Unit: Psychology
Program: Psychology (BA)
Degree: Bachelor's
Date: Thu Oct 14, 2010 - 4:04:41 pm

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

The Board of Educational Affairs of the American Psychological Association has identified 10 major learning goals for an undergraduate program in psychology, along with specific learning outcomes associated with each goal.  Our Psychology Department has adopted these goals and has started developing an assessment plan based upon them.

     The goals and their accompanying learning objectives are as follows:

1)  Theory and Content of Psychology: a)  describing and applying psychology’s concepts, language and theories; b)  explaining its major perspectives; c)  demonstrating understanding of its breadth and depth

2)  Research Methods in Psychology: a)  differentiating research methods; b)  evaluating aptness of research conclusions; c)  designing and conducting basic studies; d)  generalizing research conclusions appropriately

3)  Critical Thinking Skills in Psychology: a)  using and engaging in critical thinking; b)  using reasoning in arguments and persuasion; c)  approaching problems with sophistication

4)  Application of Psychology; a)  identifying psychology’s major applications; b)  articulating how it can be used toward social understanding and public policy; c)  recognizing the ethical complexities of applying psychology

5)  Values in Psychology; a)  understanding the need for ethical behavior; b)  tolerance of ambiguity; c)  demonstration of skepticism and intellectual curiosity; d)  attunement to scientific evidence; e)  civic responsibility; f)  respect for human diversity

6)  Information and Technological Literacy: a)  demonstrating competent, ethical and responsible use of information in academic work; b)  applying software in research reports; c)  mastering such computer basics as Internet navigation and spreadsheet generation

7)  Communication Skills: a)  demonstrating effective writing, interpersonal and oral communication skills; b)  showing quantitative literacy; c)    collaborating effectively with others

8)  Sociocultural and International Awareness: a)  showing sensitivity to and respect for diversity; b)  being able to consider and explain the role of cultural, racial, ethnic and economic factors, and of privilege and discrimination, in people’s behaviors

9)  Personal Development: a)  the ability to apply psychology to personal and professional development; b)  to self-regulate and display personal integrity

10)  Career Planning and Development: a)  applying psychology principles to career decision-making; b)  aiming for feasible career paths; c)  identifying realistic graduate-education pathways; d)  taking practical career steps; e)  valuing life-long learning and professional development

2) As of last year, your program's SLOs were 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: NA

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.

No map submitted.

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.

See Question #10

SLO #1): Theory & Content of Psychology

SLO #2): Research Methods in Psychology

SLO #3): Critical Thinking

SLO #4): Application of Psychology

SLO #7): Communication Skills

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

1)    Syllabi are being collected for each course, accompanied by a statement from the instructor regarding the specific outcomes expected from that course and the method to determine if the outcome is being obtained (i.e., what course-embedded assessment tools are being employed).

2)    Student course evaluations (CAFÉ) are especially used in providing information on: 1) course effectiveness in meeting learning objectives; 2) knowledge and critical thinking skills obtained from the course; and 3) understanding critical theoretical course concepts.  In addition, graduate student lecturers are required to conduct CAFÉ for their courses and the CAFÉ is evaluated by the undergraduate chair and discussed with their faculty mentor for future course improvements.

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.

See surveys

10) Summarize the actual results.

An entry and exit survey is collected to assess the students' perceptions of Psychology thinking prior to declaration of major and the extenet to which Psychological knowledge have been enhanced upon graduation. An example of our most recent survey is below.

Link to Results 

The Table below shows our analysis of five of the most comparable questions assessed in the entrance survey (questions 1-5) and exit survey (questions 1-4, &7).  As the analysis indicates, our majors showed significant improvement in psychological issues raised in questions 1, 2, & 3.  The remaining two questions dealt with issues that did not differ significantly between the entry and exit surveys.

Independent Sample t-tests between corresponding entrance and exit responses obtained Fall 2009 – Spring 2010

Item comparisons
























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

Instructors are responsible for developing and revising their courses.  The Undergraduate Chair oversees the training of graduate student lecturers and offers recommendations to the instructor to improve the teaching when required.  New course proposals are discussed at the Undergraduate Studies Committee and recommendations consistent with the SLO’s are forwarded to the Faculty for approval.  The SLOs are also distributed to faculty and lecturers and discussed at faculty meetings.

     Data collected has led to our modification of our research and statistics courses.  Prospective students are now required to successfully complete both courses prior to declaring their major in psychology.  We have also removed lecturers, who have not met our expectations for SLOs, from our teaching pool.  In addition, prerequisites of many upper level courses were modified, based on feedback from instructors about how well students were prepared to meet the SLOs of the course.

     We are also requiring our instructors to indicate in their CAFÉ evaluations a few questions that are specifically related to our entry and exit surveys (see 4.3 above).  By including SLO that emphasize key issues in our surveys, improvement will occur in the undergraduate perception of important psychological issues.

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.

The statistical analysis of the survey questions provides insights into the strengths and weakness of our psychology courses.  For example, survey questions 1 and 2 evaluate student knowledge of psychological concepts and methods, which our majors strongly feel they have acquired at the time of graduation.  This year, question 3, which concerns critical thinking issues in Psychology showed a significant improvement among graduating seniors.  However, questions 4 and 5(7), which assess applied psychology and communication skills, did not improve significantly and will require additional data before the results can be interpreted.  

13) Other important information: