Unit: Atmospheric Sciences
Program: Atmospheric Sciences (MS)
Degree: Master's
Date: Tue Sep 29, 2015 - 4:30:20 pm

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

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


Meets or exceeds all the standards expected for the undergraduate student learning outcomes, plus:

1. Demonstrate expert knowledge of the weather and climate of the Tropics.

2. Apply advanced thermodynamic and dynamic concepts to understand atmospheric phenomena.

3. Create sophisticated computer programs and/or utilize those available on the web.

4. Work independently with an observational dataset or numerical simulation.

5. Demonstrate oral presentation skills in seminars, classes and defense situations.

6.  Write clear, concise reports and/or thesis.

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

Department Website URL: http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/MET/
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: www.soest.hawaii.edu/met/met_syllabi.shtml
Other: handed out to students in enrolled class

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.

Conducted interviews with students about the curriculum. Reviewed the performance of the students in several classes to determine better ways to present material. Reviewed the exit interview comments collected by an independent office that is not part of the Department to obtain frank opinions from the students. 

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.

About 10 MS students, those that have been in the department for at least a year, were interviewed. The faculty felt that this is the best way to see what is working and what is not; the small size of the department does lend itself to this more personal approach.  Discussion with the students about the development of a questionnaire was met with little enthusiasm. The students felt that most surveys are poorly designed and do not reveal issues accurately.

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.

All students who achieved a B or better in a class  are considered to be reaching the SLO for that class. Of the 20 or so students in the MS program we lost only one and this student withdrew for a semester due to personal issues. The 1-2 students who failed to achieve the SLO for a class received a C or worse - for them to stay in the program they needed an offsetting A grade in another class. An estimate of the MS students achieving the SLO's is over 90%.

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: Discussions among the faculty about the failures suggest that better recruitment would help alleviate failures, but student emotional issues were also a factor.

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

Some tuning of courses was done. Advising students a little better to make sure they have the appropriate background.

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.

The faculty feels that recruiting the right students is a major factor affecting student success. Good, resilent students can handle iffy teaching while weaker students are far more likely to have negative impacts. Students in the early 20's often have unstable emotions which are impossible to predict - this has led to an occasional student leaving the program. The large majority of our students obtain employment in the field and we continue to have a high frequency of MS theses be the seed for a refereed publication.

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

not applicable