Unit: Earth Sciences
Program: Geoscience (MGeo)
Degree: Master's
Date: Thu Oct 08, 2015 - 1:30:40 pm

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

Student Learning Objectives for the MGeo, UHM Dept. of Geology and Geophysics

1. Technical knowledge MGeo graduates are proficient in applying technical knowledge of theory, laboratory methods, field methods, computer applications, and the supporting disciplines (math, physics, chemistry, biology) in solving societally relevant problems in the geosciences.

2. Scientific method (effective and ethical practice) MGeo graduates are able to (a) identify a problem and define set of project goals to address the problem, (b) define a strategy for meeting the goals, (c) successfully execute the strategy in a timely manner, (d) analyze and synthesize the results of their executed strategy, and (d) derive conclusions that help advance future related endeavors. The highest standards of ethical practice are emphasized.

3. Communicate knowledge MGeo graduates are able to effectively communicate the findings of their work in writing at a level comparable to that of a professional report, and defend it orally to the satisfaction of a scientific and professional audience. They are also able to communicate orally about geoscience related work though seminar or conference presentations.

4. Employability/Contributions Post-Graduation MGeo graduates have acquired the knowledge and skills needed to pursue employment or other activities in the geoscience related fields.

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.soest.hawaii.edu/GG/resources/docs/MGeo_SLOs.pdf
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: Course syllabi for Spring 2015 and Fall 2015 are listed: http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/GG/academics/gg_syllabi.html

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.

The progress of each student was monitored by regular meetings with advisors as well as a meeting of each student with the Graduate Studies Committee.  This is standing departmental committee who reviews the progress of each graduate student annually, and provides feedback between the students, advisors, and the chair.

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.

All three MGeo students (at the time) submitted questionnaires for their annual meeting with the GG Graduate Studies Committee

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)
Other: GG is a science department, and the MGeo program is a scientific training program. Accordingly, our MGeo students are expected to make rapid progress toward their chosen scientific goals, including the internship and capstone experience, and they are closely monitored and counseled by their primary advisor, their individual MGeo advisory committee, as well as the GG Graduate Studies Committee.

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

All of the MGeo students are meeting their coursework SLOs and are making fine progress on their SLOs related to professional development.  While it is only in its second year of existence, we see the program meeting its objectives at this time. 

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.

The MGeo is in its second year of existence and the first graduations are anticipated this Fall.  We anticipate making any adjustments to the program based on the results found and feedback from the first graduating class.


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.

Some of the current MGeo students are already seasoned professionals having already established careers in geoscience-related fields.  We have found that these students are just as hungry for the rigorous academic training offered by our graduate program as the younger students with little or no past career experience.  We are encouraged that the MGeo program is filling this important role in community education.  

RIght now, information bearing on assessment is being collected by a few different committees, and we need to develop more effective means for sharing that information.  We also need to develop a more coordinated way to analyze the information.

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

The program did engage in assessment activities.