Assessment of Student Learning

DATE: March 6, 1997
SUBJECT: Minutes of the Eleventh Meeting of the Task Force on Assessment of Students' Learning
PRESENT: Bert Ahern, Eric Bass, Edith Borchardt, Jim Cotter, Carol Marxen, Tom Johnson, Dean Sam Schuman, Engin Sungur
ABSENT: Nat Hart

The Task Force on Assessment of Students' Learning met on March 6, 1997 at 4 pm. in the Prairie Lounge.

Approval of Minutes: One clarification from meeting #9 was made. The task force will give an outlined proposal of the General Education outcomes to the General Education Committee. The minutes for meeting #9 approved as it. Carol Marxen motioned to approve the minutes and Engin seconded it. The vote was all in favor, no opposed, and no abstentions.


Endorsement of proposed assessment plan

The TFASL has been operating under the proposed assessment plan because they wanted to wait until they were sure it was going to work before ratifying it. The main operating principle is that everything is a draft copy this year, and is subject to change next year after one assessment cycle has been completed. This will allow for adjustments and improvements to be made due to experience. Bert Ahern asked if people were now willing to endorse the proposed assessment plan. Tom Johnson made a motion to approve the plan, and Eric Bass seconded it. The vote was all in favor, no opposed, and no abstentions.

Feedback on Programs

The Assessment of Student Learning Surveys are still missing from the following units:

1) Music

2) Economics/Management

3) English

4) Biology

Engin Sungur said he met with the Economics/Management discipline and helped clarify some of the information. They will be sending in their survey soon, but he hasn't heard from the rest of the units that haven't returned the surveys.

Engin Sungur also handed out the following information:

1)A draft of the Assessment of Students' Learning Unit Plans with the two additional questions to be answered by the units.

2)Assessment of Student Learning Exit Survey/Interview

3)A sample Bulletin announcement about assessment from St. Olaf's Bulletin.

4)A chart showing the break down of assessment among the different units.

5)A tools summary chart of Units' Assessment methods and tools.

6) An example of an Assessment of Students' Learning: Planning Exercise and Survey I for units to consider when making changes to their Unit plans.

7)A draft of the Assessment of Students' Learning: Unit Plan survey for academic support services to fill out.

Some editorial changes were made to the Assessment of Students' Learning Unit Plans along with the two additional questions. The deadline for these to be returned was changed from March 31 to April 15. Engin Sungur mentioned that we are planning to send each individual unit's plans on to NCA along with all the other information. Bert Ahern and Engin Sungur will meet and refine the documents along the lines suggested by the discussion.

Additional academic support staff services to be included in the academic support survey are the library, computing services, athletics, and International Programs (instead of the study abroad program).

The idea of a senior survey will be discussed in depth at the next meeting, after more information is gathered about how this has been handled in the past.

Assessment Budget

Dean Schuman handed out a draft of the budget plan for the assessment process. At this time, the proposal combines the assessment of student learning with faculty development. The faculty development and student assessment can be housed in the same building with two separate (but equal) coordinators. Each coordinator would report directly to the Dean. In the proposed plan, the Faculty Coordinator would receive a $12,000 summer supplement, one full-time support staff, and approximately $7,500 supply budget. Dean Schuman also mentioned that they would try to get some extra money from the Undergraduate Incentive program, but he wasn't sure if it would work. Preliminary reactions seemed to be positive, one concern was to make sure that the changes, including the title given to the two programs, do not underplay the center's support for faculty learning. The only thing decided so far is that the two part time managerial positions, or coordinators, would be coming from the faculty and would report directly to Dean Schuman.

To be discussed at the next TFASL meeting:

1) Senior Surveys

2) Budget Plan

submitted by Julie Brotzler