Assessment of Student Learning

Assessment of Student Learning

University of Minnesota, Morris

DATE:March 26, 2002
SUBJECT:Assessment of Student Learning Committee Minutes
PRESENT:Dian Lopez (Chair), Edith Borchardt, Tim O'Keefe, Nancy Mooney, Tim Soderberg,Michelle Page, and Nick Maxwell
ABSENT:Stephen Burks, Tom Johnson, John Schwaller, and Grant Nolan

Lopez called the meeting to order at 8:00 AM. Lopez asked for approval or corrections to the 2/12/02 ASL Minutes. Maxwell made a motion to approve the minutes, seconded by Soderberg. The minutes were unanimously approved.

Lopez asked for approval or additions to the agenda, the amended agenda was approved. John Bowers' report on the Student Opinion of Teachers survey was added to the agenda.

Bowers began by saying that the Student Opinion of Teachers survey was administered to 8 classes in a one week period between December 7 and December 14, 2001. The classes were selected from nominations by Division Chairs, and only full Professors offered the survey. O'Keefe asked how the response rate compared to surveys administered in the classroom. Bowers said that there was a response rate of 54%, a response rate lower than if it had been administered in class. Bowers said that one class did the survey in class before they were told that the survey could be done on-line. Bowers said that each class was notified by an e-mail that was tailored to their class about the survey, and that a clickable link was included to the survey. He said that Computing Services incurred approximately $1300 cost for the survey, noting that there is a $100 annual cost for the security certificate. Bowers said that he has sent a summary report to Schwaller. Schwaller would like to meet with the Professors who administered the survey; however, this meeting has not taken place at this time. Other comments included:

  1. O'Keefe said another option could be to require the students to fill out the survey before they get their grades.
  2. Soderberg felt the biggest problem is the response rate.
  3. Maxwell suggested more structure, have space available during classtime to complete the survey.
  4. Discussed using paper forms, but having it machine scored. The paper form could be returned to the Professor with the comments, Bowers questioned if comments had to be typed before returning them to the Professor. Bowers said that quotes for typing the comments is approximately $30/per hours, he said it takes about 2 weeks to input the survey results. Lopez said that the comments are the most important part of the survey for the faculty.

Lopez said that she talked with Hinds, Chair of the FDC committee about input to the Student Opinion survey. Lopez and Page will meet with the FDC committee today, March 26, 2002, to discuss the survey. The committee discussed the survey, noting that the first 5 questions are All University standard questions. Some suggestions included:

  1. The questions should be ordered differently,
  2. Questions should not compare professors before concentrating on teaching,
  3. The last question that asks what was learned in class is badly done since it asks if a student learned the AMOUNT EXPECTED when we do not know how much the student expected in the first place.

Bowers discussed the procedure of changing the form, saying he was not sure if complications would result if the questions were re-numbered, saying that the questions are uniform across all campuses and the results are part of an all university record. Maxwell said that the committee should move forward with the survey, O'Keefe said that more directed questions and adequate space on the survey for comments are important. Lopez will request a copy of the Student Opinion of Teaching Survey for the committee members from Bowers.

GenEd Survey
Lopez said that she was very impressed with the survey. Mooney said that she had sent the word version of the survey to the IRR, Twin Cities and that they would put it into the html form. Mooney said she was told that she would receive the survey on March 22, 2002, but has not received it at this time. The survey is set up so that the students can only complete the survey once, and that the survey will indicate to the students that the form must be completed to receive the $5 coupon. Mooney said that the software did not allow the survey to be randomized, but hopefully next year this can happen. Lopez noted that the survey is long, but that the clickable boxes are an asset. Mooney said that the survey is set to begin on April 8, 2002.

Assessment across the Curriculum
Lopez said that she had sent out a revised form about streamlining assessment, all comments were taken into consideration. Soderberg took it to his discipline for comments and suggestions. Soderberg said that there wasn't resistance to the survey but that it was important to tell them it did not need to be lengthy report. Lopez said that the results were requested by April 24th and a note would go out to discipline coordinators at that time to ask for surveys not returned. Lopez said that the most important questions asked how assessment had changed the discipline and what they did - i.e. Using the original assessment plans, what changes have you made to improve the discipline?

Lopez said that the assessment report is not due until 2005.

Lopez said that we should incorporate a way in which to measure the benefits of outside activities students participated in at UMM such as MAPS, UROPS, Study Abroad, Service Learning, Internships, research projects both on and off campus, etc. What difference does it make to the student while they are attending UMM, and the difference it makes after they leave UMM? This could be used for assessment purposes. O'Keefe said that it would be good to get the additional information, but should not add another survey. He suggested that an additional question could be added to the Senior Exit survey.

Other Items
Maxwell said that the committee should move ahead with the Student Opinion of Teaching survey and said that copies of the form should be requested from Bowers. The committee will meet Tuesday, April 2 at 8:OO AM in Prairie Lounge to discuss and make changes to the Student Opinion of Teaching survey. The committee agreed to meet the following week, April 9 at 8:00 AM in Moccasin Flower Room to finalize the survey, it will then be presented to the Assembly on April 25th.

Mooney asked to report on information about the ACT and GRE scores. She said she had sent out e-mails last fall, but only had 2 responses. Mooney read the e-mails she received to the committee.

Meeting adjourned at 9:15 AM.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda Pederson