Unit: Communication and Info Sci (PhD, interdisciplinary)
Program: Communication & Info Sci (PhD)
Degree: Doctorate
Date: Tue Sep 27, 2011 - 10:19:26 am

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

The student is expected to spend two to three years, depending on the student’s background,

(A) obtaining comprehensive mastery of the methods and substance in the field of Communication and Information Sciences;

(B) developing the ability to productively synthesize diverse data, theories, and methods; and

(C) demonstrating the ability to conduct research prior to proposing a dissertation study. 

The student then focuses on

(D) proposing and conducting original research in his or her area, and

(E) writing and defending a dissertation on that research. 

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

Department Website URL: http://www.hawaii.edu/cis/?page=policies
Student Handbook. URL, if available online: http://www.hawaii.edu/cis/documents/CIS_Policies_August_2011.pdf
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.

The program continued to review how we encourage student progress toward original research, in concert with passing focus area examinations in specific topic areas. The goal is to facilitate student focus on research that results in a strong proposal and successful dissertation defense early in their academic careers. This includes assistance in forging bonds with faculty members as research mentors and potential committee members.

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.

Evidence came from the semi-annual review of student progress conducted by the Executive Board. This review includes student self-reports of progress, faculty opinions of student progress, and a review of program milestones acheived by each student individually and by entering classes of students collectively.

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

Evidence of each individual student's progress included courses attempted, grades earned, research papers published, focus area examinations attempted and the results, proposals prepared and the result of proposal and dissertation defenses. Faculty interaction included serving as research mentor, chair or committee member. Executive Board members represent the four sponsoring departments and they reported on faculty/student participation in departmental activities and courses. A spring meeting of all core and affiliated faculty also reviewed program progress, especially with regard to alignment of focus areas offered and student participation.

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)
Other: CIS Executive Board

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)
Other: Applied program policies to student progress milestones

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

Students are progressing through the examination stage more quickly than in the past. We had three students complete all area exams in one year, which is a first for the program. Students still stall in locating an appropriate research mentor and meeting the paper publication requirement. Students expressed the need for guidance in finding appropriate research methods and supporting methods courses. Faculty voiced concern about the occasional mis-match between committee composition and faculty expertise. There is no mechanism for intervention in committee composition before the proposal defense.

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

Three policy changes were made by the governing executive board. We now require enrollment in CIS 699 while the student works with a faculty member to produce a publishable research paper. This formalizes what had been encouraged as practice. We require a second methods course before the proposal defense. We produced a broad list of acceptable courses, due to the diversity of traditions in our program. Increasing the minimum requiremet into program policies helps ensure that students and advisors think about and plan for appropriate training. We also strengthened the justification required for committee composition before the proposal defense. The CIS Executive Board will review the suitabiity of the committee for the proposed topic more closely than in the past to ensure that appropriate expertise for the topic exists within the committee.

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 review of CIS policies each semester is successful. As we review progress of individual students, we discover ways in which program policies can support and encourage their success. Students and faculty are very interactive in suggesting modifications. The requirement that all students take CIS 720 each semester keeps them involved beyond the exam and proposal defense stage, providing a valuable means for informal feedback.

The CIS chair rotates every three years. This year we have a new chair from a different sponsoring department. This affords the opportunity for students and faculty to voice any changes they would like to see in CIS 720 compositon or delivery and the program more generally.

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.

As part of our ongoing internal review, we have identified a goal for next year of assessing the quality and consistency of the Student Learning Outcomes for each individual course and how they are expressed in the syllabi.