of Student Learning
Date: December 5, 2003
Assessment of Student Learning Committee Minutes
 Katherine Benson (Chair), Stephen Burks, Nancy Helsper, Paul Myers, Ray Sibul, Michael O'Reilly, and Tim Lindberg
ABSENT:  James Hall, Dwight Purdy and Jessie Hass
John Schwaller and Argie Manolis

Benson welcomed Dean Schwaller and Argie Manolis to the meeting.  Schwaller will report on the GenEd Objectives and Criteria, and Manolis will report on the Assessment of Service-learning sub-committee.

Report from GenEd sub-committee for Objectives and Criteria (John Schwaller)
Dean Schwaller began by saying that one year ago this committee and the Curriculum Committee authorized the creation of this sub-committee to look at GenEd.  He reported that the committee met last spring and this fall, the committee consists of Michelle Page, Bert Ahern, Jim Togeas, Dwight Purdy and himself.  He noted that the sub-committee looked at various methods for GenEd assessment.  He said that there are many ways this can be done, and noted 3 examples:

  1. Value added – testing at the beginning, testing at the end
  2. Exams
  3. Course embedded assessment procedure (Schwaller noted that this has been used successfully at many small colleges).

Schwaller said there are different ways of approaching assessment for GenEd, noting that the course embedded procedure seems applicable, powerful, and is the least disruptive of faculty.  He said that the system is based and patterned along the web grading form.  Schwaller distributed a sample form to members; discussion followed.  He commented that this form is different from a grade sheet, and it is separate from grading.  He noted that a student could fail the measurable objectives, but pass the course.   Schwaller said that they are looking at specific measurable objectives.

  1. Are we choosing the correct measurable objectives, and the students are getting it?
  2. Are we choosing the correct measurable objectives, but the students are not getting it?
  3. Are we choosing the wrong measurable objectives, and the students are not getting it?
  4. Are we choosing the wrong measurable objectives, but the students are getting it?

He said that it is important that we get feedback.  Schwaller also noted that this report is capturing the student ID number, but said that this assessment is kept separate from grading.  The student ID is used only for determining the year in college and demographic information of the student.  Burks questioned if we are locked into the only binary choices.  Schwaller replied that we are not locked in, but most are binary choices.  Schwaller said that the sub-committee is willing to do what is easier and more comfortable for faculty.  O'Reilly commented that numbers would be better than yes/no answers.  Schwaller said that some faculty are set up to implement this in the spring.  Helsper asked if we would have all the objectives by 2004, noting that the NCA made it clear that we were to have measurable objectives for approximately 15 GenEd criteria.  Schwaller said that we would not have them all, but a report would be written in 2005 that would satisfy NCA.  Schwaller said that the GenEd sub-committee felt that it was important to report back to the ASL committee, before they got too far along.  Burks commented that the Senior Exit Survey and this report should complement each other.  Benson said that the next step is the direct measure of learning; Helsper noted that there is not a question for direct learning.  Schwaller read objective and goals from the course catalog.  Sibul questioned if objectives and goals in the catalog could be changed.  Schwaller replied that change request would need to be submitted to the Curriculum Committee and also the ASL Committee.  Schwaller said they are moving forward, and will have data by the end of spring term.

Assessment of Student Learning Sub-committee report  (Argie Manolis)
Manolis said the sub-committee was created at the suggestion of Dean Schwaller.  Manolis distributed handouts to the committee for review.   Included in this information were:

  1. Goals and Progress for Fall 2003
  2. Student Survey Question Clusters – Draft
  3. Community Partners Survey
  4. Faculty Survey

Manolis discussed with the committee the goals and progress for Fall 2003.  She said that the student surveys used in Fall 2003 were reviewed, and changed dramatically.  The survey is now half the original length and is more straight forward, noting that the categories are clearer and better reflect the current goals of the program.  She also noted that the faculty survey was reviewed and revised; questions here are also more straightforward and better reflect the current goals of the program.  Manolis said that the sub-committee also created a community partners survey for traditional service learning courses in which students work with one or more community agencies, and determined that more specific surveys could be developed for courses with different structure.  She said that students are given a pre and post survey, and that this is used for comparison.  Manolis noted that additional questions can be added to the survey (faculty request) and that she will work with the faculty on these questions.  O'Reilly questioned if it would be possible to select a set of tracers, to trace certain aspects of the course, noting that by selecting tracers, it would shorten the survey.  He said that he is only suggesting this because it would shorten the survey and would be more easily managed.

Manolis said that this fall the old surveys are being used, and asked for the committee's permission to pilot the new surveys for community partners and faculty.  She also requested to pilot the student survey in the spring.  Benson asked if the committee agreed to allow the sub-committee to pilot the new surveys: community partners and faculty survey in fall 2003, and the pilot student survey in spring 2004.  Unanimously agreed.  Helsper asked if these assessment tools should be put on the web.  Manolis will send electronic copies to Helsper for the web page.

Spring 2004 Meeting Schedule
Meeting schedules were discussed.  Due to the difficulty in scheduling a day and time that all members can meet, two, possibly three different times will be scheduled.  The best times determined at today's meeting are:
Wednesday's, 3:00-4:30 P.M. and on Friday's 9:45 - 11:15 AM.  The first meeting will be scheduled for Friday, January 16 at 9:45 - 11:15 AM in the Prairie Lounge [Meeting date was rescheduled for Friday, January 30].  The agenda will include GenEd business and NCA changes.

The ASL minutes dated 11/12/03 were approved as amended.  Motion:  Lindberg/Sibul.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda Pederson