculum Map File(s) from 2009:

4) What percentage of courses have the course SLOs explicitly stated on the course syllabus, department website, or other publicly available document? (Check one)


5) State the SLO(s) that was Assessed, Targeted, or Studied

For many years, the Program has focused on the integrative process of evaluating student learning outcome in the following areas: “sound understanding of fundamental communication processes in context, ranging from formal organizations to the community, and society at large.” Most recently three more specific criteria were listed as follows:

  • design communication and media projects to make meaningful contributions to diverse social, professional, or academic communities.
  • reflect critically on communication products such as media productions, research and policy reports and everyday texts.
  • demonstrate preparedness for academic and professional careers in communication.

6) State the Assessment Question(s) and/or Goal(s) of Assessment Activity

The Program intention is to assess the abilities of graduating seniors to think critically for themselves in the following sequence:

  1. What is the area of each student’s passion or specialization or focus? Can they clearly identify a personal approach and goal in their field of study?
  2. Can each student act independently, think creatively, and organize and structure a project from inception to conclusion that meets one or more of the Program’s SLOs within the constraints of time and resources available?
  3. Is each student able to work in a senior-level seminar setting, under the supervision of the faculty, given a specific time-frame and sequencing to complete said self-selected project and demonstrate both orally and in writing their progress and outcome to a group of their peers and the faculty involved?

7) State the Type(s) of Evidence Gathered

The capstone course requires each graduating student to produce an independent project which is reported based on the Writing Program guidelines (minimum of 4000 words), but with additional options for including other media (such as video or web design) that may be of value to the project.

In addition to submitting a completed copy of the project to the instructor of record, each student is required to submit an additional copy of the same project with no identifying names (of student or faculty) to be forwarded to the Evaluation Committee of the School of Communications.

8) State How the Evidence was Interpreted, Evaluated, or Analyzed

Although the original system of evaluation was set up to include a committee of faculty and outside members who were not directly involved in the teaching of the capstone course, in the past year this process was not implemented and the evaluations took place by the faculty assigned to each section of the Com490 Seminar. While each case is judged on its own merit, the assessment is a continuous process throughout the semester. Students are monitored carefully within the guidelines specified in each syllabus. Evaluation and analysis of the evidence is ongoing and not just at the end of the semester. In other words, the faculty have the responsibility to track student progress continuously to ascertain that for each chosen topic, the SLOs are being met or exceeded.

9) State How Many Pieces of Evidence Were Collected

Each semester the entire set of submissions is considered for evaluation. Typically, this number corresponds to the maximum class enrollment of twenty students; and thus projects. Two sections of the course are offered in the Fall & Spring. In the Fall semester the total number is typically between 30-35 and in the Fall semester the number ranges from 40-44. Because the capstone course was not offered over the summer months, there was a flow back to the previous Spring that accounts for the greater number of enrollment. In addition to tangible capstone projects, the exit interview sessions that are conducted less formally in each Com490 session are used as indicators to student satisfaction and potential areas of weakness that need to be addressed by the Program as a whole.

10) Summarize the Actual Results

We find the program as a whole to have succeeded in its goals of providing a broad basis of understanding of fundamental communication processes in contexts ranging from interpersonal communication, to formal organizations to the community, and the society at large. Many students find the senior project an excellent vehicle for exploring the fundamental questions of communication effects on human relationships – be that at home or in their immediate work environment, or in the context of society at large.
From the previous year’s completed project titles, one can gauge those whose successfully completed theses adhere to, and satisfy the SLOs expected. Here is a sample of some recent projects in Com490:

A. design communication and media projects to make meaningful contributions to diverse social, professional, or academic communities.

  •  College Radio – KTUH (a video documentary)
  • Time-Management Recommendations for Single Parent Households. (A community-release guideline)
  • Adoption and its Effects on Communications (via informal social organizations)
  • Detecting Deception: Can Law Enforcement Officials Learn To Better Detect Deception?
  • Leftfeet.com: The quest to create a successful Hawaii-based online Dance Network through the study of various Networks.

B. reflect critically on communication products such as media productions, research and policy reports and everyday texts.

  • The writing on the wall: The phenomenological, sociopolitical, and countercultural motives of Honolulu Graffiti and street art (with DVD interviews)
  • Korean Movies As A Window To Peace & Unification Of North/South Korea
  • In a Man’s Arena: The Exposure of Women in Sports Media: Exploring the improvements and existing gaps in sports media today
  • Exploration into Microblogging: Looking for New Communication Trends
  • Hanryu: Korean entertainment influence in Hawaii media
  • Selected cultural dimensions and web interface design: An analysis of American and South Korean multinational corporate websites.
  • Homesickness among Japanese International Students in U.S.
  • Media influences on women’s standards of beauty.
  • Agencies use of the media on sustainability movements
  • Information disclosure on social networking sites.
  • Effects of the MPAA movie rating on female high school student’s movie attendance
  • How social factors affect the potency of video game messages and how those messages affect social development.
  • Examining the effects of Walt Disney films
  • The capability of University of Hawaii college students going green in our economic downfall.
  • I’ll tell you on Myspace or see you on Facebook: The effects of social networking technology on face to face interactions.

C. demonstrate preparedness for academic and professional careers in communication.

  • Athlete Marketing for Professional Surfer Ian Walsh
  • Career Development of Filipino-Americans: Socioeconomic Status, Family, and Culture
  • Graduating Students and the Job Market
  • Public Relations Careers in Hawaii
  • Hawaii Non-Profit: Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps Fundraiser
  • Viral marketing and consumer behavior among college students.
  • Effectiveness of managerial communication on employee job satisfaction.
  • Conflicts of workplace romantic relationships in organizations.

11) Briefly Describe the Distribution and Discussion of Results

Results are a part of ongoing full faculty interactions. We met either as a committee of the whole for curriculum improvements or committee of the whole for matters of interest to all faculty within the School. We held separate task force committee meetings that keep three foci: undergraduate journalism; undergraduate communication; and graduate program issues in communication. Discussions led to a decision to narrow the focus of the program because of the decreased number of faculty.

12) Describe Conclusions and Discoveries

We reached the conclusion that given severe budget cuts we had received well preceding the current economic crisis had made our existing curriculum very difficult to manage.  Therefore, the committee of the whole agreed that the entire curriculum had to undergo a total shift.

13) Use of Results/Program Modifications: State How the Program Used the Results --or-- Explain Planned Use of Results

Based on knowledge gathered through multiple years of program evaluation – and based on lack of proper funding for growth and replacement of necessary and crucial faculty, a specific decision was reached to narrow the focus of the Program for undergraduate education in communication within the School of Communications.  Alternate plans were drawn up and discussed.  Ultimately, a new plan was agreed upon and submitted to the University for consideration.  Upon receiving final approval, Com 490 will no longer exist in its current form, though the concept of a capstone course will not be dropped, only modified to represent a much smaller sphere of approvable projects.

14) Reflect on the Assessment Process

The current evaluation of our assessment process is that we will be requesting assistance from the Assessment Office to help us better prepare for evaluation of the new curriculum once it is implemented.  To this end we have arranged for follow-ups with the Assessment Office staff to review potential directions for assessment that will serve the program well in its future years.

15) Other Important Information

16) FOR DISTANCE PROGRAMS ONLY: Explain how your program/department has adapted its assessment of student learning in the on-campus program to assess student learning in the distance education program.

17) FOR DISTANCE PROGRAMS ONLY: Summarize the actual student learning assessment results that compare the achievement of students in the on-campus program to students in the distance education program.