Unit: Theatre & Dance
Program: Theatre (MA, MFA)
Degree: Master's
Date: Fri Oct 04, 2013 - 2:30:25 pm

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

MA Theatre Plan A (thesis)

1. Student demonstrates in-depth knowledge in Western or Asian Theory/History.

2.  Student demonstrates comprehensive knowledge of chosen area of specialization of Theatre scholarship.  

3.  Student demonstrates original research and thought by conducting an independent research project resulting in a written thesis.

MA Theatre Plan B 

1. Student demonstrates good working knowledge in each of the five major areas of Drama and Theatre: Western Theory/History; Asian Theatre; Technical Theatre/Design; Acting/Directing; and Youth Theatre, with one of these areas forming an elective focus 

2. Students can create and demonstrate informed and personal artistic choices in coursework and productions (i.e, design, directing, acting, etc.).

MFA Theatre

1.  Student demonstrates the professional competence to function successfully in the artistic concentration of the degree track

2. Students can create and demonstrate informed and personal artistic choices in coursework and productions in the artistic concentration of the degree track

3.  Student can demonstrate broad knowledge of the context and functioning of related theatrical artistic areas to that of the chosen artistic concentration.

4.   Students demonstrate, through portfolio review, preparedness to enter and compete within the chosen degree track area, professionally and/or academically.    

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

Department Website URL: http://hawaii.edu/theatre/graduate/GradTheatreSLOs2009.pdf
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) Select one option:

Curriculum Map File(s) from 2013:

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) Did your program engage in any program assessment activities between June 1, 2012 and September 30, 2013? (e.g., establishing/revising outcomes, aligning the curriculum to outcomes, collecting evidence, interpreting evidence, using results, revising the assessment plan, creating surveys or tests, etc.)

No (skip to question 14)

6) For the period June 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013: State the assessment question(s) and/or assessment goals. Include the SLOs that were targeted, if applicable.

MFA: How well thesis work demonstrated the achievement of the targeted SLOs.What are the students’ perceptions of their own achievement of the program outcomes?

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


After forming a committee, students prepared qualifying projects in their area, which is evaluated by the committee.

Proposals for culminating creative project were valuated by the respective committees*.

After the creative projects were implemented, the students prepared a written component.  The projects were then evaluated by the committee in an oral defense.  In certain concentrations, such as directing, students involved in the production also fill out confidential evaluations of the production process.

All graduating MFA students in 2012-2013 were given an online survey in which students rated their achievement of the program outcomes.

*Note that MFA degrees in Acting, Asian Performance-Acting, and Design are based upon a cumulative set of thesis projects.

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

9 MFA, no MA

9) 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)

10) 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)

11) For the assessment question(s) and/or assessment goal(s) stated in Question #6:
Summarize the actual results.

MFA: After MFA committee meetings in Fall and Spring, area faculty (grouped by MFA concentration) consulted and recommended changes for the future, many of which have already been implemented, or are being worked on by the departmental curriculum committee.

MFA Exit Surveys: (5 choices ranging from Extremely Well (5) to Poorly (1)

Learning Outcome #1: Average 3.33

#2: Average:  3.67

#3: Average: 3.67

#4 Average: 3.00

Faculty used student comments on these surveys, thesis project evaluations, and defenses before thesis committees as evidence to implement the changes detailed in question #12.

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

MA Theatre (plans A or B)

MA Plan A


An important recent change to the MA plan A is that all MA (A) and PhD students are now required to present a paper each spring, at the Theatre and Dance Graduate Research Symposium; papers may come from previous class work, but are prepared for presentation through work with each student’s graduate advisor.  The Symposium is run like a professional conference.


Beginning in Spring 2014, all MA and PhD students will be reviewed and evaluated annually, as MFA students have been all along, by their advisor and committee.  To help raise the level of scholarly professionalism in our graduate students, we plan to begin requiring that all students who wish to submit a paper to a conference must work with a faculty member in developing the paper for submission, and if accepted, in preparing the paper presentation.

In response to changes in our field and student interest, we have just started to plan a new MA program for Performance Studies under the umbrella of Theatre and Dance. Ignoring the disciplinary boundaries and going beyond the traditional genres of the Performing Arts, Performance Studies engages with a broad spectrum of performances not only in the arts but also in politics, economics, religion, society and media culture. Different from our existing MA programs, which are mostly taught by Theatre and Dance faculty, a large number of required Performance Studies courses will be offered by affiliate faculty from other UHM departments (Political Science, Art, History, Music, Communicology, etc.)


MFA  Theatre  


In Design, we have introduced THEA 645, an advanced lighting design class to bring lighting design into alignment with other design areas.  We have also clarified and elaborated on the MFA checklist to make standards more consistent across thesis committee chairs, and to make it easier for students to understand our expectations for the degree.  We have eedesigned the THEA 657 class to provide a greater focus on collaborative practices, and now require this class to be taken twice (rather than the previous requirement of once)

For the MFA in Acting, we have introduced new collaboration with the School of Nursing, HealthCAST, a "Collaborative Acting Simulation Training (CAST)."  MFA acting students, under the direction of an MFA Directing student, research, train and participate in patient simulations in conjunction with Nursing students.  May also include BA acting students as well, and will draw from THEA 221 classes for large "disaster" simulations."

The Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) area has instituted several new degree requirements, including a required focus on production, instruction, and community engagement.  In addition, the TYA area intends to add an annual production that will tour to local schools, giving students additional opportunities to expand their knowledge of the TYA field.

For the MFA in Playwriting, this semester we will kick-off a public reading/workshop event for playwriting students enrolled in THEA 619 (4 sessions scheduled, more to come).


Future plans in Design include an internship program with local (or non-local) theatres, giving greater professional experience and exposure to our designers.  A course number designating teaching practicum rather than the current practice of using THEA 699 for this purpose.  And a new course focused on the director/designer relationship and collaboration.

In Playwriting, we are developing another graduate level playwriting course to fulfill the required 9 credits for the Playwriting MFA (we are short a course in program).

We are also planning to create an MFA in Hawaiian Theatre.

MA Plans A& B, and MFA

We are working on a general communication issue:  grad students need to be reminded more regularly about deadlines (such as TW scholarships, applying for graduation, GA-ships, external scholarships). Since regular email and postings in the department do not work sufficiently we will investigate having a regular time-table on our website that allows students to check for upcoming deadlines.

13) Beyond the results, were there additional conclusions or discoveries?
This can include insights about assessment procedures, teaching and learning, program aspects and so on.


14) If the program did not engage in assessment activities, please explain.
Or, if the program did engage in assessment activities, please add any other important information here.