of Student Learning

DATE: October 8, 2003
SUBJECT: Assessment of Student Learning Committee Minutes
PRESENT: Katherine Benson (Chair), James Hall, Stephen Burks, Nancy Helsper, Paul Myers, Ray Sibul, Michael O'Reilly, Jessie Hass, and Tim Lindberg
EXCUSED: Dwight Purdy

The ASL meeting began at 10:00 AM in Prairie Lounge with introductions and a welcome to new committee members.

Benson said that Jessie Hass has replaced Joanna Solotaroff (student representative). Hass will also serve on the Service-Learning Assessment sub-committee. The members of the Service-Learning Assessment Sub-committee include Argie Manolis (chair), Jim Hall, Annie Olson, Jesse Hass and Tammy Faux. Benson will send a letter to each of the sub-committee members.

Benson said that she notified Bezanson that the students from Speech Communication were welcome to observe the ASL Committee, but Bezanson said because of alternating meeting times, the students would not be observing the committee.

Benson asked for any addition or corrections to the ASL minutes dated September 19, 2003. Motion: (Hall/Sibul) to approve the minutes unanimously approved as written.

GenEd sub-committee  (Helsper, Burks)
Helsper distributed to committee members a copy of the Memo that was sent to the Curriculum Committee. The memo dated 1/24/03 was a request for measurable objectives for the remaining eleven components of the General Education Requirements by the end of Spring Semester 2003. Helsper noted that we did not pass the NCA 2000 evaluation in the area of assessment of student learning. She said that because we were missing 11 of 13 goals, the Curriculum Committee was asked how to handle it. A sub-committee was set up to establish goals and measures for General Education, hereinafter called GenEd.  Benson asked if there is an official name for the sub-committee, because it is confusing to have two GenEd sub-committees; (the ASL committee has a GenEd sub-committee, too). Helsper suggested it be called the Goals and Measures GenEd Sub-committee. Helsper noted that our ASL GenEd sub-committee develops, administers, and evaluates the overall GenEd Exit Survey.

It was noted that Pederson would send copies of the NCA Evaluation Report (April 10-12, 2000) to committee members.

Helsper said that the ASL GenEd sub-committee has been working on the GenEd Exit survey. Because of the length of the survey, copies were not made for committee members, but she noted that members were e-mailed the URL link to the survey. Helsper said that at this point they have the results for the first and sec-ond questions for each of the objectives that are included in the packet.   Helsper said that the 2001 GenEd survey had a response rate of only 34%, but noted that because of coding problems, this was considered a pilot year. GenEd Survey 2002 had a response rate of 48.1%, and GenEd Survey 2003 had a response rate of 57.4%. Helsper said after reviewing the surveys, a couple of questions arose; 1) Is the timing right?  and 2) should they continue with the same questions? Helsper continued to say that each student is offered a $5.00 coupon from the bookstore as an incentive to complete the survey. Helsper said that after the sub-committee meeting yesterday,the confidence level has been added to the survey results. Helsper discussed with the committee the Summary of Scores for Importance of General Education Objectives, noting that the sub-committee has concern about % Scores "Moderate" or above that are below 50%. Burks led discussion on summary of scores, noting that the % of scores "Moderate" or above appears that it is on a downward trend. If it is a real trend, it needs to be looked at. He said that it could be because 1) the response rate is increasing, 2) time is another factor (if students are off campus, they are likely to give a lower response).

Helsper said that a new question, "How many courses did you take at UMM?" was added to Foreign Language last year. She noted that 33% took no courses at UMM, 22% took 1 course at UMM, 31% took 2 courses at UMM, and 14% took 3 or more courses at UMM. Sibul commented that Foreign Language has a placement test. Benson suggested that Helsper get the data for Foreign Language for all four groups separately, or, at least, to separate the scores for those having no foreign language at UMM (who couldn't evaluate UMM on this), as well as those having 3 or more courses at UMM (who might be majors and thus re-sponding on that basis rather than to Foreign Language as a GenEd requirement). Helsper said that the survey doesn't specify if the courses were only taken at UMM, and said that if the question specified this, it would maybe change how the student would answer the question. Helsper said that this information could be analyzed more deeply by breaking down the number of years students have been at UMM, noting it ranges from 2 years to 10 or more. Helsper asked the committee if they thought it would be disruptive to add the statement to the survey based on experience at UMM. Hall questioned if the survey was designed to deter-mine the students' thought on GenEd or impact of GenEd at UMM. Hall suggested that another section may be needed indicating how students' opinions about GenEd have been changed because of UMM curriculum. Helsper will do a report which will indicate 0 courses, 1 or 2 courses and 3 or more courses taken at UMM for Foreign Language.

It was discussed if a question similar to language could be asked for other courses in the 2004 survey. Helsper said that the downside would be the time requirement--any change would be time intensive in TC. She also noted that the survey is already quite long, and more questions could possible reduce the response rate. Hall asked what type of time frame is needed--is 2 years enough to determine a trend? Helsper said that the report must be done by 2005. Benson said that an additional question about what was experienced at UMM could be added, but not until after the NCA report. Burks and Helsper said the survey should remain the same for another year, keeping comparable data. It was noted that all seniors are invited to participate in the GenEd Exit survey. It was questioned if the GenEd survey indicates the majors, and noted that responses for students with multiple majors that cross Divisions were counted more than once. Hall asked the percentage of non-traditional students who graduate in the fall or summer, and suggested that they be invited to complete the survey. Helsper said that this survey is administered through the TC and was not sure they would be willing to keep it open for such a long period, also noting that it is too late to do it this fall. Hall stated that one semester should not be eliminated from participating in the survey. Benson said that meeting time was at an end, and the committee will address GenEd issues at another meeting.

The next meeting is scheduled for October 24, at 3:45 PM in the Prairie Lounge.

A motion was made by Burks/Hall to adjourn the meeting at 11:00 AM

Respectfully submitted,

Linda Pederson