Unit: Molecular Biosciences & Biosystems Engineering
Program: Molecular Biosciences and Biotechnology (BS)
Degree: Bachelor's
Date: Fri Oct 09, 2015 - 2:14:51 pm

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

1. Understand fundamental core science concepts and have the ability to apply their knowledge in the field of biotechnology.

(1a. General education, 1b. Specialized study in an academic field, 2a. Think critically and creatively, 2b. Conduct research, 3a. Continuous learning and personal growth, 3c. Stewardship of the natural environment)

2. Have the knowledge and core sets of skills that span across basic Sciences and biotechnology, and Mathematics portions of (STEM) education.

(1a. General education, 1b. Specialized study in an academic field, 2a. Think critically and creatively, 3c. Stewardship of the natural environment)

3. Understand and be able to identify ethical issues and social impacts associated with biotechnology, and practice ethical standards of integrity honesty, and fairness in scientific practices and professional conduct.

(1a. General education, 1b. Specialized study in an academic field, 1c. Understand Hawaiian culture and history, 2a. Think critically and creatively, 2b. Conduct research, 3a. Continuous learning and personal growth, 3b. Respect for people and cultures, in particular Hawaiian culture, 3c. Stewardship of the natural environment, 3d. Civic participation)

4. Can communicate orally and in writing in clear, well organized manner that effectively informs and clarifies scientific principles and lab techniques to others.

(1b. Specialized study in an academic field, 2b. Conduct research, 2c. Communicate and report, 3d. Civic participation)

5. Are able to solve problems using hypothesis development and experimental methods on biological systems.

(1b. Specialized study in an academic field, 2a. Think critically and creatively, 2b. Conduct research, 2c. Communicate and report, 3a. Continuous learning and personal growth, 3c. Stewardship of the natural environment)

6. Are well prepared for employment in the critically important and dynamic biotechnology industry.

(1a. General education, 1b. Specialized study in an academic field, 1c. Understand Hawaiian culture and history, 2a. Think critically and creatively, 2b. Conduct research, 3a. Continuous learning and personal growth, 3b. Respect for people and cultures, in particular Hawaiian culture, 3c. Stewardship of the natural environment, 3d. Civic participation)

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

Department Website URL: http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/site/MBB.aspx
Student Handbook. URL, if available online:
Information Sheet, Flyer, or Brochure URL, if available online: Flyer
UHM Catalog. Page Number: http://www.catalog.hawaii.edu/schoolscolleges/ctahr/plant-biotech.htm
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)
Other: We have redesigned a lab course to make it writing intensive to address SLO 4 (as well as SLO 1, 2 and 5).

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

In the past 18 months, the assessment activities were fivefold:  1) MBB instructors turn in key graded student assignments that demonstrate SLOs to the faculty curriculum committee (which doubles as our assessment committee) and they are evaluated for quality and SLO achievement.   2) MBB student grades in all courses are evaluated including those courses taught by non-MBB instructors.  Those students not achieving good grades are asked to meet with the advisors for guidance and assistance. 3) A major assessment activity is the independent judge’s evaluation sheets of the student’s presentations in the Annual CTAHR Student Research Symposium. Students must participate as seniors and do either an oral or a poster presentation. Six to seven judges from multiple  CTAHR departments evaluate the oral and poster presentations of the MBB student’s  499 senior thesis research.  They are evaluated on many key aspects of scientific understanding, communication and  quality of research. These judging sheets are considered major foundations of the assessment activity because it does not only involve MBBE faculty; the judgets are 80% non-MBBE and give a broader perspective and unbiased evaluation.  4) The MBBE 499 written reports (senior thesis) of their research is probably the highlight assessment activity.  They are substantial reports in the format of a scientific journal article.  They address many of the target SLOs.  5) Finally, of our recent graduates, though few, we ask if they have obtained employment in the field and/or entered medical or graduate school, which pinpoints our final SLO.

History: Thirty months ago, the MBB program used to be called PEB. Five departments administered it, which made it confusing, uncoordinated and essentially an orphaned program.  Nobody took the lead for assessment, advising, recruitment or 499 project assignment. To bolster the coordination, quality and identity of the program, based on student feedback and target SLOs, we changed the name to MBB and took the lead in having it entirely administered in one department, MBBE.  

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: The department underwent an external review and the MBB students were interviewed by the external review team.
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.

The sampling method was to ask the instructor for the student's material.  9 students of various stages were evaluated, about half the students in the program.

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: The external review team (reviewing the dept as a whole) interviewed the students regarding SLOs.

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: Judge's evaluation score sheets for student presentations.

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

Before we can get a true picture of the SLO achievement, the students must take "Biotechnology Science and Ethical Issues (MBBE 304)" and "Molecular Biotechnology (MBBE 402)".  Thus far, 70% of the students are achieving the six SLOs.  We have 20% who are achieving partially, two of them haev agreed to re-take the course MBBE 402.  We have another two students (10%) who were in the old program, who have been here a very long time.  They are not taking key courses we use in the evalution, and are behind. We have worked with the Office of the Assoc. Dean of Academic Affiars and two new advisors to counsel the students, identify the unique problems, and motivate them to take the courses and achieve deadlines. We will reveluate these students for continuation.

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: Reward with conference travel payment to present their work in MBBE 499.

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

We have added more writing assignments to two courses. The first is MBBE 402-Lab (Biochemistry lab) and to ensure it is Writing Intensive (WI), only 20 students per section are allowed. To achieve this, we added a second section and allocated more resources (two more graduate teaching assistants to help the undergraduates).  The second is the MBBE 304 (Biotechnology E-focus, science and ethics).  Because of the high enrollment 50-60 students, we cannot make it WI, but have added additional writing assignments on broader socio-ethical impacts of biotechnology products and inventions on society.

We had no student probation policies outside of the UH-Manoa requirements, but we are thinking about two students with low grades and how to effectively motivate them.

We celebrate student success at the CTAHR dinner banquet by announcing the names of top students who come up to the stage and receive diploma-like plaques.  Some students were awarded travel to scientific conferences.

We have been recruiting more faculty to offer experimental projects for the senior thesis to increase the diversity of biotechnology subjects available for students.

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 believe the independent judging of the student's presentations at the CTAHR Student Research Symposium to be one of the best assessment procedures.

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