Program: Economics (BA)
Date: Fri Oct 02, 2009 - 11:26:10 am
1) List your program's student learning outcomes (SLOs).
The mission of our undergraduate program is to provide a high-quality educational experience that enables students to understand the range of economic challenges facing Hawai‘i, the United States, and the Asia-Pacific region. To reach these goals, the Department has set out the following students learning outcomes (SLOs); Economic literacy: Be able to clearly explain core economic terms, concepts and theories; Critical thinking: Demonstrate the ability to apply economic reasoning to contemporary social issues and policy problems; Quantitative reasoning: Apply appropriate quantitative and statistical techniques to economic analysis. Conduct economic analysis using equations and graphs; and Reporting: Develop expertise needed to effectively communicate results of economic research and analysis to colleagues and decision-makers through written reports and oral presentations.
2) Where are your program's SLOs published?
Student Handbook. URL, if available online: http://www.economics.hawaii.edu/undergrad/UGguide.pdf
Information Sheet, Flyer, or Brochure URL, if available online:
UHM Catalog. Page Number:
Course Syllabi. URL, if available online:
3) Upload your program's current curriculum map(s) as a PDF.
- File (03/16/2020)
4) What percentage of courses have the course SLOs explicitly stated on the course syllabus, department website, or other publicly available document? (Check one)
5) State the SLO(s) that was Assessed, Targeted, or Studied
We implemented a course-embedded assessment program in the Fall of 2008. We wanted to assess all of the four SLOs mentioned above in the Fall of 2008. While we assessed student performance in one Econ 300 course and two Econ 301 courses in the Fall of 2007, we greatly extended them to two Econ 300 courses, four Econ 301 course, and two Econ 321 courses in the Fall of 2008.
6) State the Assessment Question(s) and/or Goal(s) of Assessment Activity
The department UG program wanted to find out how our students perform in the following areas (from low performance (1) to high peformance (3)).
1. Understand and apply economic concepts and theories in a clear and effective manner
1) Does not understand nor apply economic concepts; is confused
2) Describes economic concepts, but does not clearly understand or apply them
3) Understands and applies economic concepts and theories in a clear and effective manner
2. Think critically and solve problems
1) Does not identify question at hand, and fails to think critically and solve problems
2) Identifies question at hand, but fails to think critically and solve problems
3) Identifies question at hand, thinks critically and solves problems in an illuminating way
3. Demonstrate quantitative skills
1) Does not understand or apply quantitative skills to the topic/issue
2) Uses quantitative skills relevant to the topic/issue but applies them incorrectly or in an incomplete manner
3) Uses quantitative skills to address the issue/topic at hand
4. Communicate your findings both orally and in writing
1) Fails to orally communicate findings in a meaningful way and/or fails to communicate findings in writing
2) Communicates findings orally, but fails to stimulate interest from audience and/or communicates findings in writing in an unclear manner
3) Clearly communicates findings orally and stimulates interest and discussion from the audience and communicates findings in writing in a clear and stimulating manner
7) State the Type(s) of Evidence Gathered
We collected evidence from our course-embedded assessment program.
8) State How the Evidence was Interpreted, Evaluated, or Analyzed
We used the aggregated rubric score to evaluate the evidence. The score is based on the rubrics we discussed before. Instructors in 300, 301, and 321 were involved to report the results to the Undergrad Committee. It was analzed by the Undergrad Committee.
9) State How Many Pieces of Evidence Were Collected
We collected evidence from 124 students in seven courses (all 300 level). While grading the final exams for their section, instructors scored at least 50 percent of "randomly" selected students using the department’s scoring rubric.
10) Summarize the Actual Results
The results on two years of data show some interesting findings. First of all, the results are systematically different across courses. For example, assessment for Econ 301 in both years show that our students did relatively well for the “Reporting” learning outcomes, while assessment for Econ 300 show a poor performance of the reporting learning outcomes. Also our student performed poorly in “Quantitative reasoning” learning outcomes for Econ 301, especially in 2007, it is not the case for Econ 300. That is, for Econ 301, our students showed weakness in conducting economic analysis using equations and graphs, calculating numbers, and presenting descriptive statistics, while they did a relatively good job for presenting economic arguments, summarizing the arguments in a written form, or discussing economic concepts in an articulate manner in a classroom. This is in stark contrast with Econ 300, in which our students show somewhat opposite pattern; better than average for quantitative reasoning while lower than average for writing and reporting skills. The scores for “Economic literacy” are poor than average rubric scores for all courses.
11) Briefly Describe the Distribution and Discussion of Results
The aggregate rubric scores were reported to the Undergraduate Committee. The Committee prepared a brief written report for the Chair. This report was discussed at a meeting of all faculty in Januray 2009.
12) Describe Conclusions and Discoveries
Our students showed weakness in conducting economic analysis using equations and graphs, calculating numbers, and presenting descriptive statistics, while they did a relatively good job for presenting economic arguments, summarizing the arguments in a written form, or discussing economic concepts in an articulate manner in a classroom for intermediate micro economics course. This is in stark contrast with intermedicate macro course, in which our students performed better than average for quantitative reasoning while lower than average for writing and reporting skills. The scores for “Economic literacy” are poor than average rubric scores for all courses. Students' grade in each course are, however, most closely related with the economic literacy though.
13) Use of Results/Program Modifications: State How the Program Used the Results --or-- Explain Planned Use of Results
In large part because the new assessment was recently introduced, in 2007, we do not have strong evidence to lead to modifications of our curricula. We plan to revisit course offering every three years based on our assessment results. Thus, we will revisit course offerings in 2010 based on our assessment results. However, the different assessment results across our courses may provide some implication for our prerequisite for courses because currently we do not require different prerequisite for Econ 300 and 301. Further, we informed the instructors in 300-level courses about the results of the assessment and indicated the strong and weak areas for each course. Providing this information allows the individual instructors to fine-tune their classes and focus more on the weak sides while taking advantages of the students' strengths.
14) Reflect on the Assessment Process
We expanded the assessment in 2008 and would like to keep the expanded format. By conductinging the assessment consistently for a number of years, we will be able to trace whether the feedback from the assessment will help our instructors to improve student learning. Further, in the future we may consider expanding the assessment techniques, by including such elements as collecting statistics on our graduates job placements, or getting the feedback from our graduating students and alumni on the perceived strengths and weaknesses of our program.
15) Other Important Information