Unit: Information & Computer Science
Program: Library & Information Sciences (MLISC)
Degree: Master's
Date: Mon Oct 05, 2009 - 3:52:50 pm

1) List your program's student learning outcomes (SLOs).

To successfully complete requirements for the Master of Library and Information Science (MLISc) degree, the student must be able to:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of the history, philosophy, principles, policies, and ethics of library and information science and technology
2. Demonstrate an understanding of the development, organization, and communication of knowledge
3. Apply basic competencies and knowledge that are essential for providing, managing, and designing information services and programs in a variety of information environments
4. Demonstrate an understanding of the development and interrelationship of librarianship and information science
5. Demonstrate theoretical understanding of and basic competencies in evaluating, selecting, and organizing information sources
6. Demonstrate theoretical understanding of and basic competencies in storage, retrieval, dissemination, utilization, and evaluation of information
7. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of administration applicable in libraries, archives, and information centers
8. Demonstrate basic competencies required for instructional program development in particular information environments
9. Demonstrate an understanding of research techniques and methods of applying new knowledge as it becomes available
10. Demonstrate the professional attitudes and the interpersonal and interdisciplinary skills needed to communicate and collaborate with colleagues and information users
11. Demonstrate basic competencies in the latest specialized information technologies
12. Demonstrate an understanding of the above goals within the perspective of prevailing and emerging technologies

2) Where are your program's SLOs published?

Department Website URL: http://www.hawaii.edu/lis/program.php?page=mission
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: http://www.hawaii.edu/lis/courses.php?page=descriptions

3) Upload your program's current curriculum map(s) as a PDF.

Curriculum Map File(s) from 2009:

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

Our Program has initiated a five-year strategic plan to assess the SLOs being targeted in all of the courses. Depending on the course, different SLOs are assessed. In 2007-2008, we began with the 5 required core courses (refer to #3). In 2008-2009, we expanded the assessment process by including 9 more courses in information technology and field studies. In 2009-2010, we will be adding 13 more courses. By 2011-2012, we hope to cover all of our courses in the assessment process.

6) State the Assessment Question(s) and/or Goal(s) of Assessment Activity

The major purposes of the assessment process are to (1) have substantiating evidence of how well our students are meeting the SLOs, (2) use the evidence to fuel more in-depth discussions about the quality of our curriculum, and (3) collaboratively identify strategies for improving our efforts to design instruction that foster student achievement of the SLOs.

7) State the Type(s) of Evidence Gathered

The Program collects assessment data from the following sources. For each source, we also indicate who manages the data collection and how it is executed.

a. Oral comprehensive exams: All students but one in recent years has selected the non-thesis option that requires an oral comprehensive exam as a culminating experience. This is an hour-long examination with two faculty members presiding.  Students receive a series of scenarios relating to a broad range of LIS topics and themes, and they are permitted to study in advance for the four scenarios that they elect to address.  More details on the exam are available at http://www.hawaii.edu/lis/program.php?page=orals No notes are allowed in the session, and faculty members may ask follow-up questions during the exam.  The administering faculty members make pass or fail decisions immediately following the completion of the exam.  Students must repeat any portion that they fail by scheduling retakes with the LIS Program Chair. A summary of student ratings by semester is available on request. Faculty members examine the summaries to determine areas where students are having difficulties and the implications for both the oral comprehensive scenarios as well as the curriculum.

b. Course evaluations: All instructors request that students complete the course evaluation forms at the end of the semester. The forms are sent to the LIS office where a student assistant under the supervision of the LIS Program chair calculates averages from the scores. Once the calculations have been completed—and course grades have been turned in—the forms and averages are returned to the instructors. The instructors use the evaluations to reflect on the effectiveness of course content and pedagogy. The LIS Program Chair also studies the evaluations to determine areas of strength and areas for possible improvement. The calculated averages are also reported for national reaccreditation. A summary of course ratings is available on request.

c. Surveys: The Program administers three types of surveys: (1) graduating students, (2) alumni, and (3) employers. All graduating students complete an exit survey that provides information on the perceived adequacy of the coursework in preparing them for the workplace. The alumni and employer surveys are administered every five years as part of the national reaccreditation process. The last alumni survey was conducted in 2006, and the last employer survey was conducted in 2007. A student assistant that works under the supervision of the LIS Program Chair compiles survey data. The results are shared with the entire faculty as part of the Program’s strategic planning process. Summaries of the three surveys are available on request.

d. Course assessment portfolios: The LIS faculty members are implementing an outcome-based approach to student learning that focuses on clearly stated performance expectations for major course assignments as well as criteria by
which performances are assessed. Because this is a new area of emphasis for most of the LIS faculty, we are working incrementally starting with the required core courses.  In the 2007-08 academic year, faculty teaching the core courses met several times to share their progress in assessment.  Folders for the core offerings, which are available on site, contain a sampling of assignments, criteria to assess performance, examples of student work, and instructors’ evaluative comments on the work.  We will eventually embed this outcome-based assessment emphasis into all LIS courses.  

8) State How the Evidence was Interpreted, Evaluated, or Analyzed

Oral comprehensive exam results were tabulated and summarized by the chair of the LIS Curriculum Committee. Student help under the supervision of the LIS Program Chair tabulated survey results. Individual faculty members submitted course assessment portfolios. All of the data were then shared at faculty meetings and as appropriate, at the program’s annual strategic retreat to help us develop a multi-year action plan. Priorities set in the action plan are delegated to committees or individuals that make regular progress reports at the monthly faculty meetings. Recent curriculum modifications based on the assessment data included adding a fifth core requirement in Collection Management, and (2) adding a requirement of 6 credits for ICT related courses.

9) State How Many Pieces of Evidence Were Collected

See responses to #7 and #8.

10) Summarize the Actual Results

Results overall indicate that at least 90% of the students are meeting or exceeding expectations as stated in the program learning objectives (refer to #1). Based on their responses in the culminating oral comprehensive exam and instructor assessments of major assignments described in the course assessment portfolios, students have been able to demonstrate understandings in the following critical areas: history and ethics of library and information science; understanding of organization of knowledge; design and management of information services and programs; evaluation and organization of information sources; principles of administration in relation to information environments; skills in communicating and collaborating with colleagues and information users; and competencies in using the latest specialized information technologies.

11) Briefly Describe the Distribution and Discussion of Results

Results are shared with LIS faculty members and also student representatives, who participate in faculty meetings and the annual strategic planning retreat. In addition, the chair of the ICS Department also receives this information. Please also refer to #8.

12) Describe Conclusions and Discoveries

See responses to #8 and #10.

13) Use of Results/Program Modifications: State How the Program Used the Results --or-- Explain Planned Use of Results

Please refer to #8. The process is an ongoing one--we continue to assess the outcomes each year. Results are used to examine specific courses as well as the curriculum as a whole.

14) Reflect on the Assessment Process

As stated in #7, we are in the third year of a five-year plan to assess the learning outcomes of all courses. At the end of the five-year plan, we hope to involve all instructors (regular and adjunct) in summarizing student proficiencies in the various program learning objectives across all courses. This comprehensive view will provide us with information on strengths and gaps that will further inform how we might modify learning experiences for students and how we might refine our pedagogy to meet student needs.

15) Other Important Information

16) FOR DISTANCE PROGRAMS ONLY: Explain how your program/department has adapted its assessment of student learning in the on-campus program to assess student learning in the distance education program.

We have two courses each term that are delivered via interactive television (HITS). This learning environment allows for face-to-face interaction with students at remote sites. While HITS learning does require adjustments in how we teach, it has not necessitated changes in how we assess student performance. We use the same measures for HITS learning assessment as we do for on-campus learning assessment.

17) FOR DISTANCE PROGRAMS ONLY: Summarize the actual student learning assessment results that compare the achievement of students in the on-campus program to students in the distance education program.

In general, we find no significant differences in student performance in HITS courses compared with student performance in the on-campus courses. By incorporating Laulima and other online course enabling applications with HITS, we create learning environments that allow students at remote sites to participate in discussions and work on collaborative projects.