B.A. Philosophy – Written Communication (2013-2014)

Have formal Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) or Student Learning Outcomes (SLOS) been developed?

YES, “Goals for Student Learning in the Major”

Published where? (website)

Philosophy Webpage

Do PLOs include or imply link to Core Competency? (AY 2013-2014: Written Communication)?

Yes, “Students who successfully complete the major in Philosophy are expected to: Be able to think critically about philosophical issues and express philosophical ideas in an articulate and well reasoned manner.”

Process of Core Competency Assessment:

Course (400- level)

PHIL 312, Fall 2013. (Though this is officially a 300-level course, it is as demanding as many 400-level courses and adequately reflects the upper-level pedagogical goals of the department.)


Write a 6-8 page paper connecting at least two of the philosophical positions presented in the semester

Type of Student Artifact

6-8 page paper in Chicago format

Rubric or other instrument

GE Rubric for Written Communication

Data (measurement of the competency)

Ten papers (n = 10) were read by the Assessment Committee , with an overall average score just over 3 (competent). The readers noted that the papers showed the most weakness in formulating and defending their theses, with even the most generous assessor noting some key limitations in this capacity; the readers were on the whole pleasantly surprised by the quality of the language and grammar of the submissions, though they noted that the fact the papers had already gone through two rounds of revision probably elevated these scores. Reviewers also noticed some systematic differences in their scoring and decided to meet again to ensure that grading is approximately uniform across the department.

Evaluator Tabular Data

Action Taken in Response to the Data (What will you do in response to the Findings?)

The Department has reviewed the data and will adopt the following: ( 1) Increased emphasis during class time on developing and proving thesis statements; (2) Increased peer review with drafting and revision strategies; (3) Reminding students of the existence of on-campus tutoring services (such as Kilohana).

Date of Last Program Review