of Student Learning



November 22, 2004
Assessment of Student Learning (ASL) Minutes
Katherine Benson (Chair), Janet Schrunk Ericksen, Donna Chollett, Paul Myers, Dwight Purdy, Nancy Helsper and Jessica Meinenger
James Hall, Michel O’Reilly and Erin Christenson

The meeting began at 3:30 PM in the Prairie Lounge with introduction of committee members. Benson discussed with the members the difficulty of setting a meeting time convenient for all members to attend, noting this has been a problem in recent years. Discussion followed, including reasons why scheduling meetings may be difficult and possible solutions. Some of the reasons affecting members’ scheduling conflicts include 1) faculty are asked to do more than before, and 2) the change from quarters to semesters has had an effect on their workload. It was suggested to contact the Executive Committee and ask for their help in resolving the problem of scheduling meetings. Motion: (Helsper, Purdy) Benson will draft a letter to the Executive Committee asking their help in finding a solution to the problem of scheduling committee meetings. Motion unanimously carried. Benson requested committee members to submit their spring semester schedules promptly, the meeting schedule will be determined at the December 10 meeting.

Benson asked for volunteers for the sub-committees listed below and discussed duties of each.

Assessment of Service Learning subcommittee (Jessica Meinenger)
Benson noted Jennifer Deane requested that a member of our committee join the Assessment of Service Learning subcommittee. In an effort to expand and study service learning on campus, she has requested members from our committee to act as a liaison between the Service Leaning Advisory Board and our committee for joint assessment of Service Learning. Jessica Meinenger volunteered for this committee.

GenEd Subcommittee (Nancy Helsper, Janet Schrunk Ericksen, Paul Myers)
Duties of the GenEd Subcommittee include reviewing GenEd at UMM and surveying the students in the spring. The subcommittee looks at the GenEd survey and may make change recommendations. Helsper noted that changes were made to the survey last year, but said changes are not made every year in order to keep the survey instrument consistent in assessing GenEd from year to year. Janet Schrunk Ericksen and Paul Myers agreed to serve on the subcommittee with Nancy Helsper.

Discipline Assessment Subcommittee (Katherine Benson, Dwight Purdy, Donna Chollet)
Duties will include contacting and assisting disciplines with assessment if necessary. Dwight Purdy and Donna Chollet agreed to serve on this committee.

NSSE Packet (NCA Accreditation Toolkit)
Helsper distributed copies of the Accreditation Toolkit: North Central Association to the members for review and discussion. Helsper discussed sections of the document with members, noting all NSSE items are matched to the NCA Accreditation Standards. On page 10 (Institutional Examples), Helsper said the paragraphs explain how Institutions improved their scores; noting that the committee should review this at another meeting. Helsper said the NCA Accreditation Toolkit would be useful in writing the report for the NCA. The committee discussed if a sub-committee was needed and the cost of the Toolkit; Helsper replied no additional cost will be incurred. Motion: (Purdy, Ericksen) The ASL will use the NCA Accreditation Toolkit in writing the 2005 NCA Report, with review in a year whether or not to continue the use of the NCA Accreditation Toolkit. Unanimously approved. Members discussed if it would be necessary to have a subcommittee reviewing the NCA Accreditation Toolkit; Helsper replied the subcommittee could consult with her, and give useful suggestions in writing the report. The committee will request Michael O’Reilly, James Hall, and Erin Christenson to form the NCA Accreditation Toolkit subcommittee.

Spring 2004 National Survey of Student Engagement Survey (Helsper)
Helsper distributed copies of the National Survey of Student Engagement report for review and discussion. Members discussed how some of the NSSE questions were written; noting some questions are misleading and affect the student response. Helsper noted that COPLAC questions changed dramatically from 2002 to 2004. Helsper said the Institutional Benchmark Report groups the questions together, and the comparison between Institutions. Helsper suggested the NSSE subcommittee look at these reports, and report back to the committee.

Benson said the response rate of the GenEd Survey was low last year, and wondered if it was because students were not offered an incentive for completing the survey as in the past. Members discussed if the incentive increases or decreases the validity of responses. Helsper said because of the budget cuts, we are unable to offer the incentive.

Student Opinions of Teaching Survey
Benson said Dean Schwaller has requested the ASL to identify a consistent name for the student evaluations of teaching form. Members discussed various options. Benson asked for a vote on two names for the form. Members agreed to call the survey, Student Opinion of Teaching Form (SOT). Faculty will receive a memo announcing the name change. Members agreed to use the remaining forms in stock; future form orders will reflect the name revision.

Catalog Year
Benson asked if the ASL had changes to recommend for the UMM Catalog. Helsper discussed a few items with the committee, but said there is not enough time to resolve it this year. Helsper said these issues could be reviewed next year.

Benson reminded members to return their spring semester schedules promptly. The next ASL meeting is scheduled for December 10, 8:30-10:00 AM in the Prairie Lounge.

Meeting adjourned at 5:02 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Linda Pederson