Assessment of Student Learning

Task Force for the Assessment of Student Learning (TFASL)

Minutes for meeting #16

May 7, 1997; 4pm in the Prairie Lounge

Present: Gwen Rudney, Nat Hart, Jim Cotter, Tom Johnson, Edith Borchardt, Engin Sungur, Bert Ahern, Eric Bass, Dean Schuman

Absent: Jason Kohler

Guest(s): None


Engin Sungur handed out a draft copy of the General Education Senior Survey, and a draft copy of the Mathematics Major Senior Survey. A summary of the different options discussed by the Assessment of Student Learning Sub-Committee was also given to each Task Force member.

Approval of Minutes

One correction to the April 9 meeting minutes (meeting #14) was suggested. To help prevent misunderstanding on how some assessment will be done under the "Approval of Progress Report II" heading, the term "program reviews" should be used instead of "external reviews". The minutes for meeting #14 and #15 were approved.


Assessment Survey #2

Only 8 disciplines have returned the second Assessment of Student Learning Surveys. Bert Ahern will send a reminder to the remaining disciplines so the Task Force can get the remaining surveys before the end of the school year.

The academic support Assessment of Student Learning Surveys are also being returned to the TFASL. The Task Force is currently missing 2-3 surveys.

Sub-Committee's Senior Survey Report:

The target population of the survey will be seniors graduating from UMM, and the audience will be the UMM committee and outside reviewers. There will be two surveys; the first survey will deal with General Education, and the second survey will deal with the senior's chosen major. Each disciplines will decide whether they want to participate in the survey, and they can add additional questions to the survey if they so chose. The Assessment of Student Learning Committee will look at the survey results, but they will send the results to each discipline to interpret and put into their reports. These surveys will not replace the existing exit survey that is given approximately every three years.

A concern raised with the General Education Survey was that most of the questions asked about the different areas each student must take classes in to fulfill, while the questions concerning college writing and inquiry seemed to focus on the particular courses. To help eliminate this impression, the title "college writing" will be changed to "writing". This will broaden the focus to incorporate all the writing courses that the student took both in the General Education requirements and in his/her major.

Another concern was about the amount of surveys that would actually be returned by the students. There was discussion of how to get a higher rate of return. Some ideas included making the survey mandatory, giving an incentive for students to fill it out, only having a couple of disciplines giving the surveys to their students, and having an exit interview instead of a survey for a random sample of the graduating class. The Task Force decided to make this year's survey a pilot survey to see what works and what needs to be changed. After examining what is good and bad about this survey, the Assessment of Student Learning Committee will decide what to change about next year's surveys. The General Education Survey will be sent to all graduation seniors, and each discipline will be given a chance to send out a survey about their major. The General Education Committee needs to approve the General Education Survey by the end of next week (April 12-16) and the next Monday (April 23) the surveys will be announced at the Campus Assembly.

Engin Sungur is planning on taking 1-2 weeks this summer to compile the data returned in the surveys and getting the information to the appropriate discipline.

A motion was made to approve the surveys and to start taking steps to distribute them this spring. Jim Cotter seconded the motion, and the vote was all in favor with no opposed and no abstentions.


The budget situation has not changed. The plan was submitted, but there has been no reply about how much money the Assessment for Student Learning Committee will be receiving. There is a budget hearing scheduled for April 16, hopefully more information will be available after the meeting.

submitted by Julie Brotzler