|DATE:||February 13, 1997
|SUBJECT:||Minutes of the Eighth Meeting of the Task Force on
Assessment of Students' Learning
|PRESENT:||Bert Ahern, Jim
Cotter, Edith Borchardt, Nat Hart, Tom Johnson, Nancy Mooney, Dean Sam
Schuman, Engin Sungur |
|ABSENT:||Eric Bass, Eric Bauer, Carol Marxen
The Task Force on Assessment of Students' Learning met on February 13, 1997 at 4:00 pm. in the Prairie Lounge.
Before the meeting began, Engin Sungur handed out the following:
1) Assessment of Students' Learning: Planning Exercise and Survey 1 for the following disciplines:
b) Secondary Education
Approval of Minutes: Minutes from meeting #7 approved as is. Engin Sungur made the motion to approve the minutes, and Edith Borchardt seconded it. The vote was all in favor, no opposed, and no abstentions.
Bert Ahern made the announcement that Eric Baurer would be
resigning from the task force because he had class during meeting times.
Discussion: Budget Agreement
Although many issues about the budget are still undecided, the
University needs an idea of where to get the extra resources to implement
the rest of the assessment process. Bert Ahern mentioned that if the
TFASL didn't try to find where the resources would come from, no one
would. There was a consensus that most of the assessment process could
be implemented without additional funding, but the problem of how to help
units asking for some additional resources still exists.
Who will be in charge of the assessment process?
The two main options for how the assessment process is overseen are:
1) A faculty member would be the coordinator.
2) The Assessment of Student Learning Committee would be in
charge of the assessment process.
The Task Force discussed the advantages and disadvantages of both options
Assessment of Student Learning Committee
If the Committee was in charge of the assessment process, they would be
in charge of making policy and bringing the policy before the Campus
Assembly. Each person on the Committee would be responsible for a large
amount of work and there were concerns as to who would answer questions
asked by NCA or other people regarding the assessment process. The task
force wants to make sure that these questions are answered in a manner
that the Committee would agree with. Having the entire committee working
on the assessment planning without having a head contact person seemed
unfeasible because of the large amount of work involved and the lack of
one responsible person to answer questions.
Having a Faculty Coordinator was the most popular idea because it would
keep the assessment process in the hands of the faculty instead of making
it an administration process. One of the main goals of the TFASL is to
make sure the Assessment Committee keeps control over the assessment
process. The assessment process must not grow beyond the capability of
the faculty to understand and deal with it. One of the biggest problems
with having a Faculty Coordinator would be finding someone who had the
time and an interest in the assessment process. Being the Faculty
Coordinator would take large amounts of time away from teaching and
research. At this time, none of the current faculty members on the
Morris campus are doing research in the assessment area. If a member of
the faculty does become the Faculty Coordinator, they will need some form
of compensation, either release time or summer salary.
The task force felt a Faculty Coordinator would need to serve a 2-3 year
term. One suggested solution to the problem of training in someone new
every few years is having a staff person who dealt with assessment
planning on a regular basis and reported directly to the Faculty
Coordinator and the Committee. They could then help train in the new
Faculty Coordinators as well as being a continuing source of information
to the Assessment Committee. The Institutional Research Office would be
a possible location for this staff person. If the Institutional Research
Office is used to help the Assessment Committee in this way, they would
definitely need to hire another person.
Another suggestion is that the Coordinator could work with the Faculty
Center. A valid concern is to make sure the work for the assessment
process doesn't get imposed on the Faculty Center. The Faculty Center's
main job is to focus on issues that interest and helps the faculty.
Since assessment planning isn't on the list of priorities, the Faculty
Center doesn't want to spend time dealing with it when it could be
focusing on something more rewarding to the faculty. The option of the
Coordinator working together with the Faculty Center held more appeal
because it would keep the process entirely in the hands of the faculty.
One of the biggest requirements for the Faculty Coordinator position is
that the person must have teaching experience. At this time, it is
generally agreed that the Faculty Coordinator should, if possible, come
from the current faculty and serve a 2-3 year term with either release
time or summer salary for compensation.
Bert Ahern stated that he would type up a basic statement of what the
committee agreed upon because some of the task force members had to leave
before the end of the meeting.
To be discussed at the next TFASL meeting:
1) General Education Assessment
2) NCA report
submitted by Julie Brotzler