Unit: Philosophy
Program: Philosophy (BA)
Degree: Bachelor's
Date: Thu Oct 10, 2013 - 3:42:43 pm

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

1. Students acquire the skills
  1.1. of careful reading and interpretation of philosophical texts
  1.2. of writing clear, succinct, and well-argued papers
  1.3. of responding critically to the ideas advanced by others
  1.4. of expressing ideas logically and coherently.
2. Students acquire a basic knowledge of the history of Western Philosophy.
3. Students are acquainted with at least one non-Western philosophical tradition.
4. Students are acquainted with at least one major field in contemporary philosophy.
5. Students demonstrate the ability to write a paper on a philosophical topic on which they have conducted independent research.

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

Department Website URL: http://www.hawaii.edu/phil/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=85:ba-learning-outcomes&catid=61:undergraduate-major&Itemid=59
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: course syllabi

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.

Writing Skills: critical thinking, concise expression, mastery of philosophically relevant vocabulary, ability to defend a position

Reading Skills: comprehension, identification of premise/conclusion structure, "active reading" (posing questions to the text)

Oral Skills: clarity, organization, enunciation, "thinking on one's feet", appropriate visual aids/handouts

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.

Exit reports are gathered from students when they prepare their goldenrods.

Capstone course (449) essays are read by the assessment committee to globally assess the student "product"  at the conclusion of the major program.

Sample oral presentations of the graduating class to the entire department.

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

Roughly a dozen.

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.

The exit reports were quite positive. They were favorably impressed by the breadth of courses offered, and the exposure to critical thought processes (as opposed to mere right or wrong answers). Some remarked on the new perspectives they were exposed to on ethical and social issues. One suggestion was that more analytic philosophy courses should be offered. Some complaints were raised about the fact that there aren't enough philosophy faculty to provide as many courses as would seem needed.

The evaluation of the essays produced in 449 led to the conclusion by the faculty that not enough focus was being directed on the central fields and issues of philosophy.

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

Because of faculty dissatisfaction with the essays generated in 449, the major program requirements were overhauled, with new emphasis on the primary fields in philosophy (ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, aesthetics, political philosophy, and the philosophy of science). Majors are now required to take at least three third-year courses in these fields (with fewer electives available). We have also asked for a new position (but been turned down for budgetary reasons).

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.