of Student Learning

Assessment of Student Learning

University of Minnesota

DATE: September 19, 2003
SUBJECT: Assessment of Student Learning Committee Minutes
PRESENT Katherine Benson (Chair), James Hall, Stephen Burks, Nancy Helsper, Paul Myers, Dwight 
Purdy, Joanna Solotaroff, and Tim Lindberg

Dian Lopez, Michelle Page

The ASL meeting began at 3:45 PM in Behmler Conference Room with introductions of the committee members. Benson said that two new faculty members would be assigned to the committee to replace Peh Ng and Rujira Rojjanaprapayon. Benson distributed copies of the meeting schedule for fall 2003, noting that all meetings will be held in Prairie Lounge. She said because it was difficult to find a time that all members could meet, it was necessary to alternate the meeting days and time.

Benson asked for any additions or corrections to the ASL minutes dated April 18, 2003. Motion (Burks/Purdy) to approve the minutes, unanimously approved.

Benson discussed a memo she had received from Mary Elizabeth Bezanson in regards to a course on group interactions. Bezanson's memo asked for permission for her students to attend all ASL committee meetings and observe the committee. Burks asked if any issues that the committee would be discussing would be sensitive. Lopez commented that the committee usually does not talk about sensitive issues, and that this should not be a problem. Benson will notify Bezanson that the students will be welcome to observe all upcoming meetings.

Benson distributed copies of the first page of the Assessment of Student Learning web page. This page describes the membership and powers assigned to the committee. Discussion followed.

Assessement Tool (Lopez, Page)
Benson distributed to the committee members copies of "Creating Unified and Integrated Tools for Classrooms, Course and Program Assessment by Using Instructional Technology", by Benson, Cushman, Lopez and Page (2003) to the committee members. Benson said that Lopez and Page were there to discuss the new assessment tools, and that they are seeking feedback from the committee on the assessment tool. Page began by giving a brief background of the group. Page said that the group is comprised of one faculty from each Division, working to create an electronic on-line assessment tool, that is more user-friendly and streamlined.

Lopez discussed with the committee the Evaluation Matrix and the Rubric Generator. She said that they have 8 samples, but chose a couple of representatives for the packet. Burks questioned the definition of the "Rubric," and Lopez gave an explanation. Lopez said they are trying to make the Rubric Generator as user-friendly as possible. Lopez also noted that Sungur will help with the data entry, and that reports would be summarize in detail.

Page said that not everything needs to be measured by the Rubric, that the purpose is to streamline and make assessment easier, more time-effective and user-friendly. Mapping was discussed; Lopez noted that mapping is up to the professor. Lopez said that what's nice about the assessment tool is that you can do it once for the course, and if necessary, changes can be made to make the course better.

Lopez discussed the Evaluation Matrix with the committee. She said that the professor would use the Matrix for designing and evaluating the course. She said the conception was to evaluate the difference between the beginning and end results. This could be done by a pre-test and post-test. She said that it is up to each discipline to determine what is important and choose. Page said that the added value is to see where they were in the beginning and where they are in the end. The end point is the only thing that is evaluated. Purdy was concerned that some courses might find some of Matrix difficult to apply, such as how it would be applied to creative activities. Page commented that they are striving for flexibility.

Lopez said that she is on a regional assessment committee and attended a meeting in August. She said that many people are interested in testing the assessment tool. Lopez said that she has talked with a person from NSF, and also noted that NCA evaluators were at the regional meeting and are aware of what they are doing with the assessment tool

Solotaroff said that student assessment needs more personal feedback. Discussion followed. Lopez replied that this could be put into the Rubric Generator. Page said that tools do not replace the formative feedback an instructor gives. Lopez said that the best feedback is obtained from the three questions at the end of Rubrics.

Lopez said that this was a good discussion, and was hopeful that more time could be spent discussing it at another meeting. She noted that the grants are due October 15, and October 30, and they would be notified in March if they receive the grants. She said if the grants were received, they would have feedback from others the following summer. Lopez and Page left the meeting.

Benson said that the Discipline Assessment reports are to be completed by April 30, 2004 for the Accreditation report to the NCA.  Not all the reports are complete, and a sub-committee is needed.

Benson said that the GenEd Assessment committee would continue with the same questions. Two new sub-committees will be formed, Assessment of Service Learning and NCA Trends. Discussion and formation of the sub-committees continued. The following committees are:

GenEd sub-committee: Stephen Burks (chair), Nancy Helsper, Dwight Purdy, and Tim Lindberg

Discipline Assessment: Katherine Benson and 2 new faculty appointed
Duties:  Contacting, encouraging, and assisting disciplines with assessment if necessary.

Service-Learning Assessment: Argie Manolis, Joanna Solotaroff, Annie Olson and Jim Hall
Duties:  Assessing courses with service learning.  Benson noted that this sub-committee would meet fall term only.

NCA Trends: Paul Myers
Duties:  Review changes in criteria for NCA accreditation as posted on NCA's  Website and report to committee

Benson said that each sub-committee would set meeting times and report back as follows:

Fall Semester 2003 - Meeting Schedule
The ASL will meet on the following dates during the fall semester:

October 8, 10:00-11:00 AM, Prairie Lounge
Agenda will include report from the GenEd Sub-committee (Stephen Burks).

October 24. 3:45-5:00 PM, Prairie Lounge
Agenda will include report from the Discipline Assessment sub-committee (Katherine Benson).

November 12, 10:00-11:00 AM, Prairie Lounge
Agenda will include report from the NCA Trends sub-committee (Paul Myers).

December 5. 3:45-5:00 PM, Prairie Lounge
Agenda will include report from the Service-Learning Assessment sub-committee (Argie Manolis).

Meeting adjourned at 4:55 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Linda Pederson