Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations
In some summaries of assessment activity, goals are referred to by number (e.g., K-2 is knowledge goal 2).
Outcomes assessment began in 1989-90 in the Chinese program, and in 1990-91 in the Japanese program, with evaluation of student performance on a few knowledge and skills goals. Assessments of additional knowledge and skills goals were added in subsequent years. The department elected to suspend outcomes assessment for 1992-93 because of ongoing administrative and curricular restructuring. Assessment was resumed in 1993-94. All knowledge and skill goals except knowledge area 4 are currently assessed for Chinese majors.
Only knowledge goals K-2 and K-3 ( familiarity with the canon and awareness of the historical and cultural contexts in which particular works were written) and skills goals S-1 and S-3 (ability to read modern texts and ability to speak and comprehend Japanese sufficient for all situations in daily life and for a basic level of academic conversation) are assessed for Japanese majors.
Majors in both areas are asked to read and translate previously unseen passages. Japanese majors demonstrate their ability to speak and comprehend Japanese by answering questions about their translation passages. Chinese majors participate in an oral interview.
To assess students' achievement of the program's knowledge and skill goals, specially-written questions are embedded in the final exams of advanced courses. For each course, two faculty members other than the course instructor evaluates majors' answers to these assessment questions. The scale ranges from 1 (very good) to 2 (good) to 3 (unsatisfactory) for each question.
Each year, the great majority of answers have been rated in the top two categories--three-quarters or more in each of the advanced Chinese courses and 80% or more in the advanced Japanese courses. The notable exception was a section of CHIN 3210 (Classical Chinese) taught for the first time by that particular faculty member; the course was assigned to a different faculty member the next year and the department's classical Chinese specialists planned a standard curriculum so that regardless of who teaches it the students will be exposed to a certain number of important texts and styles. In 1994-95 students' ability to interpret and analyze poetry in CHIN 4811 (Worlds of Ancient and Medieval Chinese Poetry) suggested that these particular aspects of their skills need attention, although their knowledge-related performance was generally quite satisfactory.
In addition, in 1989-90 and 1990-91 each major was given a 5-minute oral examination by a faculty member other than the instructor of the student's advanced modern language course. Definite deficiencies were noted in the 1989-90 exam of Chinese majors, reflecting problems that had already been noticed in other contexts. The department had already planned to revise CHIN 3120 (Advanced Modern Chinese) and to prepare new teaching materials designed to make use of the recently redeveloped Language Technology Center on campus. 1990-91 performance was definitely improved.
Outcomes Assessment 1997-1998
Outcomes assessment for the Japanese language program was conducted among Japanese majors in conjunction with the final examination for the second semester of fourth-year Japanese (JPNS 4120) in Spring term 1998. Two basic skill areas were tested: (1) Skill 1, the ability to read modern Japanese with sufficient fluency that analysis of contents of a text can be performed without being hindered by grammatical problems; and (2) Skill 3, the ability to speak and comprehend Japanese sufficient for all situations in daily life and for a basic level of academic conversation. To test Skill 1, a previously unseen passage in Japanese was presented to the students for them to read without the use of a dictionary. Students were asked to translate selected portions of the passage. To test Skill 3, the students were then asked several questions in Japanese about the passage to which they were to respond in the target language. The six graduating majors were rated on a scale of 1 to 3: 1=good competence; 2=satisfactory; 3=poor.
Outcomes assessment for Japanese literature was conducted among Japanese majors in conjunction with but separately from the final examination for the course entitled Modern Japanese Literature in Translation (JPNS 4841) in Spring term 1998. An assessment of knowledge of both classical and modern Japanese literature was conducted. Two general knowledge areas were tested: (1) Knowledge area 2, familiarity with selected canonical or widely recognized works and their authors; and (2) Knowledge area 3, an awareness of the historical and cultural contexts in which particular works were written. To test Knowledge area 2, students were asked to identify a list of ten principal authors and works from the Japanese literary canon. To test Knowledge area 3, students were asked five essay questions in which they had to discuss historical and cultural factors that contributed to the formation of given literary works or genres. Five Japanese majors in this class were rated on each skill on a scale from 1 to 3: 1=good knowledge; 2=satisfactory; 3=poor.
Outcomes assessment for the Chinese language was conducted among Chinese majors in conjunction with the final examination for third-year Chinese (CHIN 3120) for modern Chinese and the final examination for Readings in Classical Chinese (CHIN 3220) for classical Chinese.
For the modern language, the following three skills were tested:
1) the ability to read modern Chinese with sufficient fluency to analyze texts without being hindered by grammatical problems
3) the ability to speak and comprehend Mandarin sufficiently for all situations in daily life and for a basic level of academic conversation
5) the ability to communicate such interpretations competently in standard written English
To test these skills students were asked comprehension questions based on authentic written, video and audio materials. An oral interview was also conducted. Students were also asked to translate passages from a contemporary Chinese text. The students (six in all) were rated on a scale of 1-3, again with 1=good competence, 2=satisfactory, and 3=poor. In this and other ratings reported, ratings were done by a faculty committee.
In addition these same students were tested in the following two areas of Knowledge, using the same rating scale.
Knowledge Area 2: Familiarity with selected canonical or widely recognized texts
Knowledge Area 3: Awareness of the historical and cultural contexts in which particular works were written.
The ratings were as follows:
Skills #1 and #5 and Knowledge Areas #2 and #3 as listed above were tested through questions embedded in the final examination for CHIN 3220, Readings in Classical Chinese. In addition, the department also tested Skill #2 (the ability to read classical Chinese with the aid of appropriate reference works, at the level at which the text may begin to be appreciated for literary value) and the following two areas of knowledge:
Knowledge Area 1: an awareness of the fundamental outlines of the history of Chinese literature, from the Shih ching to the present
Knowledge Area 6: awareness of the challenges, deficiencies, and possible gains inherent in the process of translating from one language to another The results of this assessment were (Skill=S, Knowledge Area=KA):
Outcomes assessment for Chinese literature (in translation) was conducted among Chinese majors in conjunction with the final examination for CHIN 4851. Skills 4 and 5 and areas of knowledge 2, 3 (as described above) and also Knowledge Area 5 (awareness of the importance of language to intellectual development and vitality) were tested. The results for the four students tested were as follows:
Based on the ratings of students in modern Chinese, classical Chinese, and Chinese literature, the department has concluded that no curricular changes are needed at this time.
Last revision 05/24/02
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