Assessment of Student Learning



DATE: April 16, 1997
SUBJECT: Minutes of the Fifteenth Meeting of the Task Force on Assessment of Students' Learning
PRESENT: Eric Bass, Engin Sungur, Edith Borchardt, Tom Johnson, Jim Cotter, Nat Hart, Bert Ahern, Dean Schuman
ABSENT: Jason Kohler

Handouts: Engin Sungur passed out a draft of the changes made to Progress Report II. The changes include an executive summary, a summary of the assessment time table, and some stylistic changes made for clarification.

Discussion:

Review of Campus Assembly action:

The Campus Assembly passed the Assessment of Student Learning Plan on Monday, April 14.

The Assembly raised two concerns. One concern deals with assessment accountability and the other with whether the Committee for the Assessment of Student Learning should have control of adjunct committees. The TFASL decided against being in control of adjunct committees because they felt one of the main goals of the Committee for the Assessment of Student Learning is to stay out of judgmental processes. As for assessment accountability, one suggestion made by the Campus Assembly was that the Assessment Committee look at the Curriculum Committee's minutes annually or biannually to ensure that they are looking at disciplines' assessment as assessment and nothing more.

Report to NCA

Engin Sungur passed out a draft of the changes made to Progress Report II in the April 3 TFASL meeting. The executive summary, a summary of the assessment time table, and the date the Campus Assembly approved the new Assessment Plan will all be included in the final draft. The date the Campus Assembly approved the Assessment Plan will appear on the front cover. A statement in the executive summary will refer the reader to the attached copies of each discipline's assessment plan.

The TFASL decided to remove the 1995 text from the Progress Report, making the Progress Report a 1997 document. Paragraph three will be reworded to correct NCA's impression that no assessment has been taking place on campus. A less formalized assessment has been taking place for a number of years, but the campus was not using a common language in which to communicate it to others.

Jim Cotter expressed a valid concern regarding whether NCA was going to remember that there was a 1995 plan because they haven't given the TFASL a response about that plan. The TFASL will send NCA a revised version of Progress Report II without the 1995 text, but they will keep a version of Progress Report II with the 1995 text to send to NCA in case of a problem. The footnotes will remain in both versions, and the first footnote will explain that the footnotes are responses to NCA comments made to the TFASL.

Issues for the Curriculum Committee:

One of the primary objectives for sending a memo to the curriculum committee was to ensure that the committee didn't unknowingly approve changes that would call for a reallocation of resources. Because Form A asks disciplines what resource implications their changes would include, this issue is no longer urgent.

A second item the memo to the Curriculum Committee was going to address was the inconsistency found in the Bulletin as some disciplines used their learning objectives as goals and others continued to use the same goals they previously printed in the Bulletin. Since the Curriculum Committee is occupied with semester conversion, the issue of inconsistency concerning the Learning Objectives in the Bulletin will not be high on their list of priorities.

The only decision the Curriculum Committee will make regarding Learning Objectives is whether a discipline's classes show an appropriate relationship to the Learning Objectives.

The TFASL felt the memo to the Curriculum Committee no longer needs to be sent because the issues it was to address are not as pressing as previously thought.

Budget

The TFASL is still waiting to hear what the Committee for the Assessment of Student Learning budget will be.

Assessment of Student Learning: Survey II

The TFASL has received 8 surveys from the disciplines.

Sub-committee

The sub-committee will be meeting this week to determine whether a senior survey would be possible to accomplish this spring.

The TFASL will not meet the week of April 21-25; meetings will resume the week of April 28-May 2.

submitted by Julie Brotzler