Unit: Life Sciences
Program: Zoology (PhD)
Degree: Doctorate
Date: Wed Nov 14, 2018 - 9:03:34 pm

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

1. Demonstrate advanced knowledge in a specialized area of the biological sciences and general knowledge of related areas, as defined by the student�s committee.

(1. Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge in one or more general subject areas related to, but not confined to, a specific area of interest., 2. Demonstrate understanding of research methodology and techniques specific to one’s field of study.)

2. Conduct original and independent scientific research, including critical analysis, synthesis and use of information and data, that contributes to one�s field of study.

(2. Demonstrate understanding of research methodology and techniques specific to one’s field of study., 3. Apply research methodology and/or scholarly inquiry techniques specific to one’s field of study., 4. Critically analyze, synthesize, and utilize information and data related to one’s field of study.)

3. Proficiently communicate and disseminate scientific information in oral and in written form.

(5. Proficiently communicate and disseminate information in a manner relevant to the field and intended audience.)

4. Conduct research responsibly and ethically.

(6. Conduct research or projects as a responsible and ethical professional, including consideration of and respect for other cultural perspectives.)

5. Engage professionally and collegially with the larger scientific community and with society.

(7. Interact professionally with others.)

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

Department Website URL: https://manoa.hawaii.edu/biology/education
Student Handbook. URL, if available online: https://manoa.hawaii.edu/biology/graduate/guides
Information Sheet, Flyer, or Brochure URL, if available online:
UHM Catalog. Page Number:
Course Syllabi. URL, if available online:

3) Please review, add, replace, or delete the existing curriculum map.

Curriculum Map File(s) from 2018:

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) Does the program have learning achievement results for its program SLOs? (Example of achievement results: "80% of students met expectations on SLO 1.")(check one):

Yes, on some(1-50%) of the program SLOs
Yes, on most(51-99%) of the program SLOs
Yes, on all(100%) of the program SLOs

6) Did your program engage in any program learning assessment activities between June 1, 2015 and October 31, 2018?

No (skip to question 17)

7) What best describes the program-level learning assessment activities that took place for the period June 1, 2015 to October 31, 2018? (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)
No (skip to question 17)
Investigate other pressing issue related to student learning achievement for the program (explain in question 7)

8) Briefly explain the assessment activities that took place.

The faculty created a new curriculum map in January 2017. During the curriculum mapping process, they identified content that should be added to ZOOl 691C to better cover the SLOs. The Graduate Committee then created a rubric based on the SLOs to use for assessment of students during their final defense. In addition, they made the decision to assess students during their comprehensive exam using the same rubric, allowing the student time for improvment and comprehensive feedback from their committee. The department now collects rubric resuls for all students at the time of their comprehensive exam and defense for periodic review of student learning achievement.

9) What types of evidence did the program use as part of the assessment activities checked in question 7? (Check all that apply.)

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
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
Assessment-related such as assessment plan, SLOs, curriculum map, etc.
Program or course materials (syllabi, assignments, requirements, etc.)
Other 1:
Other 2:

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

The department now collects evidence from all students after their comprehensive exam and dissertation defense. The rubric is completed by the student's committee members. All results are stored and aggregated by the department for assessment review. Since we started this procedure in Fall 2017 we have collected rubric results from five students who completed their comprehensive exam and five that completed their dissertation defense.

11) 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)

12) 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)

13) Summarize the results of the assessment activities checked in question 7. For example, report the percentage of students who achieved each SLO.

Of the ten students that were evaluated during this time period, all ten met the minimum requirement set by the committee. All but one scored "Meets" or "Exceeds" in all categories on the rubric used to evaluate their thesis proposal and defense. One student scored "Does not Meet" in the category "Proficiently communicates and disseminates communication in oral form," but scored "Meets" in all other categories. 

14) 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)

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

At this time, nine out of ten students met our benchmark of achieving all "Meets" or "Exceeds" ratings. We are currently satisfied with this, especially since the one student that did not meet the benchmark was only at the stage of their comprehensive exam and therefore has future learning opportunities to work towards achieving "Meets" in this final category. We also acknowledge the small sample size and plan to continue aggregating data as it is collected for future review.

16) 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.

There is no action needed at this time because 90% of students met the benchmark. We acknowledge that the sample size is small and plan to continue aggregating data over the next few years, continually reviewing on an annual basis.

17) If the program did not engage in assessment activities, please justify.