Unit: English
Program: English (PhD)
Degree: Doctorate
Date: Thu Oct 01, 2015 - 8:23:10 am

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

1) understanding of the discipline of English today and its relationship to other disciplines

2) awareness of the contributions of Oceanic and/or Asian cultures to the formation of English Studies in the 21st century 

3) understanding of advanced research methods and/or creative techniques

4) ability to demonstrate advanced critical analysis in both written and oral formats

5) ability to map, historicize and contextual three specialized sub-fields

6) college-level teaching skills

7) advanced research and/or creative skills for a book-length publications 

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

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

Department Website URL: http://www.english.hawaii.edu/grad/grad.html
Student Handbook. URL, if available online:
Information Sheet, Flyer, or Brochure URL, if available online: NA
UHM Catalog. Page Number:
Course Syllabi. URL, if available online:

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.


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

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)

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

We assessed the oral component of SLO #4: Ability to demonstrate advanced critical analysis in both written and oral formats.  Faculty serving as area examiners were asked to evaluate student performances on the oral component of the Area Exams using a rubric to indicate Unsatisfactory, Satisfactory, or Exemplary performances in the following areas:

  • Content selection
  • Organization
  • Delivery (verbal & nonverbal)
  • Ability to demonstrate advanced critical analysis in oral format

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.

27 rubrics were completed for 4 students (6 members per committee, plus multiple attempts by one student to complete an Area)

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)

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)

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

Category Unsatisfactory Satisfactory Exemplary
Content selection 14.8% 29.6% 55.6%
Organization 14.8% 33.3% 51.9%
Delivery 7.4% 18.5% 74.1%

Ability to demonstrate advanced

critical analysis in oral format

14.8% 33.3% 51.9%


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: Note on checkbox above: Although 1 student failed 1 of his 3 orals, he did eventually pass, and the majority of students met or exceeded expectations

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

We collected data for the 4 PhD students who took their Area Exams in Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 with 1 student repeating the oral component of one area more than once. Each student takes 3 written area exams and, having passed all of them, moves to the orals, each portion of which may be taken more than once. The results were strongly positive, and we are putting them to use in our PhD program in three ways: 1. Faculty met to discuss the importance of training our graduate students to be articulate, effective, and confident in their oral presentations so as to maximize the communication of their knowledge of the subject at hand. We shared assignments; strategies to develop our studentsʻ oral skills; and ways to encourage self-reflection and constructive critique of oral presentations. 2. While in the assessment of this SLO in the MA we were collecting data on studentsʻ discussing their own projects, the culmination of their research and creative efforts in the program, for the PhD we focused on the more stressful context of the exams and the articulation of competence, rather than individual interventions, in an area of study. The assessment activity confirmed that PhD students who have completed coursework and are on their way to becoming ABDs are performing well, with over 50% of them performing in "exemplary" fashion when asked to present orally their understanding of issues, shifts, and conversations in an area of study. While there is no need for big changes in the program to meet the oral component of SLO #5, based on the data, the Graduate Director will at the Area Exam Workshop that is held every semester underscore the importance of preparing for the oral exams in distinctive ways. 3. We are continuing to collect data for one more year so as to increase the numbers especially since we expect a larger number of PhD students to take their exams in 2015-16.

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.

Point 1 in answer #14 already addresses this question.

The process also confirmed that faculty involved understand the difference between student and program assessment.

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