Assessment of Student Learning

Assessment of Student Learning

University of Minnesota, Morris

DATE: February 12, 2002

SUBJECT: Assessment of Student Learning Committee Minutes

PRESENT: Dian Lopez (Chair), Edith Borchardt, Stephen Burks, Tim O'Keefe, Nancy Mooney, Michelle Page, Tim Soderberg, and Nick Maxwell

ABSENT: Tom Johnson and Grant Nolan

The ASL meeting began at 8:00 AM in the Behmler Conference room. Lopez asked for approval or additions to the agenda. The agenda was approved.

Lopez asked for corrections or approval of the ASL Minutes 10/29/01. Borchardt made a motion to approve the minutes, seconded by O'Keefe. The minutes were unanimously approved.

General Education Draft Report
Lopez commended O'Keefe and Mooney for the work on the GenEd survey, saying that it was a great job and that it appears to be off to a good start and that more people will be taking it next year. The committee members discussed the survey and how it could be improved. Mooney noted that there were some html coding problems; explaining that was the reason why some answers were not available. Lopez asked for suggestions or changes that could be implemented to improve the survey, but would retain the historical data. It was suggested to use a series of check boxes to select each item, it would be less time consuming and would possibly result in a higher response. It was also noted that the objective should be more descriptive. Feedback about the on-line survey included comments such as: 1) it was too long 2) it was repetitive 3) it annoyed people.

The committee also discussed what should be done with the current data, the value of some of the questions, when it would be a good time to give the survey, and an incentive for the students. O'Keefe said that IRR on Twin Cities Campus would need at least a month to prepare the survey. Maxwell suggested that the survey questions be randomized for more fair results.

Students completing the survey last year received a $5.00 gift certificate from the UMM bookstore, which was approved by Chancellor Schuman. Maxwell questioned if students could have a choice of certificates; he felt that graduating students might not use the bookstore certificate. It was agreed that it should remain a UMM bookstore certificate this year, because of the time it would take to make arrangements. It was agreed to ask Chancellor Schuman for funding to provide the $5.00 UMM bookstore certificate for students completing the survey. Next year the committee may try to work with Turtle Mountain Cafe for certificates.

O'Keefe asked for questions or comments on what to do with the current data. Lopez said that we received worthwhile information and it should be kept for assessment, possibly use the data to write a 3-page summary report. Mooney noted that Dean Schwaller didn't think this information should be shared at this time since it was a pilot program and the information is not complete.

Unit Assessment Report
Lopez noted that the draft report that was to be sent out in January did not get done yet. Lopez said Soderberg will take the draft report to his discipline as a pilot, and that it may need to be reworded after that. O'Keefe asked if all disciplines had Senior Seminar/Research/Capstone Projects? Lopez said she had heard from all but 2 disciplines and that they each had a capstone/research seminar project. The Disciplines, of course, may have very different goals for these courses. Discussion of the Assessment plan followed:

Mooney said that all Disciplines have assessment plans, her suggestion is to request a report from each discipline describing what they are implementing and what type of results they are obtaining.

Student Evaluation Form
Lopez said it was given to the ASL committee to review and revise by the Campus Assembly. We should work closely with the Faculty Development committee.

Lopez noted that the main problem of the form at UMM is the optional questions at the bottom of the form because of student privacy. Questions #1 should be moved to #3 so that students are thinking more of teaching and not just a popularity contest, and question # 4 should be moved towards the bottom of the survey since it has little bearing on the Professor. Borchardt commented that the previous form (which was done 10-15 years ago) was much better. Lopez said she would contact the Faculty Development Committee to meet in conjunction with them to decide what changes should be made. A sub-committee, consisting of Dian Lopez, Michelle Page, Edith Borchardt, Stephen Burks, and Nick Maxwell was formed to meet with the FDC committee to discuss the Student Evaluation Form. Lopez will send to the committee the evaluation forms approved by the Twin Cities campus for their review.

Lopez suggested a possible project for the committee to be begun this semester: that we design a way to review the many outside activities that students participate in at UMM like MAPS, UROPS, Study Abroad, Internships, research projects both on and off campus, etc. Is there a way to assess whether these activities are making a difference in these students' lives? It was suggested that we could have students check off how many of such activities they participated in and then correlate this with their satisfaction with UMM.

Lopez summarized the work that remains to be done this semester by the committee. The GenEd survey should be finalized and sent to the IRR, Twin Cities campus by late February. Committee members will need to correspond by e-mail finalizing questions due to meeting schedule conflicts. The Unit Evaluation committee will finalize the assessment form making it more helpful to faculty. The sub-committee for the Student Evaluation form will meet with the Faculty Development Committee to discuss the survey.

The next meeting will be Tuesday, March 26th at 8:00 AM in the Prairie Lounge.

Meeting adjourned at 9:45 AM.

Respectfully submitted,
Linda Pederson