of Student Learning

Assessment of Student Learning

University of Minnesota, Morris

DATE: December 12, 2002
SUBJECT: Assessment of Student Learning Committee Minutes
PRESENT: Dian Lopez (Chair), Katherine Benson, Nancy Helsper, Rujira Rojjanaprapayon, Michelle Page, Tim Soderberg, and Chris Huether
ABSENT: Stephen Burks, Sarah Black

Lopez called the meeting to order at 4:00 PM in the Moccasin Flower Room.

Lopez asked for comments or approval of the ASL minutes dated 11/19/02. Motion: (Benson/Page) to approve the minutes. The minutes were unanimously approved.

The committee discussed the Spring Semester meeting schedule. The ASL meetings have been scheduled for January 24, February 14, March 21, and April 18. All meetings are schedule from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM in the Prairie Lounge. Members are asked to mark their calendars to avoid conflicts.

Lopez noted that the memo requesting information from each Discipline about the goals that effected the changes to their curriculum has been sent out, responses were requested by December 1.

Sub-Committee Reports

General Education (Helsper, Benson, Burks, Black)
Helsper reported that a copy of the final recommendation for the GenEd survey was sent to Lopez asking if a paragraph should be included. Helsper said that once this is done, the final form will be submitted, and the committee will be done.

Discipline Assessment (Soderberg, Lopez, Page, Rojjanaprapayon, Huether)
The committee has met twice, and will meet again on Friday, December 13. Page discussed ideas for assessing the capstone or course projects, siting exemplar tools used by one discipline that could be used by other disciplines: 1) sharing tools as an option to give ideas 2) pulling together tools to help all disciplines. Soderberg said that the committee discussed ideas how to get disciplines assessing and reporting the results. He noted that Lopez would send an e-mail to all discipline coordinators beginning of spring semester requesting results, and explain why this is important for assessing our assessment in 2005. He said that the data about the capstone course is due at the end of the semester from each discipline with the description and how it is assessed. Soderberg cited that:

Soderberg noted that an assessment model would be written and looked at in Friday's meeting. Lopez added that copies of all the tools they used for assessing would be brought to the meeting on Friday. Soderberg said that a list of course changes should also be requested, not just capstone projects. Lopez replied that this was already requested in the e-mail that she sent out.

Lopez asked for any ideas or incentives for disciplines completing the assessment report.  Suggestions included:

  1. extra travel money
  2. library funds
  3. honor for discipline doing the best job (featured on the Assessment web page),
  4. recognition certificate

The committee discussed the budget situation, and that a monetary award may be difficult. Benson suggested a bake sale to raise funds as a possibility.  Huether noted that a monetary award would be better, but a certificate of recognition would also be nice.

Helsper said that the Academic Program Review is an assessment review to make sure that assessment happens, and that we should find the means to do it. She noted that it came to a halt at the time of the semester conversion.

Web Page  (Helsper, Pederson)
Helsper reported that the committee has not met, noting they are waiting for direction from the ASL committee for information that is to be included on the web. Lopez said information should be posted to the web soon, and that she has additional information for the committee. Helsper noted that the Assessment plans on the web are from 2000, and they should be updated.

A committee member questioned if anything has been scheduled with Discipline Coordinators. Lopez replied that nothing has been scheduled at this time, but at the beginning of the spring semester she will talk with the discipline chairs and ask to meet. Lopez said that Bowers, Boleman, and Dean should be invited to a meeting to discuss ideas and what they are doing for campus assessment.

Due to miscommunication, the 2000 NCA Team report was unavailable. Pederson will request a copy from the Chancellor's office, and copies will be sent to committee members by campus mail for review. Discussion of the 2000 NCA Team Report will be at the next meeting.

The committee discussed the 2002 GenEd survey, Lopez noted that the survey gives the best outcomes.

Electronic Portfolio discussion:
Benson said that students could make available papers in their portfolios, but Huether noted that we might not receive accurate results because students may not submit all their works because of grades. Helsper noted that it is very labor intensive to evaluate portfolios. Benson suggested that when faculty see an outstanding paper, they should ask the student to make it available in their portfolio. Benson also suggested that an outstanding paper could be posted on the Assessment web page, but it may need to be password protected. Benson also noted an issue with the electronic portfolio. She said that because they may keep changing, the information may not be accessible, whereas it would always remain accessible on the web page. Lopez said that we do not have control over the electronic portfolios, that it is controlled by the student and located in Minneapolis. Lopez said we should focus on a simpler assessment, see results now, and that we are trying to do too much for 2005.

GenEd Assessment:
The GenEd assessment goals were discussed.  It was noted that course assessments are already being done by the disciplines.  Lopez said that questionnaires could also be sent to Professors asking what students' have learned but this would be time-consuming for the faculty. Helsper added that we have learning objectives, but not goals. Lopez agreed that if we have learning objectives, we should then be ok. The committee discussed giving a pre-test before the beginning of a course, and also after the completion of the course to see how much a student has learned. Helsper suggested that a general pre-test could maybe be given at orientation. ; Soderberg said that the goal of the GenEd Program would be to come up with a series of essay questions, but Lopez indicated that the problem would be with time to read them. Helsper and Lopez with meet with Schwaller to discuss what can be done about the Assessment of GenEd Program.

Helsper distributed copies of a power point presentation titled Institutional Research: Its Importance in the Accreditation Process (Cecilia L. Lopez, Ph.D.) for discussion. Assessment ideas were discussed: 1) sample how we are doing with the GenEd program with 20 students now and again in 4 years. The students should be unidentifiable. 2) Check on web to see how other schools are doing GenEd Assessment. Lopez said they would meet with Schwaller to obtain his views and ideas. After this discussion, it was noted that the GenEd committee has more work to do, Lopez and Helsper will meet with Schwaller and this meeting will be discussed at the next meeting.

Page said she feels that because the ASL committee changes, an Assessment Office is needed, permanent people acting as a clearinghouse for data. Lopez said the committee could draw up an outline with 1) standardized questions 2) what are the goals 3) what changes 4) what prompted the changes 4) add other questions as we build assessment. Lopez noted that Women's Studies is doing a good job of assessment. She said seniors are assessing what they have learned and what can be changed, they are also presenting their results as a seminar to the faculty.

Meeting adjourned at 5:30 PM.

The next meeting is scheduled for Friday, January 24, 8:00 - 9:00 AM in Prairie Lounge.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda Pederson