Unit: Sociology
Program: Sociology (BA)
Degree: Bachelor's
Date: Tue Sep 22, 2015 - 5:21:18 pm

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

1. Students will be able to evaluate sociological theories and use them to analyze and understand aspects of the social world.

(1a. General education, 1b. Specialized study in an academic field)

2. Students will be able to collect, analyze, and interpret data, and draw valid conclusions from their analyses.

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

3. Students will have clear and effective verbal and written communication skills.

(2c. Communicate and report)

4.

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

Department Website URL: http://www.sociology.hawaii.edu/undergraduate/index.html
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:
Other:
Other:

3) Please review, add, replace, or delete the existing curriculum map.

Curriculum Map File(s) from 2015:

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.

0%
1-50%
51-80%
81-99%
100%

5) Did your program engage in any program learning assessment activities between June 1, 2014 and September 30, 2015?

Yes
No (skip to question 16)

6) What best describes the program-level learning assessment activities that took place for the period June 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015? (Check all that apply.)

Create/modify/discuss program learning assessment procedures (e.g., SLOs, curriculum map, mechanism to collect student work, rubric, survey)
Collect/evaluate student work/performance to determine SLO achievement
Collect/analyze student self-reports of SLO achievement via surveys, interviews, or focus groups
Use assessment results to make programmatic decisions (e.g., change course content or pedagogy, design new course, hiring)
Investigate curriculum coherence. This includes investigating how well courses address the SLOs, course sequencing and adequacy, the effect of pre-requisites on learning achievement.
Investigate other pressing issue related to student learning achievement for the program (explain in question 7)
Other:

7) Briefly explain the assessment activities that took place in the last 18 months.

During Fall semester 2014 the Undergraduate Studies Committee completely revised the undergraduate assessment procedures.  This included

  • Revising our Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) to align with the Manoa Institutional Learning Objectives
  • Revising our Curriculum Map
  • Using Embedded Assessments and targeting our required theory and senior-level methods courses for evaluation of students' projects and written and oral presentations in those courses
  • Developing a basic assignment to be used in all offerings of our theory course.  The assignment was extracted from the final assignment that was used in the theory course in Fall 2014.
  • Developing rubrics (in consultation with the course instructors) to be used by the instructors of our targeted courses to assess students' performances on our SLOs
  • Developing tally sheets for instructors to record their evaluations
  • Developing a Qualtrics Survey to gather the data from instructors in which they reported the results from their tally sheets, recorded the major problems students were having, and gave suggestions for programmatic changes to correct the problems.

These revisions were approved by the Sociology Faculty in November 2014, and data were gathered from instructors of our targeted courses for Fall 2014 and analyzed for this report.

 

The Qualtrics Exit Survey, which was developed during Spring 2014, was revised to align with our revised SLOs, and students who petitioned to graduate during academic year 2014-2015 were asked to complete the survey.  Those data were also analyzed for this report.

8) What types of evidence did the program use as part of the assessment activities checked in question 6? (Check all that apply.)

Direct evidence of student learning (student work products)


Artistic exhibition/performance
Assignment/exam/paper completed as part of regular coursework and used for program-level assessment
Capstone work product (e.g., written project or non-thesis paper)
Exam created by an external organization (e.g., professional association for licensure)
Exit exam created by the program
IRB approval of research
Oral performance (oral defense, oral presentation, conference presentation)
Portfolio of student work
Publication or grant proposal
Qualifying exam or comprehensive exam for program-level assessment in addition to individual student evaluation (graduate level only)
Supervisor or employer evaluation of student performance outside the classroom (internship, clinical, practicum)
Thesis or dissertation used for program-level assessment in addition to individual student evaluation
Other 1:
Other 2:

Indirect evidence of student learning


Alumni survey that contains self-reports of SLO achievement
Employer meetings/discussions/survey/interview of student SLO achievement
Interviews or focus groups that contain self-reports of SLO achievement
Student reflective writing assignment (essay, journal entry, self-assessment) on their SLO achievement.
Student surveys that contain self-reports of SLO achievement
Other 1:
Other 2:

Program evidence related to learning and assessment
(more applicable when the program focused on the use of results or assessment procedure/tools in this reporting period instead of data collection)


Assessment-related such as assessment plan, SLOs, curriculum map, etc.
Program or course materials (syllabi, assignments, requirements, etc.)
Other 1:
Other 2:

9) State the number of students (or persons) who submitted evidence that was evaluated. If applicable, please include the sampling technique used.

78 students

10) 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)
Dean/Director
Other:

11) 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:

12) Summarize the results of the assessment activities checked in question 6. For example, report the percent of students who achieved each SLO.

Direct Evidence:

SLO1:  Students will be able to evaluate sociological theories and use them to analyze and understand aspects of the social world.  N= 33

 

Part A (evaluate theory):  85% (28/33) of the students’ projects were judged to be adequate or excellent on this dimension, and 15% (5/33) were judged to be inadequate.

Part B (apply theory):  64% (21/33) of the students’ projects were judged to be adequate or excellent on this dimension, and 36% (12/33) were judged to be inadequate. 

 

SLO2:  Students will be able to collect, analyze, and interpret data, and draw valid conclusions from their analyses.  N=45

 

Part A (collect, analyze, and interpret data):  84% 38/45) of the students’ projects were judged to be adequate or excellent on this dimension, and 16% (7/45) were judged to be inadequate.

Part B (draw valid conclusions):  82% (37/45) of the students’ projects were judged to be adequate or excellent on this dimension, and 18% (8/45) were judged to be inadequate.

 

SLO3:  Students will have clear and effective verbal and written communication skills.

Written N=45; Verbal N=25

 

Part A (Written):   87% (39/45) of the students’ written works were judged to be adequate or excellent, and 13% (6/45) were judged to be inadequate.

Part B (Verbal):  76% (19/25) of the students’ presentations were judged to be adequate or excellent, and 24% (6/25) were judged to be inadequate.  Three students did not even present.

Indirect Evidence:

Students who petitioned to graduate in Fall, Spring, and Summer of academic year 2014-2015 (n=104) were asked to complete a Qualtrics exit survey.  Thirty-nine students participated in the survey, a response rate of 37.5%.  Students rated their experiences as Sociology majors very highly.  95% of the respondents were either satisfied or very satisfied with their experiences as a Sociology major.  

 

Students self-reported high levels of confidence in multiple dimensions relating to conducting sociological research, understanding and incorporating sociological theory, and in communicating their findings in both written and oral formats.

 

These results indicate—from a student self-assessment perspective—that there is a good match between the Student Learning Outcomes articulated by the Sociology Department and the confidence that students have in their abilities as they exit the program.

 

Indirect Evidence: Summary of students' responses

 

SLO1:  Sociological Theory

  • 75% of students (29/39) reported that theory was included in most (5-9 courses) or all of their major courses
  • 77% (30/39) said they were fairly or highly confident in their ability to evaluate theories
  • 76% (29/38) reported that they were fairly or highly confident in their ability to use the theories to analyze and understand aspects of the social world

 

SLO2:  Research Methods

  • 29% of students (11/39) reported that research methods were included in most (5-9 courses) or all of their major courses.
  • 82% (32/39) said that they were fairly or highly confident in their ability to collect, analyze, and interpret data
  • 82% (32/39) said they were fairly or highly confident in their ability to draw valid conclusions from their analyses
  • 85% (33/39) said they were fairly or highly confident in their ability to incorporate theory into their research projects

 

SLO3:  Students will have clear and effective verbal and written communication skills.

Written Communication

  • 92% of the students (34/37) reported that most (5-9 courses) or all of their major courses included written assignments.
  • 95% of students (35/37)reported that they were fairly or highly confident in their ability to write reflection papers (81%, 30 students, were highly confident)
  • 95% of students (35/37)reported that they were fairly or highly confident in their ability to write response papers (78%, 29 students, were highly confident)
  • 84% of students (31/37) said they were fairly or highly confident in their ability to write literature reviews and research papers (46%, 17 students, were highly confident)
  • 86% of students (32/37) said they were fairly or highly confident in their ability to write research papers (43%, 16 students, were highly confident)

Oral Communication

  • 35% of the students (13/36) said that oral presentations were required in most or all of their major courses 
  • 86% of the students (31/36) were fairly or highly confident in their ability to articulate their thoughts orally in class (50%, 18 students, were highly confident)
  • 81% of the students (29/36) were fairly or highly confident in their ability to present research findings orally (42%, 15 students, were highly confident)
  • 83% of the students (30/36) were fairly or highly confident in their ability to make a formal oral presentation (47%, 17 students, were highly confident)

13) What best describes how the program used the results? (Check all that apply.)

Assessment procedure changes (SLOs, curriculum map, rubrics, evidence collected, sampling, communications with faculty, etc.)
Course changes (course content, pedagogy, courses offered, new course, pre-requisites, requirements)
Personnel or resource allocation changes
Program policy changes (e.g., admissions requirements, student probation policies, common course evaluation form)
Students' out-of-course experience changes (advising, co-curricular experiences, program website, program handbook, brown-bag lunches, workshops)
Celebration of student success!
Results indicated no action needed because students met expectations
Use is pending (typical reasons: insufficient number of students in population, evidence not evaluated or interpreted yet, faculty discussions continue)
Other:

14) Please briefly describe how the program used the results.

Results were compiled and reported in August to early September 2015. In addition, course instructors were asked to identify the most common problems students and provide suggestion for program changes in through open-ended questions. This is qualitative data that we need time to analyze. We also have qualitative data from the student exit surveys (as indirect evidence). We also need time to analyze this. The Undergraduate Studies Committee has just begun to meet for school year and we will be examining ways to use the data.

15) Beyond the results, were there additional conclusions or discoveries? This can include insights about assessment procedures, teaching and learning, and great achievements regarding program assessment in this reporting period.

We were impressed to learn from the student exit survey that 95% of the respondents were either satisfied or very satisfied with their experiences as a sociology major.

We learned that the new rubrics provided helpful information. While our assessments indicated that students were performing well in terms of most of our SLOs, we also learned that students' theory application and their verbal presentation skills needed improvement. 

From our exit survey, we learned ways to improve students' theory application abilities. Students suggested that their ability to apply theory would be improved if classroom instruction was related to current events. Some suggested wanting more theory related assignments. A couple students suggested adding additional theory courses.

In terms of improving oral presentation skills, students suggested having more opporuntities to present in more classes, offering more classes with an "O" focus, and offering more short presetations to prepare for longer, formal presentaitons.

 

16) If the program did not engage in assessment activities, please explain.

NA