Unit: Earth Sciences
Program: Earth Sciences (BS)
Degree: Bachelor's
Date: Mon Nov 02, 2020 - 5:46:21 pm

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

1. Students can explain the relevance of geology and geophysics to human needs, including those appropriate to Hawaii, and be able to discuss issues related to geology and its impact on society and planet Earth.

2. Students can apply technical knowledge of relevant knowledge base, theory, laboratory methods, field methods, computer applications and the supporting disciplines (math, physics, chemistry, biology) to solve real-world problems in geology and geophysics.

3. Students use the scientific method to define, critically analyze, and solve a problem in earth science

4. Students can reconstruct, clearly and ethically, geological knowledge in both oral presentations and written reports.

5. Students can evaluate, interpret, and summarize the basic principles of geology and geophysics, including the fundamental tenets of the sub-disciplines, and their context in relationship to other core sciences, to explain complex phenomena in geology and geophysics.

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:
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 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)
Other: a. Faculty discussed in plenary fashion (during faculty meetings and in the departmental Slack channels) the need to increase the enrollment in the BS program. A survey was conducted by the Curriculum Committee to gauge faculty opinion on programmatic flaws and fixes, and to determine the individual level of interest in making curricular changes to address them. b. Faculty discussed desired degree outcomes, how we measure them, and possible changes as part of a 2 day offsite faculty retreat in Spring 2019.

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

The BS degree program is failing to attract and retain students in sufficient quantity to be healthy and sustainable. The CC is considering revamping the BS curriculum and we need input from the faculty at the outset of this process. In preparation for the faculty meeting on Monday, please answer the following questions using a Likert scale, where 1 = strongly disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = neutral, 4 = agree and 5 = strongly agree.

The purpose of this poll is 2-fold. First, to assess faculty willingness to contribute to changes in curriculum, and second, to motivate all faculty members to come to our Monday meeting ready to share their ideas.

1. The curriculum is fine as is, we just need to do a better job recruiting.               

2. I am willing to develop new course content as part of the effort to revamp our BS program.   

3. I have specific ideas about how we could improve the BS curriculum.

4. I have specific ideas about how to improve recruiting.              

5. It is OK to let our BS die and only offer a BA degree.   

6. Please provide any comments you want to share about our curriculum and the prospect of changing it.

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: The numerous Curriculum Committee meetings, plenary faculty meetings, and the all-faculty survey described above were aimed at first-order concerns including (a) defining, attracting and retaining the target audience for the BS degree; (b) finding the balance between delivering employable graduates to the local hiring market and to academic graduate programs, and manifesting this balance in our program.
Other 2:

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

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

Fifteen (71%) of the faculty participated in the survey. Curriculum Committee member Ravizza discussed results in detail with the CC chair.  The average numerical score and single-term qualitative descriptor (where values 1 - 2.30 connote disagreement; 2.31 - 3.70 neutrality; and 3.71 - 5 agreement) for the Likert-type questions are:

1. The curriculum is fine as is, we just need to do a better job recruiting.                                    2.2 disagreement

2. I am willing to develop new course content as part of the effort to revamp our BS program.  4.1 agreement   

3. I have specific ideas about how we could improve the BS curriculum.                                    3.8 agreement                     

             4. I have specific ideas about how to improve recruiting.                                                            3.5 neutrality

             5. It is OK to let our BS die and only offer a BA degree.                                                             1.5 disagreement

The open-ended question #6 yielded a variety of responses and several specific recommendations. Highlights: develop tracks, especially in environmental science, volcanology, and planetary science; build-in research engagement; hire an academic program coordinator.

Ravizza conducted a follow-up survey of the two faculty respondents, not serving on the CC, who indicated 4 or 5 (i.e., a high degree of willingness) on the question 3. These faculty participate from the HIGP group and indicated interest in developing new courses and links to programs outside UHM.

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.

Faculty indicating interest in creating specific courses or making other programmatic contributions will be contacted.


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.