Unit: Second Language Studies
Program: Second Language Studies (PhD)
Degree: Doctorate
Date: Fri Nov 13, 2020 - 10:16:08 am

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

1. CONTENT KNOWLEDGE MASTERY The courses in the program are organized into four areas of specialization, of which students concentrate on three as appropriate to their academic goals. Each PhD graduate will develop and exhibit mastery of the knowledge bases in three of these four broad areas of Second Language Studies: a. SECOND LANGUAGE ANALYSIS: structural analysis of learners language development; comparison of native and nonnative languages; second language varieties; differences arising from social and geographical contexts; phonological, grammatical, and discoursal properties; typological factors; putative universals. b. SECOND LANGUAGE LEARNING: studies of biological, psychological, social, and cultural factors in the language learning process; role of universals; interlanguage; processes of comprehension and production. c. SECOND LANGUAGE USE: studies of social functions of second and foreign languages; pidgins, creoles, and dialect variation; roles of social and geographical contexts; cross-cultural and interethnic communication; sociopolitical factors; language policy and planning. d. SECOND LANGUAGE EDUCATION: research into learners language needs (including immigrant needs); formulation of needs-based curriculum objectives and syllabi; task-based and content-based language teaching; computer-aided instruction; program administration; evaluation and language assessment; critical pedagogy.

(1. Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge in one or more general subject areas related to, but not confined to, a specific area of interest., 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., 6. Conduct research or projects as a responsible and ethical professional, including consideration of and respect for other cultural perspectives.)

2. RESEARCH METHODS. In addition to these areas of content-knowledge mastery, expertise in research methodology is emphasized in the program. Our PhD graduates will be able to utilize appropriate research methods for their own empirical work, and they will help other researchers to understand and improve upon their research methods (e.g., through scholarly review and/or teaching activities).

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

3. PROFESSIONAL ENGAGEMENT & EXCELLENCE IN AREAS OF EXPERTISE Our graduates will demonstrate a commitment to professional engagement and will be recognized for excellence in their selected areas of Second Language Studies, as demonstrated by (a) Presenting at conferences; (b) Publishing research; (c) Teaching in area of expertise; (d) Assuming a leadership role in an area of expertise.

(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., 5. Proficiently communicate and disseminate information in a manner relevant to the field and intended audience., 6. Conduct research or projects as a responsible and ethical professional, including consideration of and respect for other cultural perspectives., 7. Interact professionally with others.)

4. {The delete function does not seem to work. There are only 3 SLOs.}

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

Department Website URL: https://www.hawaii.edu/sls/graduate/phd/phd-program/
Student Handbook. URL, if available online: https://www.hawaii.edu/sls/wp-content/uploads/201006_SLS-Academic-Handbook_rvsdOct2020.pdf
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 2020:

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 November 1, 2018 and October 31, 2020?

No (skip to question 17)

7) What best describes the program-level learning assessment activities that took place for the period November 1, 2018 and October 31, 2020? (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 other pressing issue related to student learning achievement for the program (explain in question 8)

8) Briefly explain the assessment activities that took place since November 2018.

1. Doctoral students’ progress in the program is monitored using course evaluation procedures primarily involving large term projects. Particularly important major assessments related to student learning outcomes (and the educational factors that contribute to them) naturally include the comprehensive exam and the dissertation itself. The dissertation assessment also includes the public presentation and defense components, as well as a formal comprehensive exam and proposal development. We interpret the dissertation for program evaluation purposes as follows:
The dissertation reflects each doctoral student’s ability to: (a) engage in thorough-going research that is relevant to the field of SLS; (b) persist inlong-term scholarly projects, from inception to dissemination; and (c) produce high-quality publishable writing. This three-part analysis allows assessment to offer valuable insights into the extent to which students have achieved program SLOs. Each of these assessments involves multiple stages of proposal, research, writing, feedback, and completion.
2. Graduating student survey: In the College of LLL exit survey, questions aligned with program SLOs have been generated specifically for the PhD program, and these questions target students' self-evaluation of both the levels of learning in key outcomes areas and the perception of professional value of these outcomes. 
3. Alumni survey and review. A listing of doctoral graduates is maintained on the website and the department tries to stay in regular contact with these students, to a greater extent than MA graduates. In particular, the employment placement of recent doctoral students is closely analyzed and provides input into curriculum and learning objectives. Our ability to collect and utilize this data is improving as we strengthen alumni relations in general, notably through the assistance of an APT-B program specialist.

4. Annual doctoral student progress report: Advisors of doctoral students, in consultation with doctoral students, complete an advising and progress form each semester, which includes a listing of professional presentations along with an indication of progress towards graduation. This is a formal instrument and consultation process which allows for formative evaluation of students’ achievement of learning outcomes as well as providing input into the adequacy of those outcomes.

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.

Performance by all PhD students in the program (fluctuating between 35 and 40 total) is assessed on an on-going basis through coursework and other PhD program requirements (comprehensive exams, proposal/prospectus defense, dissertation defense). All graduate faculty members (currently 11) are involved in these on-going assessments. 

For the specific analyses presented in this report:

- data from PhD students who graduated between Spring 2018 and Summer 2020 (n=14) contributed to the analysis of final-year performance as evaluated by the student's dissertation chair

- data from PhD students who graduated between Fall 2017 and Summer 2020 (aggregated by the College of LLL) contributed to the analysis of graduates' self-evaluation of attainment of program SLOs (n=17 graduates, 14 of whom completed the survey)

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)
Other: Graduate Chair, Graduate Program Assistant

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 from the evaluation, analysis, interpretation of evidence (checked in question 12). For example, report the percentage of students who achieved each SLO.

For all PhD students who graduated between Spring 2018 and Summer 2020 (n=14), faculty advisors' annual assessments of their students in the last year before graduation were analyzed. In annual assessments, PhD advisors rate their students' performance on a scale of 0 ('poor') to 3 ('excellent') in the following 6 domains: (1) Performance in coursework (--> SLO#1), (2) Research ability or potential (--> SLOs#2&3), (3) Quality of work (--> SLOs#1&2&3), (4) Quantity of work (--> SLO#3), (5) Planning and organizational skills (--> SLO#3), and (6) Dependability (--> SLO#3). Performance in coursework was not rated since graduating students were no longer taking courses. Analysis of items (2)-(6) showed no scores below 2 ('good') for any student in any domain, with modal values of 3 ('excellent') in all domains, indicating that faculty advisors consistently assessed PhD graduates as meeting SLOs 2 and 3. 
SLO 1 is met at program completion by successful defense of the PhD dissertation. All 14 candidates who defended their dissertation during the current assessment period did so successfully.
We also analyzed graduating PhD students' self-evaluation of program SLOs. The following questions, aligned with SLOs 1-3, are included in the exit survey delivered by the college of LLL:
12-A. Expertise in a particular set of domains covering the Knowledge Base of SLS: “Our graduates will develop advanced understanding in three of the four broad areas of SLS. Please identify your 3 areas (yes or no) and indicate your perceived degree of preparedness in your three areas of emphasis.”
12-B. Mastery and application of appropriate research methods in SLS: “Our graduates will develop mastery of research methods appropriate to their specific area of expertise in SLS.” (a) “List your particular research methods of specialization.” (b) “General degree of preparedness in research methods.”
12-C. Professional engagement and excellence in areas of expertise: "Our graduates will demonstrate a commitment to professional engagement and will be recognized for excellence in their selected areas of SLS. To what extent do you feel prepared for the following activities, in your own area of expertise?”
Responses are given on a scale of 1 ('not at all') to 5 ('very well'). For reasons of confidentiality (small numbers), the college makes responses available to the department in aggregated format only. Our analysis is thus based on data aggregated over students who graduated from the PhD in SLS program between Fall 2017 and Summer 2020 (N=17, of which 14 completed the survey).
Results showed modal values of 5 ('very well') in responses to all three questions (12-A, 12-B and 12-C). For 12-A and 12-C, scores ranged between 3 ('adequately') and 5. For 12-B, all responses were 4 or 5. These results indicate that PhD graduates consistently evaluate themselves as having met all three program SLOs.

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 its findings/results.

The SLS doctoral program, within the broad guidelines and the stated program SLOs, is a flexible program whose educational success substantially depends on individual relationships of a mentoring and advising nature between doctoral student and dissertation chair. A doctoral student’s advisor, normally the dissertation chair, monitors student progress and achievement of learning objectives on an ongoing, individually tailored basis and is in a position to make course corrections early on the basis of any observed inadequacies in learning. The annual student assessment by the advisor is a critical tool in this process, both for the assessment of individual students' progress, as well as for program level assessment regarding graduating students' attainment of program SLOs.

Results from our program assessment activities indicate that program SLOs are met. Yet there is always room for improvement, and insights from formal and informal analyses of student and program learning outcomes regularly prompt us to make minor changes to the program. Such changes have included, for example, adding a course option to better prepare PhD students for undergraduate teaching through direct mentoring (SLS 799) and offering workshops on specific aspects of professional development (e.g., abstract writing, and the review process in academic publication). Student success has been better celebrated through the creation of a SLS FaceBook page and more updates on the SLS website, and outreach through social media more generally.

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.

(see response to previous question)

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