Unit: Physics & Astronomy
Program: Astrophysics (BS)
Degree: Bachelor's
Date: Tue Nov 20, 2018 - 1:54:57 pm

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

1. Apply basic physical principles to astronomical situations

(1b. Specialized study in an academic field, 2b. Conduct research)

2. Formulate scientific problems in mathematical terms and find solutions.

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

3. Design research projects using professional telescopes, archival data, or numerical simulations.

(1b. Specialized study in an academic field, 2a. Think critically and creatively, 2b. Conduct research)

4. Establish competence in focused areas of astrophysics.

(1b. Specialized study in an academic field, 2b. Conduct research)

5. Value the integrity of the scientific enterprise.

(1a. General education, 1b. Specialized study in an academic field, 2b. Conduct research, 2c. Communicate and report, 3a. Continuous learning and personal growth, 3d. Civic participation)

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

Department Website URL: manoa.hawaii.edu/astronomy
Student Handbook. URL, if available online:
Information Sheet, Flyer, or Brochure URL, if available online: manoa.hawaii.edu/astronomy/learning-objectives/
UHM Catalog. Page Number:
Course Syllabi. URL, if available online:
Other:
Other:

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.

0%
1-50%
51-80%
81-99%
100%

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):

No
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?

Yes
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)
Other:

8) Briefly explain the assessment activities that took place.

Evaluated students performance in capstone project (ASTR 494).  

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.

Six students over 3 years.

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)
Dean/Director
Other:

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)
Other:

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

To date, one third of students in Astr 494 (2 out of 6) completed satisfactory capstone papers (PLO 2, 3, 4).  A key problem is that students were focusing on doing research as opposed to writing it up; much class time in 494 was spent developing research directions as opposed to strategies for writing.

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)
Other:

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

Astr 494 is designed for students to discuss and write up their research projects.  Conducting the research shoudl be seperate, and ideally come before writing.  We therefore modified our program requirements to have students use Astr 399 (or equivalent, such as Phys 399) for their research, and we have now made Astr 399 a prerequisite/corequisite for Astr 494.

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.

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