Unit: English
Program: English (BA)
Degree: Bachelor's
Date: Mon Nov 16, 2015 - 10:23:19 am

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

1. Demonstrate an ability to read critically and interpret a variety of texts

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

2. Demonstrate in writing the comprehension, analysis, and interpretation of a variety of texts.

(1b. Specialized study in an academic field, 2a. Think critically and creatively, 2c. Communicate and report)

3. Demonstrate knowledge and comprehension of texts and traditions in different historical periods.

(1b. Specialized study in an academic field)

4. Use secondary sources in the analysis and interpretation of texts.

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

5. Demonstrate knowledge and comprehension of Hawai'i's geographic and cultural location in the Pacific.

(1b. Specialized study in an academic field, 1c. Understand Hawaiian culture and history, 3b. Respect for people and cultures, in particular Hawaiian culture)

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

Department Website URL: http://www.english.hawaii.edu
Student Handbook. URL, if available online:
Information Sheet, Flyer, or Brochure URL, if available online:
UHM Catalog. Page Number: 115
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.

1. Our Assistant Director of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies, Valerie Jun, conducted a thorough examination of how our BA major compares to the 18 peer and benchmark institutions that UHM lists as preparation for discussion ongoing this year about how we might revise the major with an eye towards increasing our major nunbers and our student semester hours but also to ensure that the major provides students with both the knowledge bases and the skills sets that they will need after graduation.

2. We looked at student self-reports via the now mandatory BA exit survey on whether or not they felt they had met the breadth requirements in the major, and we include here self-report data on on the degree to which the 2014-2015 graduates felt they were able to meet the SLO on historical periods. We focus on breadth and historical periods in particular because the high number of retirements we have had in the department means we can no longer offer as many classes that fulfill our historical breadth requirements for the major.

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: websites and catalogues of the peer and benchmark institutions along with direct email and phone exchange with their Chairs or Undergraduate Directors
Other 2:

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

For the exit survey materials in which students self report on "Did you find any of the breadth requirements hard to fulfill?" we looked at the answers from all 176 students out of a possible 359 who answered the exit survey between AY 2011-2012 and AY 2014-15.

For the exit survey question in which students self report on their ability to meet specific SLOs "To what extent can yo do the following" sub question 3 "Demonstrate knowledge and comprehension of texts and traditions in different historical periods," we looked at the responses of all 78 out of a possible 81 students who responded to the AY 2014-2015 exit survey. Please note that last academic year was the first time that the exit survey was made mandatory and also the first time that questions specific to the SLOs on the BA curriculum map were added.

For the report on the state of English majors in the peer and benchmark institutions 18 institutions were examined and contacted.



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)
Other: Associate Dean Kimi Kondo-Brown reviews all data from the exit surveys. The English faculty as a whole will also be discussing both the report on the state of English majors at peer and benchmark institutions as well as the data on how well students feel they can fulfill the breadth-related requirements and the SLO on historical breadth.

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.

1. 76 out of 81 students responded to the Exit Survey in AY 2014-2015 (the first year in which SLO questions were added to align with our curriculum map), and on the question "To what extent can you demonstrate knowledge and comprehension of texts and traditions in different historical periods?" Their answers were as follows

very satisfied 29, somewhat satisfied 26, no opinion 19, somewhat dissatisfied 0, and very dissatisfied 0

2. On the question of "Did you find any of the breadth requirements hard to fulfill?" the answers from the 176 students responding from AY 2011-2012 through AY 20-14-2015 are captured in the chart below

Question: Did you find any of the breadth requirements hard to fulfill?


number of invitations

number of responses

Responses rate


Yes ( %)

No ( %)





20 (69%)

9 (31%)





8 (22%)

29 (78%)





7 (23%)

24 (77%)





27 (35%)


Qualitative comments on this portion of the exit survey show that students most frequently mention the "historical breadth" requirement as one that they have trouble meeting due to lack of choices or scheduling conflicts with other course requirements or classes they need for the GENED core.

The survey of peer and benchmark institutions demonstrated that the number of historical breadth classes we require 3 (plus a single author course that is frequently fulfilled through a course focusing on Shakespeare, Chaucer or Milton) is more or less the average. Qualitative comments from these institutions often revealed that historical breadth requirements already were or were in the process of being scaled back due to lack of faculty to cover these courses and/or the sense that these courses are less central to the major than they once were.

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)

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

These assessment activities are part of a larger project to look at our BA English major and to begin the project of revising the major in light of declining numbers of majors and ssh, both now critical to funding models. The need to reconsider the BA in English also stems from the declining numbers of faculty and the problems we face given that many of those retired or retiring covered earlier periods of literature. It is important for us, as a faculty, to understand the degree to which students feel they can meet the historical breadth requirement given our dwindling offerings and the degree to which students feel that they come away from those classes with the skills we want them to have after taking those classes. In terms of the former, it is clear that students do experience some difficulty in meeting those requirements. It is equally clear after taking the major courses that students do feel confident in their ability "to demonstrate knowledge and comprehension of texts and traditions in different historical periods." These results will be part of ongoing discussions in the Department Curriculum Committee and at meetings of the faculty as a whole as we continue to think about what an English major in the 21st century must know. The information regarding the peer and benchmark institutions complied by the Assistant Director of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs provides a wider context for us, as a faculty, since it evidences that the historical periods are becoming increasingly hard for other institutions to staff as well. The answer need not be to do away with the study of literature in earlier periods, but to think about how best to deliver what remains an important hallmark of the English major while also providing classes that offer other knowledge sets and skills.

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.

See previous answer.

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

Not applicable.