Unit: Pacific Islands Studies
Program: Pacific Islands Studies (MA)
Degree: Master's
Date: Wed Nov 18, 2015 - 4:40:18 pm

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


SLO 1 Students can evaluate Pacific Studies as an organized, interdisciplinary field of study that includes indigenous epistemologies and perspectives.

SLO 2 Students can demonstrate a wide range of historical, geographic, and cultural knowledge about Oceania

SLO 3 Students can analyze political, cultural, and ethical issues confronting Oceanic societies.

SLO 4 Students can analyze a specialized aspect of the history, culture, politics, or international relations of one or more of the island societies of Oceania.

SLO 5 Students can interact with Pacific Islander communities in culturally sensitive research, collaboration, and advocacy.

 SLO 6 Students can analyze and interpret creative practices in Oceania.


                   Certificate SLOs

SLO 1 Students can evaluate Pacific Studies as an organized, interdisciplinary field of study that includes indigenous epistemologies and perspectives. 

SLO 2 Students can demonstrate a wide range of historical, geographic, and cultural knowledge about Oceania.

SLO 3 Students can analyze political, cultural, and ethical issues confronting Oceanic societies.


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:
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: http://www.hawaii.edu/cpis/psi/index.html (some, not all courses)

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.

Collected student writing from two of three required PACS MA classes to assess SLOs 1 and 4.

Collected 3 theses and 7 comprehensive exams to assess SLOs 1-5.

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.

10 classroom examples; 7 comps; 3 theses. Random sampling of 30% of student classroom work; 100% comps; Random 50% of MA theses over the academic year.

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.

The assessment committee scored 10 examples of student writing from exams or essays from PACS 601 and 602. We used a rubric for SLO1 and SLO4.

Results revealed that students are averaging a 3.2 on SLO4 and a 3.4 on SLO1. We were pleased with the results and yet also aware of a need to strengthen students' writing skills.

The comprehensive exam committee scored 7 students' written comprehensive exams using a rubric that addressed SLO 1-4. Results showed one accomplished exam, one developing, and five competent exams. Faculty acknowledged the accomplished students with "pass with honors" and invited the developing student to attempt the comps again. The other five passed.

The three theses scored by the committee used a rubric to score SLO 1-5. Results revealed one accomplished, one competent, and one developing proficiency. Committee noted a need to strengthen organization and writing skills in the weaker samples.

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 program identified that students are weak at writing. We created a menu of instructional offerings on a continuum from the BA through the MA curricula. Students will attend or participate in approximately 15 workshops/activities for BA students. For MA students, the goal is help them graduate on time, so we developed a continuation of the BA students' Yeah,WRITE!" program. At the graduate level  a cohort of students who have completed the three required PACS classes now voluntarily meet every two weeks with a faculty advisor to pursue writing goals and get feedback on writing. They also lead discussions on professional development. 

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.

In the past, we have rarely failed (asked a student to repeat) a comprehensive exam because we didn't have explicit criteria to respond to borderline exams. Using a rubric with clear criteria helps faculty to respond to unsatisfactory comps with clear justifications for scores.

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