Assessment Plan and Assessment Mapping: Master of Arts/Sciences in American Studies (Folklore Specialization)

We have instituted three points of assessment that all American Studies (Folklore) students must participate in. Thus, in addition to their regular assessment in graduate courses in a variety of departments (for example, history, English, etc.), American Studies (Folklore) graduate students are specifically assessed for their progress toward learning objectives in/on:

  1. ENGL 6700 (Folklore Theory and Methods) and ENGL 6720 (Fieldwork) are required for all Folklore students. In addition, all Folklore students are required to complete at least three Folklore seminars from a variety of offerings.
  2. Thesis proposal and defense (Plan A and Plan B)
  3. Thesis and defense (Plan A and Plan B)


A: Assessment Mapping: Folklore Courses

American Studies (Folklore) students are required to take ENGL 6700 (Folklore Theory and Methods) and ENGL 6720 (Folklore Fieldwork). In addition, all Folklore students are required to complete at least three Folklore seminars from a variety of offerings. All classes must be completed with a B- or higher to be counted on a student’s Program of Study.

In 2016, the Graduate English and American Studies Curriculum Committees and faculty reviewed the coverage of the program learning goals across courses for the English programs. Coverage is ranked as high (H), medium (M), or low (L). The result of this ranking is presented in the following table. The Graduate Advisory Committee will review the assessment mapping every spring to update, amend, and correct it.

Course

L1:

Acquire knowledge of research tools, methods, and techniques with the aim of appying these in folklore research

L2:

Conduct, present, and defend a body of folklore research undertaken during the program

L3:

Make effective oral arguments in professional settings

ENGL 6700 (required class) H M L
ENGL 6710 H M L
ENGL 6720
(required class)
H L L
ENGL 6730
(no longer offered)
H H H
ENGL 6740 H M L
ENGL 6750 H L L
ENGL 6760 H M L
ENGL 6770 H M L
ENGL 6900 H L L
ENGL 6970 H H H

B. and C.: Thesis Description

The Plan A thesis or B thesis/research project is a requirement of all American Studies (Folklore) students. Students undertake their thesis during their second year. The Plan A thesis requires students to enroll in 6 credits over one or two semesters.  The department minimum length for the thesis is 50 pages, but committees are free to set their own minimum above 50. The Plan B thesis requires students to enroll in three thesis credits. The department minimum is 25 pages, but committees are free to set their own minimum above 25.

Students form a thesis committee of at least three faculty members who are appointed to the graduate faculty: A major advisor, a committee member, and an outside member.


B. Assessment Mapping: Thesis Proposal and Proposal Defense

The thesis proposal is a written document produced by the student, revised under the guidance of the thesis advisor, and then shared with the entire thesis committee. Students may be required by the advisor and/or entire committee to revise their thesis proposal multiple times before they are allowed to go to oral defense.

The thesis proposal oral defense results in one of four decisions, which is voted on by the entire thesis committee:

  • Pass: No revision required. Student may proceed directly to researching and writing the thesis.
  • Pass with minor revisions: Student may be required to make these minor revisions before he/she is allowed to proceed to the researching/writing of the thesis, or the committee may allow the student to proceed to the researching/writing of the thesis and to address the minor revisions in the thesis itself.
  • Pass with major revisions: Student may be required to make these major revisions before he/she is allowed to proceed to the researching/writing of the thesis, or the committee may allow the student to proceed to the researching/writing of the thesis and to address the major revisions in the thesis itself.
  • Fail: Student is required to rewrite most or all of the proposal and must re-sit the oral defense.

Assessment of Learning Objectives: Both the thesis proposal and thesis proposal defense require mastery of Learning Objectives 1, 2, and 3. Below is a table that describes how the thesis proposal and thesis proposal defense address the learning objectives.

Event

L1:

Acquire knowledge of research tools, methods, and techniques with the aim of appying these in folklore research

L2:

Conduct, present, and defend a body of folklore research undertaken during the program

L3:

Make effective oral arguments in professional settings

Oral defense of written thesis proposal H H H

C. Assessment Mapping: Thesis and Thesis Defense

The thesis is a written document produced by the student and revised under the guidance of the thesis advisor and/or thesis committee. When the advisor and/or thesis committee decide the thesis is defendable (sometimes after multiple revisions), the defendable version of the thesis is then shared with the entire committee and an appointment for examination is filed (at least two weeks before the defense date) with the Graduate School.

The thesis defense is an oral examination of the thesis. The thesis oral defense results in one of four decisions, which is voted on by the entire thesis committee:

  • Pass: No revision of thesis required.
  • Pass with minor revisions: Student must make minor revisions before submitting the thesis to the Graduate School for review (for Plan A) or the library (for Plan B). Unless the revisions are extremely light, the thesis advisor reviews them to make certain they have been completed satisfactorily.
  • Pass with major revisions: Student must make major revisions before submitting the thesis to the Graduate School for review (for Plan A) or the library (for Plan B). The thesis advisor and/or entire committee reviews the revised thesis to make certain the revisions have been completed satisfactorily.
  • Fail: Student is required to rewrite most or all of the thesis and must re-sit the oral defense.

Assessment of Learning Objectives: The thesis and thesis defense require mastery of Learning Objectives 1, 2, and 3. Below is a table that describes how the thesis and thesis proposal defense address the learning objectives.

Event

L1:

Acquire knowledge of research tools, methods, and techniques with the aim of appying these in folklore research

L2:

Conduct, present, and defend a body of folklore research undertaken during the program

L3:

Make effective oral arguments in professional settings

ENGL 6970: Thesis credits. (Plan A requires 6, Plan B requires 3) H H H
Oral defense of written thesis proposal
H H H