Unit: English
Program: English (PhD)
Degree: Doctorate
Date: Fri Nov 01, 2013 - 3:48:28 pm

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

1) understanding of the discipline of English today and its relationship to other disciplines

2) awareness of the contributions of Oceanic and/or Asian cultures to the formation of English Studies in the 21st century 

3) understanding of advanced research methods and/or creative techniques

4) ability to demonstrate advanced critical analysis in both written and oral formats

5) ability to map, historicize and contextual three specialized sub-fields

6) college-level teaching skills

7) advanced research and/or creative skills for a book-length publications 

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

Department Website URL: http://www.english.hawaii.edu/grad/grad.html
Student Handbook. URL, if available online:
Information Sheet, Flyer, or Brochure URL, if available online: NA
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.

For the PhD program, we have three kinds of assessment activities

1) exit surveys conducted by the Associate Dean of LLL's that ask students questions about their experiences in the program, their assessment of how well they were prepared to meet the SLOs, and that ask about their future plans

2) All PhD students with Graduate Assistantships teach some combination of 100 and 200 level classes, and we try to give each GA who is past course work the chance to teach 1 upper-division course so that their teaching portfolios show a range of teaching experiences from non-majors ENG 100 (Composition I) and the ENG 270 series (Introductory Literature Program) to upper-division courses for English majors. All GAs must have students in their course turn in course evaluations for every course they teach. And each GA is evaluated by a tenure-line faculty member at least once a year (more if they choose).

3) Using our curriculum map to facilitate discussion, the department Chair and Graduate Director conduct separate meetings with the graduate students and the graduate faculty to discuss what parts of the program are working and what aspects could be improved. In AY 2012-2013, the discussion with the faculty focused on how to improve student performance on the area exams. The discussion with the students revealed that they were most concerned to get more support in teaching the 200-level ILP courses.

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.

Please see answers to question 6.

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

1) exit surveys were completed by 8 out of 14 students who had completed their PhDs in the AY 2012-2013.

2) 15 out of 17 GAs were evaluated by  different faculty members conducting class observations. One GA left early to take a teaching fellowship at the University of Chicago and another GA was assigned as the Assistant Director for the Mentoring Program and so did not teach. In total, we had 33 sections taught by GAs, and 33 sets of student evaluations for those sections.

3) Approximately 15 students attended the meeting with the Graduate Director and the Chair. Approximately 30 faculty members attended the Graduate Faculty meeting with Graduate Director and the Chair.

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)
Other: for 1) the Associate Dean, for 2) the Associate Chair for 1 & 3 the Graduate Director and Graduate Program Committee

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)
Other: for 1) the Associate Dean does a quantitative analysis of the survey results.

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

In relation to the exit survey questions about how well our new PhDs felt prepared in relation to the SLOs, the English PhD Program did extraordinarily well. Please note that while the SLOs on the exit survey are stated with slight differences from our curriculum map, they are nonetheless essentially the same, with the one exception being the lack of a question that would correspond to SLO #2 on the curriculum map.

1)  Understand theoretical issues and research methods in current literature in your field of study.

100% indicated that they were very satisfied with the preparation that they received (the highest possible answer)

2)Critically evaluate theoretical issues and research methods discussed in current literature in your field of study

       100% indicated they were very satisfied with the preparation they received.

3) Communicate effectively in speaking about the theoretical issues and research methods in your area of expertise (e.g., at work or professional meetings)

87% answered were very satisfied with the preparation they received. One person (=13%) answered “adequately” and added a qualitative comment  that “I do think that there are opportunities within the department to increase skills in speaking. I’m just not a speaker and did not have an interest in availing myself of the opportunities.”

4) Communicate effectively in writing about the theoretical issues and research methods in your area of expertise by applying certain theoretical frameworks in your area of expertise (e.g. through in house reports or articles in professional journals)

100% were either satisfied or very satisfied with their preparation in this area, with 87% indicating very satisfied and 13% (=one person) indicating satisfied.

5) Conduct research or engage in systematic investigation in your area of expertise by applying theoretical frameworks and methodological knowledge and techniques specific to the field

       100% indicated that they were very satisfied with their preparation.

       6) Teach within the area of expertise

100% were either satisfied or very satisfied with their preparation in this area, with 87% indicating very satisfied and 13% (=1 person) indicating satisfied. The one person who indicated satisfied also wrote the following quantitative comment: “It would be useful to receive some lessons with regard to teaching courses that don’t have a WI emphasis. It has been a challenge to design assignments for non WI classes.”

2. GA Teaching: The Associate Chair is responsible for reviewing all GA Teaching Evaluations, assigning faculty to peform class room observations, and reviewing the written reports of those observations. Although he does not do a statistical analysis of the evaluations, he does talk with individual students whose evaluations are low, or that contain a consistent pattern of comments that are of concern. 

3). Curriculum Map Guided Discussions. What emerged most strongly from the discussion with the graduate students and the Chair and Graduate Director was that some GAs wanted more support for teaching their ILP (200-level courses) and that the MA and PhD students wanted professors to manage discussion and assignments in seminars in ways that acknowledge the different preparation students bring to the seminars. These concerns were brought to the corrollary meeting with the faculty, who discussed ways to enlist advanced MA and PhD students as models or mentors within a very mixed classroom. For example, having advanced students take the lead presenting in class early in a semester, or having different assignments for a given class based on where students are in the program.  The faculty discussion also focused on the area exams and was an occasion for faculty to articulate expectations, discuss the kinds of preparation they want sutdents to have, and the kinds of contact they want with the students they are examining at various points in the process.

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

1) Extit Surveys are reviewed by the GPC. As these survey results were quite positive, we did not take action based on them. But we did note some ways that the survey needs to be updated to reflect the curriculum MAP and also a curriculum change. The comment about teaching, however, was one that had come up in the curriculum map discussion with graduate students. Please see 3) below for how we dealt with that.

2) GA Teaching Evaluations. Please see answer to question 11.

3) Curriculum Map Guided Discussion. As a result of the curriculum map guided discussion with the graduate students, the graduate director and another member of the GPC (who served as Graduate Director in spring 2013 when the discussion took place) have created a laulima projects site on which we have collected and made available to GAs teaching ILP (270 sequence) courses next semester, sample syllabi, assignments and exams from ILP courses taught by 7 different faculty members and 3 different GAs. We have also made ourselves available for these students to show us their syllabi and to talk about other ILP-related questions. We have also offered to hold workshops on particular aspects of teaching ILP courses.

As a result of the curriculum map meeting with the Graduate Faculty, the Graduate Director is preparing an additional handout for the supervisors of area exams to remind them of procedural issues. Each semester, the GPC holds area exam workshops, and as a result of last year's discussion with the faculty, we will spend more time on talking about what it means to map, historicize and contextualize an area. We are also inviting two students whose exams were quite excellent to discuss their study techniques and exam strategies. The GPC is also looking at the average time between course work and taking the area exams as well as the time between completion of the area exams and the defending of the prospectus. We are also looking at the exam structure of other peer and benchmark English Departments. We will be concerned this year (AY 2013-2014) to consider whether the area exams should be substantially changed. 

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.