Assessment of Student Learning

University of Minnesota, Morris




DATE:          February 26, 2001


SUBJECT:   Assessment of Student Learning Committee Minutes



PRESENT:  Dian Lopez (Chair), Edith Borchardt, Tim O'Keefe, Engin Sungur, Nancy Mooney, Andy Uttke, Kevin Ely, and Eric Klinger



Unable to attend: Stephen Burks



Lopez called the meeting to order at 3:38 PM in the Moccasin Flower Room. Lopez ask if the committee had reviewed the 1/23/01 ASL Minutes. O'Keefe asked to see the minutes, he had one small change he thought should be made to the GenED Sub-committee information. The minutes were unanimously approved as amended. Lopez ask for a progress report from each sub-committee.


(Tim O'Keefe (Chair), Nancy Mooney, Engin Sungur)

O'Keefe began by saying that Sungur and himself had met last week and discussed the Exit Survey of Seniors. He distributed a copy of an e-mail that they would like to send out to all faculty who teach GenEd courses asking for their input on the survey of exiting seniors on GenEd requirements. The committee reviewed and discussed the e-mail. O'Keefe said that the e-mail would be sent to the faculty and would include the hypothesis that they had already selected and will ask faculty to include an additional 1-2 questions that would test the hypothesis. To keep the e-mail from becoming to overwhelming, it was suggested that the survey have more direct questions, be multiple choice questions, or rated on a numerical scale. Lopez suggested that the survey have samples where students could see a list of requirements for GenEd courses. O'Keefe noted that the hypotheses that were selected for the GenEd requirements for Foreign Languages and College Writing will be changed. Sungur said that student opinion is a direct result of student learning. O'Keefe said that the survey is already on the web, and that additional questions could be added. Sungur noted that the survey will take time and should begin as early as possible, no latter than April. It was also suggested to survey one to two sections of GenEd each year with longer questions. After receiving feedback from the faculty, the committee will decide on this matter. Lopez asked the opinion of the student committee members. Uttke asked what the motivating factor would be and Ely thought if the type of incentive was formulated correctly, it would be useful. Borchardt said that one question that pertains to First Year Seminar should be included because a student's attitude varies during and after the first year and upon graduation. The results of the survey should also indicate to the NCA how students are learning.


(Stephen Burks (Chair), Eric Klinger, Andy Uttke)

Uttke said that the committee has not met.

Lopez said that the e-mail discussing the effort to streamline the process of assessment had been sent out to the committee members. She asked the committee members to review it again and if there are any additional input or suggestions to remit them to her in the next few days. Lopez would like to have this sent out to all Units by Wednesday.


(Dian Lopez (Chair), Edith Borchardt, Kevin Ely)

Lopez began by saying that the portfolio use should not be forced on people, but the committee felt that the use of the portfolio should be introduced. Lopez asked the opinion of the committee if the use of the portfolio should be introduced to First Year Seminar by the Library. Uttke suggested finding a couple of professors who would be willing to use it for a few years and then broaden its use with their support. Borchardt said that a number of disciplines are already using the portfolio, she suggested contacting these discipline and ask how it is being used and what works. Lopez said that eventually the portfolio could be used as an assessment tool, but currently is not. Lopez said that the portfolio could gradually be introduced to volunteer First Year students, and maybe in the future it would be use as an assessment tool. Klinger said that he would suggest the use of the portfolio, but he would be reluctant to require its use.


Mooney distributed copies of upcoming Assessment Conferences. Lopez said that Chancellor Schuman had agreed to fund committee members to attend an assessment conference. The committee agreed that the conference, "Assessing Student Learning In and Out of the Classroom, Monday, April 9, NDSU, Fargo, ND should be attended. Early Bird registration deadline is March 19, 2001 and the cost is $135.00 per person. Lopez asked who would be available to attend, several committee members had conflicts with the date. Klinger said that because there will be new committee members next year, an e-mail should be sent out to see if there is an interest from other faculty to attend this conference. Klinger said that Burks would be a good candidate to attend the conference. Mooney and Ely indicated that they could probably attend. Possible attendees are Mooney, Ely, and Burks. Lopez said she would attend if Burks was unable to.


Lopez asked committee members to list what we have now for assessment results, what we are going after, and what we still need to work on planning by the end of the semester. The following is a list that has been or is in the process of being completed:

·      Career responses survey

·      GRE & other assessment scores

·      Have the GenEd Assessment Requirement survey in place and maybe rotate data each year

·      Senior Seminar Survey - Lopez will e-mail these questions out.

·      Senior projects (may receive something back this year)

·      Portfolio use in First Year Seminar, the Library is interested in helping.


The committee agreed that something will be in place by the beginning of next year, and we should actually be getting outcomes. The "Assessment Workshop" in April will give us new ideas for assessment.

Klinger said that the use of an Electronic Portfolio should be framed as an opportunity for the Disciplines to use. He suggested that after the students begin in the fall, we should go to the Disciplines asking for volunteers to use the portfolio. Borchardt questioned Lopez's experience at a conference she attended, whether she got a sense from colleagues there how widespread the use of electronic portfolios is at institutions outside the University of Minnesota system. Lopez said the Electronic Portfolios are being used throughout the United States, both at Universities and private schools. The Electronic Portfolios contain valuable information such as vitas and professional information. Uttke asked if the entire portfolio would be assessed or individual papers and how it would be assessed. Lopez explained that the student owns his/her portfolio and can allow the faculty member to view only the items requested. An example could include a paper from First Year Seminar put in the portfolio and then compared with later writings of the student from the portfolio. Both the faculty and students would have to decide what could be used, but the Electronic Portfolio would be a very useful assessment tool.


Mooney distributed copies of the Statistical Summary of a follow-up study of UMM Graduates. Mooney said she will have to analyze the data. The committee discussed what they felt was important to receive additional information on. Uttke said he thought he had taken this survey earlier. Lopez said we should find out if it was given to students at an earlier time and how to correlate it with later use.


The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 16, 2001 3:30 PM - 5:00PM in the Moccasin Flower Room.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:58 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Linda Pederson