|DATE:|| April 9, 1997
|SUBJECT:||Minutes of the Fourteenth Meeting of the Task Force on
Assessment of Students' Learning
Eric Bass, Nat Hart, Engin Sungur, Dean Schuman, Gwen Rudney, Edith
Borchardt, Jim Cotter, Bert Ahern |
Jason Kohler, Tom Johnson
Jason Kohler is joining the TFASL as the student representative
replacement for Eric Bower.
During Spring Quarter, most of the TFASL meetings will meet on
Wednesday at 4pm; however, sometimes the meetings will be on Thursdays.
Approval of Progress Report II
The task force reviewed the draft copy of Progress Report II for
changes and appendages before approving it to go to NCA. This
report will be helpful in the Monday (April 14) Campus Assembly
meeting when the current assessment process is voted on by the
Dean Schuman suggested that a 1-2 page executive summary be included
at the beginning of the report to give a quick summary of what
the report includes. The task force agreed, and an executive
summary will be included in the beginning of the Progress Report
II along with a section from the Chancellor and from the Dean
of Academic Learning.
Dean Schuman also raised a viable concern regarding NCA. NCA
has yet to give feedback to the TFASL about the first Progress
Report. He felt uncomfortable continuing without a response from
the first Progress Report, but felt that we must continue to go
forward with the assessment process. When Progress Report II
gets sent to NCA, the TFASL will ask Dr. Lopez what steps the
completed documentation needs to go through. The task force wants
to know if the documentation needs to go through an external panel
of referees and when will it do this.
Another question raised about the Progress Report II regards informal
assessment. There was some confusion about whether the task force
would be doing any informal assessment. The report means that
many of the disciplines have been doing nonformalized assessment
and by instituting an assessment process, the TFASL is building
the formal assessment process around the informal existing assessment
practices. At this time, the TFASL is not planning on doing any
Part of the Progress Report referred to observational and experimental
assessment processes. After some discussion about the definitions
of observational and experimental assessment, Gwen Rudney suggested
that the term "descriptive" be used in place of
This change will be made in the final draft of Progress Report
Because the individual disciplines are responsible for their own
assessment, a question was raised about who decides what the appropriate
response should be to the assessment results. One way to ensure
that disciplines follow up on their assessment results would be
to have the Curriculum Committee approve any changes in a discipline's
learning objectives and outcomes. A problem with this idea is
disciplines might be tempted to strive for bad assessment results
in order for the Curriculum Committee to approve changes in their
learning objectives. External discipline reviews will be implemented
in a couple of years (2000-2001) and the task force decided to
use these external reviews to help decide if a discipline has
been fulfilling its learning objectives. The entire external
discipline review process will be reinvented to make sure everything
runs smoothly. Progress Report II does state that external discipline
reviews will be implemented in the future.
The new assessment process should also help in the allocation
of resources across campus. The new focus of resource allocations
will be on student learning. A question frequently asked is why
resource decisions get made the way they do. Part of the problem
is due to the age of our institution. The University is still
too young to have every process written down, but is too old to
have the original people who knew exactly what was going on still
Jim Cotter motioned to endorse Progress Report II. Nat Hart and
Dean Schuman both seconded it. The vote was all in favor, no
opposed, and no abstentions.
The names of all the current TFASL members will be included on
the first page of Progress Report II.
Curriculum Committee Memo
The main concerns of the memo still include unknowingly approving
changes which will require realllocation of funds and whether
parts of the assessment process, ie. learning objectives, should
be in the Bulletin. The TFASL and the Curriculum Committee may
have to sit down at a later date and discuss this.
Question II on Form B deals with the Goals/Objectives of the discipline.
Since some disciplines are planning to use the learning objectives
from the Assessment of Student Learning Survey and other disciplines
will be taking their goals directly from the Student Bulletin,
a question was raised about whether we should strive for consistency
on this question. One suggestion to help make disciplines more
consistent is to give an example of what to write in the goals/objectives
section of Form B.
The situation with the Bulletin and the consistency problems with
Form B will be discussed further in the next meeting of the TFASL.
submitted by Julie Brotzler