|DATE:||October 13, 1997
|SUBJECT:||Minutes of the First Meeting
of the Assessment of Students' Learning Committee
|PRESENT:||Wilbert Ahern (Chair of the
Committee), Mary Elizabeth Bezanson, Jim Cotter, Tom Johnson, Carol
Marxen, Aaron O'Leary, Erica Rosch, Sam Schuman (Dean), Engin Sungur
(Coordinator of Assessment)
The Assessment of Students' Learning Committee assembled at 3
pm. in the Prairie Lounge. The order of business was as follows:
- Overview of tasks for 1997-98
- NCA response to the UMM Plan
- Fall Faculty Workshop issues
- General Education-survey of seniors '97; Gen. Ed. Comm. and
Gen. Ed assessment
- Unit surveys re: implementation
- Sub committees
Materials Distributed During the Meeting:
- Revised agenda (Ahern)
- A memo to the chair of the Campus Resources and Planning Committee
requesting revision of the UMM mission statement to include attention
to student learning (Ahern)
- Possible agenda items for the 1997-98 (Sungur)
After the introduction of the committee members Ahern gave a historical
background of the UMM assessment of student learning activities
and presented an overview of tasks for the 1997-98 academic year.
Ahern emphasized implementation stage, general education assessment,
and Progress Report III for the NCA.
Then the committee started to discuss NCA response to the UMM
plan. Dean Schuman pointed out that NCA approved the plan which
is not clearly stated in the response.
Ahern pointed out that on the contrary to the NCA response, there
is a plan for the assessment of the general education in the UMM
Assessment Plan. Ahern briefly explained the general education
assessment plan and suggested that contact should be set up with
the Curriculum Committee if the General Education Committee does
not exist in the 1997-98 academic year.
Ahern mentioned the following points from the NCA report: (I)
Unevenness of the quality of the unit plans, (II) Stating expected
outcomes in explicit and behavioral terms, (III) Eliminating
such as completion of courses & transcript analysis, (IV)
Assessment of student learning across a discipline. The following
points have been made in these issues:
- The plan promotes a solid and modest start at which the faculty
will feel comfortable. It stays away from a "perfect"
plan which will not give an opportunity to constant improvement
by faculty learning from each other. Therefore unevenness in quality
will disappear throughout the time.
- Some acceptable assessment models should be found and delivered
to the faculty (Bezanson)
- Importance of pre and post testing in the assessment
- The difference between measuring how students came out from
a course and what they need to know to pass a course
Cotter and Sungur suggested that committee should stay away from
the third paragraph and concentrate on the four issues pointed
out in the next paragraph which are:
(1) the development and implementation of a plan to assess student
learning across the general education program; (2) utilization
of the results of assessment across the disciplines to improve
student learning; (3) an analysis of how the information obtained
from the implementation of the assessment program has led to change
in program itself; and (4) an analysis of how the inclusion of
proposed changes based on the results of assessment of student
learning are being included in the institutional planning and
budgeting process in a timely fashion. The following discussion
took place in these issues:
- The units should report their implementation results and utilization
of these results which will be asked from the units this quarter
as it is included in UMM plan.
- Some disciplines prepared their plan so that it will be implemented
when UMM moves to the semester system (Bezanson)
- Accountability issue: NCA expects a rigidly hierarchical structure.
Umm plan is based on non-hierarchical and non-directive approach
which opens up possibilities for improvement and increases the
Ahern summarized the results of the pre and post survey results
of the Fall Faculty Workshop on assessment:
- Faculty agreed with the UMM plan
- Faculty understands well why the assessment is needed
- One strong statement came out from the surveys is faculty
has neither time nor resources for the assessment.
- It is a challenge to integrate assessment activities with
Next, the committee discussed the assessment of the general education
program. In this issue the following topics have been brought
- Role of the assessment of student learning committee
- Focus groups
- 1/2 of the student work in UMM is in general education which
is much higher than many other places. How do we judge that a
general education objective has been achieved?
The meeting adjourned at 3:55 pm.