Unit: Anthropology
Program: Anthropology (MA)
Degree: Master's
Date: Thu Dec 15, 2011 - 1:43:01 pm

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

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

Department Website URL:
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: NA

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 2010:

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.

Our department engaged in a discussion around changing the MA requirement to include three core seminars, 601, 602, 603, 604. Many of the younger faculty do not know that this was our MA requirement when we established the original 3 core seminars in the late 1970s or early 1980s.  Now we are moving back to that original curriculum as of 2012. The original idea was that MA graduates would have a basic professional knowledge of the 3 main subfields, cultural, archaeology, and physical anthropology at least sufficient to teach introductory college level courses in these 3 subfields. 

As for somehow measuring the MA SLOs, our department has some way to go if we go beyond the 3 core seminar papers and exams. As it stands, the papers and/or exams produced by core seminar participants plus the final 3 papers or MA thesis are the only documents we have and use to measure effectiveness of the MA program; but measuring this is the sole responsibility of the seminar teacher in the first case and the MA committee in the second case.  We do not (yet) have a mechanism that evaluates the SLOs of the MA degree which might involve larger numbers of the regular faculty with students they do not teach.

On the other hand, over the past year or two and continuing into the coming year, the faculty as a whole is discussing and implementing ways to decide whether successful MA students in our department are qualified to enter our PhD program. We now do this by requiring the student's MA committee to recommend the student to the PhD program followed by a meeting of an ad hoc committee of all the regular faculty who had the student candidate in a class and then, based on the student's progress report and MA dossier,  discussing and voting on accepting or rejecting the MA student's request for admission.  This gate-keeping process and the desire by many to make it more rigorous continues to be a matter of faculty discussion and debate. The problem is that the process does take a lot of oversight and willingness to make hard sometimes divisive decisions which many faculty have either no time and/or stomach for.

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.

Already indicated in #5

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

Already discussed in #5

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.

The results continue to unfold and we the faculty individually, in groups, and as a whole continue to discuss and evaluate the effectiveness of the MA program.

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

This has already been discussed in previous answers.

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.

Yes, for assessment procedures to gain the level of generality and uniformity that you seem to want, there will have to be much greater faculty agreement and involvement. One problem in this regard is that the individual faculty and respective subfields have different ideas about SLOs and rubrics. 

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.

The assessment plan for next year is to continue discussing the problems (especially department-wide problems) of assessment, which as I have said many times, we normally do in our own ways almost all the time.  Our goal is to produce world-class degrees in anthropology, and we by and large do this; but there is always slippage and room for improvement, and we work on improving the rigorousness of our program all the time. But there are different philosophies that our faculty bring to bear on these efforts and we need to be respectful of all.  I think the next step could be to have all MA degree students sit for an MA exam, all at the same time and with the same set of questions graded by a faculty committee; but I can say that this idea will be a hard sell.  As an exercise in assessment, without material consequences for the students, the idea might be more acceptable, but would require logistics and incentives that might be more difficult.