Assessment of Student Learning

DATE/TIME:Thursday, October 30, 1997

8:00 AM in the Student Activities Conference Room

SUBJECT:Minutes of the Third Meeting of the Committee on Assessment of Student Learning
PRESENT:Bert Ahern (Chair), Mary Elizabeth Bezanson, Jim Cotter, Mario French, Tom Johnson, Aaron O'Leary, Erica Rosch, Sam Schuman (Dean), Engin Sungur (Coordinator of Assessment)
ABSENT:Carol Marxen



Minutes of first meeting approved; they can now go on the Web.

Sub-committees appointed:

The AAHE Assessment Forum sheet is a checklist for general information against which we check ourselves.

Committee next looked at the Unit Implementation Survey (Mathematics Program). Sungur related that the General Information section will be a fact book for each unit which can provide information they need for their survey. It will produce information for reaccreditation, not for assessment of student learning. For a small college, this may include anecdotal evidence too. Phase I is the Unit Mission/(Goals), Student Learning Objectives/Expected Outcomes, and Assessment Methods & Tools; Phase II is the Use of Observed Outcomes & Possible Actions and the Implementation Needs; Phase III is the Application: Observed Outcomes and Actions Taken.

Discussion raised several competing themes:

- Format is the same for all units, but there are different professional activities in each unit such as presentations and publications. Publication results vary greatly by discipline.

- What do we look for in graduates?

- Can we use more generic terms?

- What if some areas are blank? How will that look? May look at what is not in there rather than what is.

- On Web page you can't compare one unit to another. Headings are not used where there is no information.

- Do we use dismal failures for case studies? Need these to assess how expectations are not being met.

- Concern that this may become documentations of awards, etc. to put in report whether it really helps student learning or not.

- Assessment is to help those programs that are weak to get better, not to document awards. No program will ever achieve perfection. No matter how well we are doing, we can always do better.

This Unit Implementation Survey will be dealt with more in sub-committee.

Schuman led discussion of Assessment and Reaccreditation Self-Study. UMM is scheduled for reaccreditation in 1999-2000 (the first year of the semester system). May ask to do this a year later, but then might seem that we have a problem. It is positive in that we will get a check early on in our transition to semesters. We have kept good records since the last time we were accredited. Results may be predictable, but the process still needs to be worked at. The work of this committee is important and going to feed into self-study for reaccreditation. The NCA insists that we look at how we are doing by assessment. We need to have this.

Sub-committees will meet next week instead of general ASL committee.

Meeting adjourned at 9:00 AM.