of Student Learning

Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Assessment of Student Leaning Committee Minutes

James Togeas (Chair), Therese Buchmiller, Donna Chollett, Paul Myers, Tisha Turk, Mark Fohl, Nancy Helsper, Fang Du, Minh Vo, Nathan Swanson and Pu Lum Kim.


The ASL meeting began at 9:00 AM in the Prairie Lounge with the introduction of all members.

Members received copies of the following prior to today's meeting.

  1. NCA Staff Analysis of Institutional Report (10/11/05), Barbara Pollard Taylor ,
  2. Five-year Summary Report (2000-2005), Katherine Benson (6/15/05)
  3. Five-Year Report on Assessment at UMM, Executive Overview, John Schwaller (6/28/05)

Togeas briefly discussed each document noting particular areas important for developing the assessment plan to produce the NCA 2007 report.

Togeas reviewed the draft plan for Assessment and noted the NCA letter (10/15/05) said the contents of the 2007 NCA report will describe the University's comprehensive program for assessing student learning in academic programs and in the general education curriculum. It will also describe the data on student learning that come from the assessment measures of student learning, and report how these data on student learning are fed back to academic departments and used to improve that learning.

Togeas said our goal will be 1) to collect a course assessment from at least one course in every major; 2) to collect a course assessment from at least one course in every general education category; and 3) to collect general education learning objectives. Togeas noted that some course assessments may already exist, but in others, the ASL committee may have to generate.

Togeas said the work for ASL members will include:

  1. Each faculty member should work up a course assessment for at least one of his/her courses
  2. Each faculty member should visit division disciplines to generate course data. He said the faculty member's course assessment could be presented as a model on how to proceed and would also demonstrate that ASLC members are doing what they are asking others to do.
  3. Togeas suggested that each faculty member should study division assessment reports on the web for usable data for the report.

Members discussed the needed type of data and concerns on how to turn their assessment of objectives to meet the requirements of the NCA. Helsper said data must be student by student, 1) Identify the learning objective 2) Decide what meets the learning objective 3) Measure how the student did and 4) Make changes for improvement. It is noted that assessment is not as straight forward for courses such as English and Theatre Arts, but faculty seemed to be on board with assessment.

Togeas suggested a schedule for the assessment plan.

  1. Fall 2006 - the ASLC finalizes a plan early in fall 2006 and decides how the data should be collected, this information will be presented to Campus Assembly.
  2. Members of the ASLC should meet with discipline faculty to learn about the availability of course assessment data and / or to get commitments to do course assessments and to seek learning objectives for general education categories
  3. Spring 2007 ASLC will evaluate the data received and make an effort to obtain missing data.
  4. Summer 2007 Someone should draft the report. Draft will be sent to ASLC members, the Chancellor, and appropriate Vice Chancellors
  5. Fall 2007. Critique, complete, and polish the report. Mail the report to NCA by October 15.

Togeas said at the next meeting, ASLC members should be prepared to suggest modification of the assessment plan or replace it with a plan that will work better.

Togeas said the Strategic Task Force committee wants to meet with the five major committees during the week of September 18-22.

Our next ASL meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 19 at 9:00 AM in the Prairie Lounge.

Submitted by:
Linda Pederson