Unit: Communications
Program: Journalism (BA)
Degree: Bachelor's
Date: Fri Sep 09, 2011 - 3:50:04 pm

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

Students can:

  • SLO #1: gather, analyze and organize information, and to communicate it clearly, effectively and responsibly using multiple media platforms;
  • SLO #2: demonstrate an understanding of the social, cultural and historical contexts of reporting on social institutions as well as on individuals and groups;
  • SLO #3: demonstrate an understanding of the importance of a free, vigorous and responsible press to the maintenance of an informed citizenry to exercise the rights of self-governance in a democracy;
  • SLO #4: contribute to lifelong learning through reports that enlighten and enliven audiences, whether in print, broadcast, online or other new media formats.


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

Department Website URL: http://www.communications.hawaii.edu/
Student Handbook. URL, if available online:
Information Sheet, Flyer, or Brochure URL, if available online: http://www.communications.hawaii.edu/jour/index.html
UHM Catalog. Page Number: See online: http://www.catalog.hawaii.edu/schoolscolleges/arts-sciences/departments/jour.htm
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.

  • SLO #1: gather, analyze and organize information, and to communicate it clearly, effectively and responsibly using multiple media platforms

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.

Students who completed the foundation courses in the Journalism Program -- namely J301 (Fundamentals of Journalism) and J302 (Journalism Tools & Platforms) -- were asked to complete a capstone project toward the end of J302 that required them to apply the SLO #1 (ability to gather, analyze and organize information and to communicate it clearly and responsibly using multiple media platforms). Each student was expected to plan, create, design and present a blog that had at least two journalistic articles, digital photos, at least one video story, and an interactive component.This required them to use their journalistic research and writing skills, as well as their multimedia production skills, to complete the project.

Students were guided over a number of weeks to help them meet established benchmarks.

At the end of the semester, their projects were evaluated for content and completeness. Students presented their blog in front of the class to their classmates and discussed their individual blog's content and design. The instructor assessed each blog to determine whether it met the minimum requirements for the goals of the project. All 28 students in both sections met the minimum requirements, fulfilling SLO #1, although of course there were differences in quality. Some students far exceed the minimum requirements. About three students needed further work on their projects to meet the minimum requirements and were given an opportunity to make corrections and modifications.

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

28 students in Journalism 302 during Spring 2011 submitted evidence that was evaluated. These students comprised a single cohort of entering students in the Journalism Program from the previous semester (Fall 2010). All of their J302 final projects were assessed for SLO #1.

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.

Judging from the assessment of student capstone projects in J302, Spring 2011, all Journalism majors who entered the program from Fall 2010 and remained in the program until Spring 2011 (two semesters) were able to "gather, analyze and organize information, and to communicate it clearly, effectively and responsibly using multiple media platforms" by the end of their first year in the program. There were qualitative differences -- e.g., some students clearly demonstrated a more advanced ability to research and write news stories or design a blog -- but they all met minimum expected outcomes.

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

1) Instructor will use results to reinforce, improve and enhance the first-year curriculum for journalism students in the future.

2) Instructor will share results with relevant colleagues who also work with first-year journalism students.

3) Instructor will use results to demonstrate to program constituents (e.g., program administration, alumni and industry professionals) how we in the program are incorporating industry-standard knowledge and practices into our curriculum.

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 next time something similar is done, I would like to also have students provide anonymous qualitative feedback (beyond course evaluations) about whether they found this capstone experience to be meaningful to their learning, whether it met their expectations of what they felt they should know as journalism students after two semesters in the program, and how they think these skills will serve them in the future.

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.

I believe our program is committed to the principles of assessing student learning outcomes and will continue to do so in different ways in the future. Using capstone projects and activities seems to be a good way of assessing SLOs because they require students to apply much of what they learned in foundation classes to larger, more complex media projects.