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Linguistics: Graduate Programs

Expected Learning Outcomes: 

Ph.D. degrees (Linguistics Ph.D. and joint Anthropology-Linguistics Ph.D.):

By completion of the Ph.D., students will:

1.     conduct novel research in linguistics using a wide variety of theories and experimental and formal methods

2.     disseminate knowledge gained through research to the field

3.     demonstrate ability to spread engagement with language topics, as students might do in their future career through teaching, outreach, etc.

4.     communicate knowledge about linguistics through writing or orally

 

M.A. Program in Native American Linguistics (NAMA)

By completion of the NAMA program, students will:

1.     access and understand research literature on their language of focus

2.     conduct research on their language of focus

3.     be able to support their community's language activities (e.g. language revitalization programs, language teaching, as appropriate to the community)

4.     be able to disseminate information about language in a professional setting

 

M.S. Program in Human Language Technologies (HLT)

By completion of the HLT program, students will:

1.   demonstrate programming skills for the workplace.

2.   be able to use fundamental algorithms and concepts in Natural Language Processing

3.   show knowledge of tools and packages used in Natural Language Processing

4.   gain skills and experience through an internship that improves the marketability of the student

Assessment Activities: 

Ph.D. Programs:

Students in the both Ph.D. programs are required to complete oral comprehensive exams and a dissertation.  Faculty on each student's oral comprehensive exam committee and each student's dissertation committee fill out a brief survey about the student's demonstration of skills after the oral comprehensive exam and the dissertation defense (direct measure, Appendices B and C). These already existing assessment activities are used to gather program-level assessment data.   Students are also administered a survey during the dissertation process (indirect measure, Appendix D).

Assessment Activity

Outcome 1: novel research

Outcome 2: disseminate research findings

Outcome 3: ability to spread engagement with language

Outcome 4: communicating knowledge

Oral comprehensive faculty survey (Appendix B)

X

 

X

X

Dissertation defense faculty survey (Appendix C)

X

X

X

X

Graduating student survey (Appendix D)

X

X

X

X

The surveys in Appendices B-D are used to assess the learning outcomes.  The oral comprehensive exams include a student presentation on the written comprehensive exam, which in our department requires 1-2 original research papers.  Therefore, both the oral comprehensives and dissertation stage provide an opportunity to assess Outcome 1.  Both the oral comprehensives and the dissertation defense provide a direct demonstration of the student's ability to spread engagement with language topics (Outcome 3) and to communicate their knowledge of linguistics (Outcome 4).  The student's success in disseminating the results of their research (Outcome 2) can be assessed at the dissertation defense stage.  The surveys were designed by the Assessment Committee (consisting of several faculty) and were approved by the faculty.  We began use of these surveys late in Spring semester, 2016.  Once each year at the early Fall faculty meeting, the data is reviewed by the faculty.

NAMA Program:

Students in the NAMA program are required to complete a masters thesis.  Faculty on each student's thesis committee fill out a brief survey about the student's demonstration of skills after reading the thesis (direct measure, Appendix E). This already existing assessment activity is used to gather program-level assessment data.   Students are also administered a survey close to graduation (indirect measure, Appendix F).

Assessment Activity

Outcome 1: research literature

Outcome 2: conduct research on language

Outcome 3: support community language activities

Outcome 4: disseminate information about language

MA thesis faculty survey (Appendix E)

X

X

X

X

Graduating student survey (Appendix F)

X

X

X

X

 

The surveys in Appendices E-F are used to assess the learning outcomes.  The M.A. thesis for the NAMA program typically includes a community-oriented or applied component, as well as more traditional scholarly written research components.  Therefore, the M.A. thesis provides an opportunity for faculty to assess the student's success on all learning outcomes.  The surveys were designed by the Assessment Committee in collaboration with the faculty member who is director of the NAMA program, and were approved by the faculty.  We began use of these surveys late in Spring semester, 2016.  Once each year at the early Fall faculty meeting, the data is reviewed by the faculty.

M.S. in HLT Program:

Students in the HLT program are required to complete an internship and an internship report, which is similar to a masters thesis.  Faculty on each student's thesis committee fill out a brief survey about the student's demonstration of skills after reading the thesis (direct measure, Appendix G). This already existing assessment activity is used to gather program-level assessment data.   Students are also administered a survey close to graduation (indirect measure, Appendix H).

Assessment Activity

Outcome 1: workplace programming skills

Outcome 2: algorithms and concepts

Outcome 3: tools and packages

Outcome 4: internship that improves marketability

Internship Report faculty survey (Appendix G)

X

X

X

X

Graduating student survey (Appendix H)

X

X

X

X

The surveys in Appendices G-H are used to assess the learning outcomes.  The internship report demonstrates the student's use of HLT algorithms, tools, and workplace programming skills, as well as showing how the student related to the internship site.  Therefore, the internship report provides an opportunity for faculty to assess the student's success on all learning outcomes.  The surveys were designed by the Assessment Committee in collaboration with the faculty member who is director of the HLT program, and were approved by the faculty.  We began use of these surveys late in Spring semester, 2016.  Once each year at the early Fall faculty meeting, the data is reviewed by the faculty.

Assessment Findings: 

Table 1.  Linguistics Ph.D. Program. Faculty Assessment of Learning Outcomes after the Dissertation Defense (For clarity, response options chosen 0% of the time have been removed.)

Question

Strongly agree

 

Somewhat agree

 

The student's presentation of his/her research demonstrates that the student has conducted novel research in linguistics.

100.00%

14

0.00%

0

The student's presentation and responses to questions evidence familiarity with a variety of relevant theories.

92.86%

13

7.14%

1

The student's presentation and responses to questions evidence an ability to use appropriate research methods.

85.71%

12

14.29%

2

The student's dissertation defense and written dissertation demonstrate that the student can appropriately disseminate her/his research findings.

100.00%

14

0.00%

0

The student's presentation and responses to questions show an ability to convey knowledge about language to others, such as would suggest an ability to promote engagement with language topics in future teaching, outreach, etc...

92.86%

13

7.14%

1

The student's presentation and responses to questions show that the student can effectively communicate knowledge about linguistics.

92.86%

13

7.14%

1

 

Table 2.  Linguistics Ph.D. Program. Faculty Assessment of Learning Outcomes after the Oral Comprehensive Exam (For clarity, response options chosen 0% of the time have been removed.)

Question

Strongly agree

 

Somewhat agree

 

Neither agree nor disagree

 

The student's presentation on his/her written comprehensive exam(s) (informally known as "prelims") demonstrate that the student has conducted novel research in linguistics.

75.00%

6

12.50%

1

12.50%

1

The student's responses in the oral exam evidence familiarity with a variety of linguistic theories.

50.00%

4

25.00%

2

25.00%

2

The student's responses in the oral exam evidence an ability to use a variety of formal and/or experimental linguistic methods.

75.00%

6

25.00%

2

0.00%

0

The student's responses in the oral exam show an ability to convey knowledge about language to others, such as would suggest an ability to spread engagement with language topics in future teaching, outreach, etc…

75.00%

6

25.00%

2

0.00%

0

The student's responses in the oral exam show that the student can effectively communicate knowledge about linguistics.

75.00%

6

25.00%

2

0.00%

0

 

Table 3.  NAMA Program. Faculty Assessment of Learning Outcomes after the M.A. thesis (For clarity, response options chosen 0% of the time have been removed.)

Question

Strongly agree

 

1. The student's thesis work demonstrates that she/he has  accessed and understood research literature on the language of focus.

100.00%

2

2. The student's thesis work demonstrates that she/he has conducted research on the language of focus.

100.00%

2

3. The student's thesis work demonstrates that the student has gained the necessary skills to support community language activities, such as a language revitalization program or a language teaching program.

100.00%

2

4. The student's thesis work demonstrates that she/he is able to disseminate information about language in a professional setting.

100.00%

2

 

Table 4.  HLT Program. Faculty Assessment of Learning Outcomes after the Internship report (For clarity, response options chosen 0% of the time have been removed.)

Question

Strongly agree

 

Somewhat agree

 

The student's internship report demonstrates that the student has programming skills for the workplace

100.00%

3

0.00%

0

The student's internship report demonstrates that the student is able to use fundamental algorithms and concepts in Natural Language Processing.

66.67%

2

33.33%

1

The student's internship report demonstrates that the student has knowledge of tools and packages used in Natural Language Processing.

33.33%

1

66.67%

2

The student's internship report demonstrates that the student has gained skills and experience through an internship that improves the marketability of the student

100.00%

3

0.00%

0

 

Table 5. Linguistics Ph.D. Program. Student Assessment of Learning Outcomes at the end of the program. (For clarity, response options chosen 0% of the time have been removed.)

Question

Strongly agree

 

Somewhat agree

 

1. The Department of Linguistics provided me with the skills to conduct novel research in Linguistics.

100.00%

3

0.00%

0

2. During my studies, I learned about a variety of theories related to language structure and processing.

66.67%

2

33.33%

1

3. During my studies, I learned to use a variety of experimental and formal methods to analyze language and conduct research.

100.00%

3

0.00%

0

4. The Department of Linguistics provided me with skills to disseminate knowledge gained through research.

66.67%

2

33.33%

1

5. I have shared my research findings with the field through conference talks, publications, or other means.

100.00%

3

0.00%

0

6. During my studies, I learned how to share knowledge of language topics and promote engagement with them, for example through teaching, outreach activities, etc...

66.67%

2

33.33%

1

7. During my studies, I learned to communicate knowledge about linguistics effectively through writing and/or orally.

100.00%

3

0.00%

0

 

Table 6. NAMA Program. Student Assessment of Learning Outcomes at the end of the program. (For clarity, response options chosen 0% of the time have been removed.

Question

Strongly agree

Somewhat agree

Strongly disagree

 

1. The Department of Linguistics and the NAMA program provided me with the skills to access and understand research literature on my language.

0.00%

0

50.00%

1

50.00%

1

2. During my studies, I learned to conduct research on my language

0.00%

0

50.00%

1

50.00%

1

3. During my studies, I learned the skills I need in order to support language activities in my community (as appropriate to my community).

50.00%

1

0.00%

0

50.00%

1

4. The Department of Linguistics and the NAMA program provided me with skills to disseminate information about language in a professional setting (community setting or an academic setting such as a conference).

0.00%

0

50.00%

1

50.00%

1

 

Table 7. HLT Program. Student Assessment of Learning Outcomes at the end of the program. (For clarity, response options chosen 0% of the time have been removed.)

Question

Strongly agree

 

Somewhat agree

 

1. The HLT program provided me with programming skills for the workplace.

20.00%

1

80.00%

4

2. During my studies, I learned to use fundamental algorithms and concepts in Natural Language Processing

60.00%

3

40.00%

2

3. During my studies, I gained knowledge of tools and packages used in Natural Language Processing.

80.00%

4

20.00%

1

4. I gained skills and experience through an internship.

40.00%

2

60.00%

3

 

Change in Response to Findings: 

Because we began collecting data through the assessment activities in Spring 2016, we do not yet have data for a large number of students, especially for the smaller NAMA and HLT programs.  As stated in the Assessment Plan, the faculty reviewed the results of the assessment activities at the first faculty meeting of the Fall 2016 semester.  The faculty decided that it would be premature to alter curriculum or instruction based on the data collected so far, so we will revisit this question at the beginning of Fall 2017.  Overall, it appears that both faculty and students judge that the graduate programs are providing the students with what they need to meet the learning outcomes.  The variability in students' responses for the NAMA program may reflect recent turnover in staffing of this program, which has included departure of one tenured faculty member and subsequent staffing of the program through a series of one-year non-tenure-track faculty.

Updated date: Mon, 01/09/2017 - 09:57