of Student Learning

Assessment of Student Learning

University of Minnesota, Morris

DATE: October 31 , 2002
SUBJECT: Assessment of Student Learning Committee Minutes
PRESENT: Dian Lopez (Chair), Katherine Benson, Stephen Burks, Nancy Helsper, Rujira Rojjanaprayon, Tim Soderberg, Sarah Black, and Chris Huether
ABSENT: Michelle Page

Lopez called the meeting to order at 4:00 PM in the Prairie Lounge. Committee members introduced themselves to and welcomed Chris Huether (student representative) to the committee.

Lopez asked for comments or approval of the ASL minutes dated 9/24/02. Two minor corrections for the ASL Minutes were noted. Motion: (Soderberg/Benson) to approve the minutes as amended unanimously approved.

Lopez asked for additions or approval of the agenda for today's meeting. Lopez noted that she would like to make a change to the agenda, adding as the #7 item - discussion of Diversity Issue (Teaching, Learning - Student Body), followed by #8 next meeting and adjournment. She explained, from discussion in the NCA report, that there appeared to be some concerns about how minority and diversity issues are handled in class. The perception was that we should be looking more at different ways in which students learn. There was no concrete data but the diversity issue should be addressed by our committee. The additional item was accepted and the agenda approved.

Student Opinion of Teaching
Lopez said last spring the ASL committee was charged by the Assembly to make changes to the SOTS form. She said last spring a proposal was sent to the Assembly explaining the problems of the survey, and made two recommendations: 1) change order of questions, 2) recommended "satisfied" in middle for amount learned in course. Lopez said the extra questions mandated by the University Senate didn't reflect our campus needs, and that our recommendation was to have a group of students and faculty develop questions for our campus. This information has been put on the docket for the next assembly meeting. The proposal to go before the assembly reads:

Sub-committee Reports

General Education (Helsper, Benson, Burks, Black)
Helsper said the GenEd committee has met twice since the last ASL meeting, and plans are to meet several more times during the year. She said the survey will be done again in 2003, but should be done earlier, possibly in February. She said the survey would remain the same, except one question will be added to the survey in regards to courses taken in Foreign Language. She said the results would be compared with the 2000-01 survey to see if changes are trends or blips. The surveys are broken down according to the major of each student.  It was also noted that we have two years of data, but not all of the results of the first year survey were recorded.

Discipline Assessment (Soderberg, Lopez, Page, Rojjanaprapayon, Huether)
Soderberg, chair of the committee, said the committee hasn't met yet but a meeting is set up for this Friday. He said the first item is to develop a general checklist to help each Discipline assess their Seminar, Capstone, and/or Research projects. He said they would need to gather more information. Soderberg requested from Lopez the information she received from the Disciplines last year.

Web-page (Helsper, Pederson)
Helsper said they have met, and discussed minor changes that were needed. These changes have been made to the site.  She said she had talked with the GenEd committee about linking the survey results, but at this time they do not wish to link the results. She noted that the committee would meet again once the elements for the NCA reports are determined.

Campus Assessment
Lopez said we are looking in general to what we want to include in the report and to obtain more data. Helsper distributed the Campus Wide Assessment report to the members and discussion followed.

Overall Assessment Report for NCA
Lopez said Helsper is in charge of writing the report. She said the report is due in 2005, and we should begin formulating an outline of what is included so we can continue to prepare materials. She said that the last report to the NCA included lots of plans and that this report must include actual data. Helsper asked if the Discipline Assessment reports indicated where changes are being made. Lopez said the committee should look at the overall assessment report that was done before and decide how we want to supplement and change it. Helsper commented that because she recently joined the committee, she is looking for the ASL committee to let her know what is to be included in the report. Lopez said a copy of the NCA Report indicating the questions and concerns would be distributed to the members for review.

Diversity - Teaching/Learning Student Body
Lopez said Ahern had contacted her about a report indicating that students have concern with Diversity and the different style of learning in the classroom. Heuther questioned how many students have this concern, if it is a big threat, and if it needs to be corrected right away. Helsper said we should work with Student Minority Resources on this issue. Lopez said Ahern noted that it is a partial problem with our faculty. Discussion included different learning styles relating to cultures, such as memorizing, problem solving, learning environment, and it was also noted that heredity vs. environment could influence learning styles. Huether said faculty couldn't be expected to change their teaching styles for the entire class, but they should be willing to help outside the classroom. Helsper suggested inviting Pareena Lawrence to discuss this issue at the next meeting. Lopez said we should work with Lawrence and others and to create an assessment tool to: 1) determine what the problem is and 2) to work on making changes to improve it.

Lopez said the biggest immediate planning issue is determining a meeting time for the ASL committee. A copy of the Spring Semester 2003 schedule was distributed to committee members. Committee members are requested to mark the times that they are not available to meet, and return the form to Pederson by November 8th. Lopez said once a meeting day and time has been determined, it should be put on the schedule and followed.

The ASL committee will meet the following dates, Tuesday, November 19th, and Thursday, December 12th at 4:00 - 5:30 PM. Location to be announced.

Meeting adjourned at 5:05 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda Pederson