Assessment of Student Learning

DATE: April 3, 1997
SUBJECT: Minutes of the Thirteenth Meeting of the Task Force on Assessment of Students' Learning
PRESENT: Bert Ahern, Edith Borchardt, Jim Cotter, Tom Johnson, Carol Marxen,Gwen Rudney, Engin Sungur
ABSENT: Eric Bass, Nat Hart, Dean Schuman

Gwen Rudney will be replacing Carol Marxen on the TFASL because Carol is on leave.

Jason Kohler was Eric Bass's replacement during the April 3 meeting because Eric was unable to attend.

Approval of Minutes: Minutes from meeting #11 approved as is. Minutes from meeting #12 approved with three changes. One change made under "Feedback on Programs" is the Biology and Music should be referred to as disciplines and not as departments. Another change made under "Feedback on Programs," is the minutes should state that Bert Ahern will be calling those disciplines that did NOT return the Assessment of Students' Learning. The third change is that Tom Johnson will be on the TFASL sub-committee.


Engin Sungur handed out the first draft of the Assessment of Student Learning Progress Report II that will be sent to NCA.


Progress Report to NCA

The Assessment of Student Learning Progress Report II is a record of what the University of MN, Morris has done and where we are planning on going with the assessment process. Each of the task force members will read the draft and will bring corrections and revisions to the next TFASL meeting. The task force members where asked to look at the report from the point-of-view of the NCA and refer to the June 1995 critique that NCA sent out. Engin mentioned two things that the draft copy is currently missing:

1) It has no explanation as to why the Assessment and Student Learning Committee will not be attempting to approve unit plans.

2)It has no explanation why the Assessment and Student Learning Committee will be closer to Faculty Development than it will to the Administration in Behmler Hall.

Schedule for Spring Quarter

1) What has been accomplished so far:

a) Reviewed proposed assessment plan

b) Surveyed faculty about assessment and found it being used effectively

c) Approved assessment plan

d) Approved budget recommendations

e) Secured wide-spread involvement in the assessment process

2) What still needs to be done:

a) Make implications of the assessment plan clear to other committees

b) Send progress report to NCA

c) Have official discipline assessment plans supplemented with additional questions (due April 15)

d) Receive response from non-academic programs by April 15

e) Complete TFASL's role in helping the general education committee with an assessment plan

f) Sub-committee for planning senior/freshman surveys

g) Send assessment plan to Assembly for approval

h) Find a way to assess the assessment process by the end of spring quarter

i) Write a memo to the Executive committee by April 5th (the TFASL agreed to have Bert Ahern write the memo and have him send the memo to the Executive committee the same time he sent a copy to each of the task force members)


The sub-committee will report back to the TFASL in three weeks (the week of April 21-26th). The sub-committee will be giving guidance to the task force on an appropriate balance of questions the survey should ask.

Issues of the Curriculum Committee

Bert Ahern read a draft copy of a memo the TFASL is planning on sending to the Curriculum Committee to clarify some of the new decisions they will be involved in concerning the assessment process. Three areas of change for the Curriculum Committee will be in resources, expected outcomes, and learning objectives. One issue the task force wants to make clear is the approval of changing objectives by the Curriculum Committee will possibly mean reallocation of resources. Another issue the memo will bring to the Committee's attention will be how much of the assessment process should go into the Bulletin. There was discussion about what issues the task force wanted the Curriculum Committee to take as action items, what the Committee should take as information items, and how big a role the Assessment for Student Learning Committee should take, if any, in possibly approving assessment plans. The TFASL was against approving any type of assessment plans but may consider looking at the plans for consistency. Bert Ahern will be redrafting the memo to the Curriculum Committee to make clear that some of the stuff the Curriculum Committee will be receiving will be for information only and will not be action items.

To be discussed at the next TFASL meeting:

1) What part of Assessment Plans should be in the Bulletin and where should they be placed?

2) Two things to get before the next TFASL meeting

a) Draft memo request to approve the Assessment Plans

b) New draft of the Curriculum Committee memo

submitted by Julie Brotzler