Unit: Theatre & Dance
Program: Theatre (MA, MFA)
Degree: Master's
Date: Thu Sep 30, 2010 - 2:44:22 pm

1) Below are the program student learning outcomes submitted last year. Please add/delete/modify as needed.

MA Theatre Plan A (thesis)

1. Student demonstrates in-depth knowledge in Western or Asian Theory/History.

2.  Student demonstrates comprehensive knowledge of chosen area of specialization of Theatre scholarship.  

3.  Student demonstrates original research and thought by conducting an independent research project resulting in a written thesis.

MA Theatre Plan B 

1. Student demonstrates good working knowledge in each of the five major areas of Drama and Theatre: Western Theory/History; Asian Theatre; Technical Theatre/Design; Acting/Directing; and Youth Theatre, with one of these areas forming an elective focus 

2. Students can create and demonstrate informed and personal artistic choices in coursework and productions (i.e, design, directing, acting, etc.).

MFA Theatre

1.  Student demonstrates the professional competence to function successfully in the artistic concentration of the degree track

2. Students can create and demonstrate informed and personal artistic choices in coursework and productions in the artistic concentration of the degree track

3.  Student can demonstrate broad knowledge of the context and functioning of related theatrical artistic areas to that of the chosen artistic concentration.

4.   Students demonstrate, through portfolio review, preparedness to enter and compete within the chosen degree track area, professionally and/or academically.    

2) As of last year, your program's SLOs were published as follows. Please update as needed.

Department Website URL: http://www.hawaii.edu/theatre/departmental/assessment/GradTheatreSLOs2009.pdf
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) Below is the link to your program's curriculum map (if submitted in 2009). If it has changed or if we do not have your program's curriculum map, please upload it as a PDF.

Curriculum Map File(s) from 2010:

4) The percentage of courses in 2009 that had course SLOs explicitly stated on the syllabus, a website, or other publicly available document is indicated below. Please update as needed.


5) State the assessment question(s) and/or goals of the assessment activity. Include the SLOs that were targeted, if applicable.

MA: How well the student in question demonstrated achievement of the two MA (B) SLOs.
MFA: How well thesis work demonstrated the achievement of the targeted SLOs.
What are the students’ perceptions of their own achievement of the program outcomes?

6) State the type(s) of evidence gathered.

4-hour Comprehensive Exam including a question in the focus area, and a special question specially devised for the candidate which related to candidate’s special interest within the focal area (for Plan B).
Oral Defense of the Comprehensive Exam with Advisor and 2 committee members.

After forming a committee, student prepares a qualifying project in their area, which is evaluated by the committee.
Proposal for culminating creative project is evaluated by the committee.
After the creative project is implemented, the student prepares a written component.  The project is then evaluated by the committee in an oral defense.  In certain concentrations, such as directing, students involved in the production fill out confidential evaluations of the production process.
In Spring 2010, we introduced a new online survey in which students rated their achievement of the program outcomes.

7) Who interpreted or analyzed the evidence that was collected?

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)

8) How did they evaluate, analyze, or interpret the evidence?

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)

9) State how many persons submitted evidence that was evaluated.
If applicable, please include the sampling technique used.

Five out of 6 MFA students graduating in Spring 2010 responded to the online survey; all faculty had access to these survey results.
1 MA student was evaluated by comprehensive exam and defense.
6 MFA students were evaluated via thesis/portfolio presentation and defense.  Each MA/MFA committee consisted of at least three theatre or dance faculty.

10) Summarize the actual results.

MFA Exit Surveys: (5 choices ranging from Extremely Well (5) to Poorly (1)

Learning Outcome #1: Average 4.0

#2: Average:  4.40

#3: Average: 4.80

#4 Average: 3.40

Faculty used student comments on these surveys, thesis project evaluations, and defenses before thesis committees as evidence to implement the changes detailed in question #11.

11) How did your program use the results? --or-- Explain planned use of results.
Please be specific.

Recent changes?
In response to comments at recent final assessment meetings in Directing, in which students noted that they lacked experience in collaborating with designers prior to working on final thesis productions, we have added THEA 657 (Seminar in Design) to the list of courses recommended for directors; having both directors and designers in the same class will facilitate learning about design collaboration before the thesis production.
To create another design option for the non-specialist, THEA 345 (Intro Lighting Design) was added as prerequisite for THEA 445.
Graduate directors have frequently asked for more graduate-level classes in directing.  We have added THEA 685: Directing Western Styles, and made it repeatable so that students can experience working in a wide range of styles and periods.
In response to student interest, THEA 343 (Theatre Production) had a title and description change to accommodate different topics in various theatre production areas, including costume, lighting, business and management, not currently addressed.  Students are very interested in learning about how to find jobs in theatre production, which the last topic would address.

We are developing a "double focus" program to allow students to fulfull requirements for 2 MFA programs while extending their course work by no more than one semester. This should be especially helpful in performance and directing areas, as well as design and youth theatre.
Prerequisite change for THEA 657 to allow directors to take the class
The Youth Theatre Program Director retired in Spring 2010. A new hire search in underway with the goal of filling the position by Fall 2011. The new job description takes into account the strengths of the existing program, but also addresses students’ request for increased curricular infusion of technology and a campus-wide goal of connecting to Asian/Pacific studies.
Students have indicated a desire to have more clarification on Youth Theatre program requirements within the thesis process. The acting Youth Theatre Director is working to better formalize requirements within the thesis qualifier and thesis project. Currently in-work is a set of requirements for the thesis & qualifier including: 1. a written proposal 2. documentation of process and final work 2. a formal evaluation process done by the MFA candidate and program director.
Students have expressed interest in more costume construction and makeup classes. Regarding more makeup classes, Cheri Vasek plans to develop a 1-credit makeup class for teaching basic contour and old age application, so that everyone who is in a show gets some basic makeup competency.  
Regarding more construction classes (as well as costume technology), she also plans to set up a regular rotation of topics for the "Topics in Costume Construction" THEA 446, such as Theatrical Patterning, Masks and Millinery, Costume Dyeing, Advanced Costume Construction, and other relevant topics for working in the industry.  She also plans to add a dyeing class, once the dye safety situation has been upgraded in the costume shop.   
Regarding the students’ comments that they would like to be able to view the design process in action, new faculty member Cheri Vasek  intends to start having early MFA candidates serve as assistant costume designers on big productions, attending design meetings, assisting with research, pulling, fitting, shopping, etc. -  so that they have a sense of what the job entails before they take on a design responsibility.

12) Beyond the results, were there additional conclusions or discoveries? This can include insights about assessment procedures, teaching and learning, program aspects and so on.

We were very pleased that most graduate students not only completed the new online exit surveys, but took the time to write insightful comments.

13) Other important information:

In order to create a format in which data may be calculated and retained more easily, the Department of Theatre and Dance has chosen to convert several assessment aspects to Survey Monkey Pro.  This is not a free service, and is something that could perhaps be subsidized for financially struggling departments?