Unit: Chemistry
Program: Chemistry (BA, BS)
Degree: Bachelor's
Date: Sat Oct 15, 2011 - 4:01:39 pm

1) Below are your program student learning outcomes (SLOs). Please update as needed.

see curriculum map

2) Your program's SLOs are published as follows. Please update as needed.

Department Website URL: www.manoa.hawaii.edu/chem
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(s) to your program's curriculum map(s). If we do not have your curriculum map, please upload it as a PDF.

Curriculum Map File(s) from 2011:

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) For the period June 1, 2010 to September 30, 2011: State the assessment question(s) and/or assessment goals. Include the SLOs that were targeted, if applicable.

In General Chemistry II (CHEM 162) this Spring we experimented with mandatory online homework in one of two parrallel sections of the course. We used ALEKS, a commercial product that grew out of a research project at UC Irvine, rather than a publisher-based solution. As it turns out, it is really difficult to make these comparisons as one has to provide the students an incentive to do the online homework. In this case it counted for 20% of the final grade. Thus, participation in the homework on its own can skew the grade distribution significantly without proving that doing homework improves performance. In any case,  in the section with mandatory homework there more students with higher grades. The data also suggest that possibly a few students managed to eke out a C who would have  ended up with a C- in the section that did not have mandatory online homework. Overall this suggests that this experiment bears repeating.

As part of the Faculty Senate's task force on high-failure rate courses we surveyed the students who failed CHEM 272 in Fall of 2010 and asked what they attributed their lack of success to. A significant fraction admitted to not studying and suggested that mandatory homework that counted towards the final grade would have helped them. We have implemented this with a commercial software package for CHEM 272 in Fall of 2011.

6) State the type(s) of evidence gathered to answer the assessment question and/or meet the assessment goals that were given in Question #5.

see previous page

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

Prof. Jarrett condicted the survey of CHEM 272 students. He and Prof. Navarro conducted the comparison of performance in CHEM 162 using identical hour exams ( four each) and final exams.

8) 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)

9) 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)

10) For the assessment question(s) and/or assessment goal(s) stated in Question #5:
Summarize the actual results.

see previous

11) State how the program used the results or plans to use the results. Please be specific.

We will be repeating the CHEM 162 experiment again in Spring 2012 to get more data and will then make a decision on whether the results warrant to make homework mandatory in CHEM 161 as well as of Fall 2012. Whether this should take the form of ALEKS for all GEN CHEM courses and sections is another question that needs to be discussed and decided.

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.

13) Other important information.
Please note: If the program did not engage in assessment, please explain. If the program created an assessment plan for next year, please give an overview.