Program: Psychology (BA)
Date: Tue Nov 03, 2009 - 1:13:37 pm
1) List your program's student learning outcomes (SLOs).
The Board of Educational Affairs of the American Psychological Association has identified 10 major learning goals for an undergraduate program in psychology, along with specific learning outcomes associated with each goal. Our Psychology Department has adopted these goals and has started developing an assessment plan based upon them.
The goals and their accompanying learning objectives are as follows:
1) Theory and Content of Psychology: a) describing and applying psychology’s concepts, language and theories; b) explaining its major perspectives; c) demonstrating understanding of its breadth and depth
2) Research Methods in Psychology: a) differentiating research methods; b) evaluating aptness of research conclusions; c) designing and conducting basic studies; d) generalizing research conclusions appropriately
3) Critical Thinking Skills in Psychology: a) using and engaging in critical thinking; b) using reasoning in arguments and persuasion; c) approaching problems with sophistication
4) Application of Psychology; a) identifying psychology’s major applications; b) articulating how it can be used toward social understanding and public policy; c) recognizing the ethical complexities of applying psychology
5) Values in Psychology; a) understanding the need for ethical behavior; b) tolerance of ambiguity; c) demonstration of skepticism and intellectual curiosity; d) attunement to scientific evidence; e) civic responsibility; f) respect for human diversity
6) Information and Technological Literacy: a) demonstrating competent, ethical and responsible use of information in academic work; b) applying software in research reports; c) mastering such computer basics as Internet navigation and spreadsheet generation
7) Communication Skills: a) demonstrating effective writing, interpersonal and oral communication skills; b) showing quantitative literacy; c) collaborating effectively with others
8) Sociocultural and International Awareness: a) showing sensitivity to and respect for diversity; b) being able to consider and explain the role of cultural, racial, ethnic and economic factors, and of privilege and discrimination, in people’s behaviors
9) Personal Development: a) the ability to apply psychology to personal and professional development; b) to self-regulate and display personal integrity
10) Career Planning and Development: a) applying psychology principles to career decision-making; b) aiming for feasible career paths; c) identifying realistic graduate-education pathways; d) taking practical career steps; e) valuing life-long learning and professional development
2) Where are your program's SLOs published?
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: NA
3) Upload your program's current curriculum map(s) as a PDF.
4) What percentage of courses have the course SLOs explicitly stated on the course syllabus, department website, or other publicly available document? (Check one)
5) State the SLO(s) that was Assessed, Targeted, or Studied
All SLOs indicated on the course syllabus and webpage.
6) State the Assessment Question(s) and/or Goal(s) of Assessment Activity
7) State the Type(s) of Evidence Gathered
1) Syllabi are being collected for each course, accompanied by a statement from the instructor regarding the specific outcomes expected from that course and the method to determine if the outcome is being obtained (i.e., what course-embedded assessment tools are being employed).
2) Student course evaluations (CAFÉ) are especially used in providing information on: 1) course effectiveness in meeting learning objectives; 2) knowledge and critical thinking skills obtained from the course; and 3) understanding critical theoretical course concepts. In addition, graduate student lecturers are required to conduct CAFÉ for their courses and the CAFÉ is evaluated by the undergraduate chair and discussed with their faculty mentor for future course improvements.
3) An entry and exit survey is collected to assess the students’ perceptions of Psychological thinking prior to declaration of major and the extent to which Psychological knowledge have been enhanced upon graduation. An example of our most recent survey is indicated below.
Our entrance and exit surveys provide a basis to evaluate the perception of learning important psychological issues by our undergraduate majors.
8) State How the Evidence was Interpreted, Evaluated, or Analyzed
The statistical analysis of the survey questions provides insights into the strengths and weakness of our psychology courses. For example, survey questions 1 and 2 evaluate student knowledge of psychological concepts and methods, which our majors strongly feel they have acquired at the time of graduation. However, the issues raised in questions 3, 4, and 5(7), which assess critical thinking, applied psychology, and communication skills, suggest require further evaluation. Therefore, the Undergraduate Committee is making recommendations to improve the teaching of the specific psychology issues in their courses (see question #5 above).
The Undergraduate Committee, consisting of the Undergraduate Chair and three Psychology faculty members, evaluates the surveys and recommends how to improve the assessment of our undergraduate program.
9) State How Many Pieces of Evidence Were Collected
10) Summarize the Actual Results
11) Briefly Describe the Distribution and Discussion of Results
12) Describe Conclusions and Discoveries
13) Use of Results/Program Modifications: State How the Program Used the Results --or-- Explain Planned Use of Results
Instructors are responsible for developing and revising their courses. The Undergraduate Chair oversees the training of graduate student lecturers and offers recommendations to the instructor to improve the teaching when required. New course proposals are discussed at the Undergraduate Studies Committee and recommendations consistent with the SLO’s are forwarded to the Faculty for approval. The SLOs are also distributed to faculty and lecturers and discussed at faculty meetings.
Data collected has led to our modification of our research and statistics courses. Prospective students are now required to successfully complete both courses prior to declaring their major in psychology. We have also removed lecturers, who have not met our expectations for SLOs, from our teaching pool. In addtion, prerequisites of many upper level courses were modified, based on feedback from instructors about how well students were prepared to meet the SLOs of the course.
We are also in the process of requiring our instructors to indicate in their CAFÉ evaluations a few questions that are specifically related to our entry and exit surveys (see 4.3 above). In particular, course syllabi will include SLO that are related, whenever possible, to issues related in questions 3-5(7) in the entrance and exit surveys. By including SLO that emphasize key issues in our surveys, improvement will occur in the undergraduate perception of important psychological issues.