of Student Learning

Assessment of Student Learning

University of Minnesota, Morris

DATE:   September 24, 2002
SUBJECT:  Assessment of Student Learning Committee Minutes
PRESENT: Dian Lopez (Chair), Nancy Helsper, Michelle Page, Katherine Benson, and Sarah Black.
ABSENT: Stephen Burks, Rujira Rojjanaprapayon, Tim Soderberg, and Chris Heuther

Lopez called the meeting to order at 12:40 PM in the Moccasin Flower Room. Lopez said that this scheduled meeting time is difficult for all members to meet. After reviewing the members' schedules and discussion, it was agreed that the meetings would be held on Thursday afternoon from 4:00 - 5:30 PM. Lopez said that the meetings would be scheduled at least once a month, or possibly twice if much work was needed to be done. Lopez said that she would like to see most of the work done in sub-committees, and then reported back to the main committee.

Committee members introduced themselves to each other, and welcomed Sarah Black, (student representative) to the committee.

Lopez asked for a motion to approve the minutes dated May 3, 2002, which summarized what the ASL committee had accomplished last year. Motion: (Benson, Page) to approve the minutes, the minutes were unanimously approved.

Lopez asked for approval or additions to the agenda.The agenda was accepted as stands.

Lopez said that the final minutes of last year, summarized the work that the committee had accomplished and outlined what remains to be done in the charge that the Assembly gave the committee in regards to the Student Opinion of Teachers Survey (SOTS). Last year 2 proposals were made to the Campus Assembly, for informational purposes only. The proposals included: 1) change the ordering of the questions on the SOTS presently given at UMM 2) to form a working group to create a new set of "Additional Questions" to be given with the SOTS form. Lopez listed the three choices given the Campus Assembly.  The choices included:

It was proposed to give a different set of questions, and that a working group would be formed to compose the questions. Lopez said that this information was brought to the Assembly last spring and that now it would go to the Assembly for a vote. Lopez said that the new questions apply to all campuses, not just UMM. It was discussed how the working group could be selected, either by volunteers or by appointment. Lopez said that the Student Government, the FDC, and the ASL could recommend members. Lopez said that she would write up the information to put the SOTS on the docket for the November 13 Campus Assembly meeting.

Discipline Assessment
The committee discussed Unit Assessment. Benson suggested that a standard terminology should be adopted, such as discipline assessment because "Units" on the Morris Campus are the Divisions, not the Disciplines. Other units on campus are also assessed. Lopez said that she would send out e-mail in the next few weeks to each discipline plus other units asking what each is implementingand what results they are expecting. Lopez questioned if it would help to design a simple form for all disciplines to help them assess their Seminar/Capstone/Research projects. Page suggested a general checklist, which could serve as a starting place, but would not be a finishing point for assessment. Helsper said that we should not think of it as assessing the capstone project only, but to assess the entire major.  Benson said the method of learning should also be emphasized in the capstone assessment, because it is method that defines each discipline. Lopez said that the goal is to get everyone doing the Seminar/Capstone/Research assessment well, and that this method can then be used to assess other courses.

Lopez said that a committee should be formed to: 1) Write a general checklist and approach for disciplines to use. 2) Gather information that is already assessed, assessment plans, and what is being implemented, and in the spring results would be requested

GenEd Survey
Helsper said that the GenEd survey should be done again this year, in February. She said that we would have to alert the Twin Cities when the survey will be done. Helsper asked if the committee should go over the results, and discuss if we need to make changes. Lopez said that in her opinion, the committee should look at the survey first, and then make recommendations to the Curriculum committee. Page agreed. Helsper will notify the Twin Cities immediately that the GenEd Survey will be done in February.

Helsper discussed surveys that are done at UMM. Helsper said that she is working on a report for each discipline of the GRE results indicating how their students are doing. Helsper said that the CIRP (survey for incoming freshmen) is done every 3 years. ACE and UCLA put out this survey. Helsper also said that the University also does a survey of satisfaction for seniors. Lopez said that if we keep tracking everything that is being done, it will give us a good idea how things are going. The next NCA report is due in 2005.

Benson discussed with the committee the research surveys that they are working on. The surveys include questions about outside activities, all campus activities, sports, working on or off campus, MAPS, UROPS, and etc. Benson said that a packet would include all surveys, names are anonymous, but all surveys in the packet would come from the same person. Volunteers will complete the surveys. Benson said that if we want to conduct part of the survey institutionally it can be changed for the IRB forms. Benson and Helsper will meet to discuss the surveys. Helsper noted that there are many surveys on the web, so we should pick and choose the surveys so that the students will do them seriously.

Benson asked to what extent do we have instruments to assess development of students. Helsper said that we do have tools (questions) to assess, but would have to pull them out.

Lopez discussed breaking down into sub-committees. She said it would be good to have a committee to develop the checklist for assessment, a GenEd committee, a Web Page committee, and a committee for Discipline Assessment. It was agreed that the duties of the sub-committees should be clearly defined and one person should be appointed to be the convener of the subcommittee, responsible to set up the meeting and the agenda. Helsper said that the GenEd sub-committee should look at the results from last year. Page suggested that an e-mail be sent out to committee members describing the committees and duties and how many members are needed. Members will select their committee preference. It was suggested 2 members for the GenEd committee, 2 members for the Web-page committee, and 5 members for the Unit Assessment (4 needed for sure, enough to break into 2 groups. Helsper said that because she already works with the GenEd survey and the Web page, that she would serve on these committees. Page said she would serve on the Unit Assessment committee.

Lopez said that she would send out a request to each discipline concerning what they are doing for assessment, and ask for the assessment results in the spring. Benson suggested that for the people who replied last year, thank them, and ask for additional information about the outcome from last year. Helsper asked if the reports from last year would be put on the web. Lopez replies that there were some good reports and that these should go on the web.

Lopez asked for other concerns. Helsper distributed copies of the GenEd survey results, which was a comparison of 2-year results, and discussion followed.

Page suggested talking about old initiatives, i.e. technology that we are interested in. Lopez said that faculty are involved with the TEL (Technology Enhanced Learning) initiative, and that there will be an assessment report on this. She said it is a pilot project that will hopefully spread.

Page asked what is the role of the ASL in regards to the FYS and Honors program. Lopez said that the programs themselves are being discussed to decide if they will continue. Lopez said that when she sends out the discipline assessment letters, she would include the FYS and Honors programs if they are continued.

The next meeting will be Thursday, October 24, 4:00 - 5:30 PM. Pederson will line up the room.

The agenda for the next meeting will include a report from each sub-committee, and a general discussion.

Meeting adjourned at 1:55 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda Pederson