Assessment of Student Learning


Tuesday, February 17, 1998

2:00 PM in the Moccasin Flower Room


Minutes of the Seventh Meeting of the Committee on Assessment of Student Learning


Bert Ahern (Chair), Mary Elizabeth Bezanson, Jim Cotter, Mario French, Tom Johnson, Carol Marxen, Erica Rosch, Sam Schuman (Dean), Engin Sungur (Coordinator of Assessment)


Aaron O’Leary



Report from the Joint Committee on General Education Assessment

Changes in senior survey

Senior survey as a requirement for graduation

Strategy for assessing GenEd components

External Consultant and Assessment at UMM

Preliminary Report on Program Responses

Other Sub-committee Reports



Results from last year’s senior survey of GenEd



Minutes of 5th and 6th meetings approved.

Report on Program Responses

¨ So far, 13 unit programs, 12 GenEd faculty surveys and 5 senior major surveys have been returned.

It was reported that units want response from Assessment Committee whether they need guidance on their objectives when the NCA said "some not in compliance." Discussion followed about frustration

with another statement "...many list assessment tools that are appropriate for measuring student learning within the classroom or course, but are inappropriate for the assessment of student learning across a discipline." The objective is a range of knowledge. How do you measure tests? Are they appropriate instruments? To get through our courses is the sticking point. It should not be passing the test to prove you have completed a course. Tests should measure how well students are meeting objectives for the discipline.

Report from Joint Committee on GenEd Assessment

¨ Changes in senior survey

Need to improve return rate and ask questions that would be more helpful, not just give the same questions. It needs to look simpler and be simpler. Students need to know their comments are important and changes will be implemented (put on Web or in alumni newsletter).

¨ Survey for transfer students

Do we need a survey earlier than senior year or for those transferring? Now it may be skewed toward positive responses because it is for students who stayed to graduate from UMM. On the other hand, the senior survey does report on the results of a UMM baccalaureate education.

¨ Senior survey as a requirement for graduation

Should this be a requirement for graduation and part of the process of turning in an application and ordering a gown? Or should they return survey with their application for graduation; and, if lost or not completed, give them another to do. If they refuse, then say OK. Want a response; but want it taken seriously, not just filled out (perhaps negatively) to meet requirement. Need to find a way to explain this: 1) it strengthens the institution and thus your degree is also strengthened, and 2) the student reflects on the learning process and thus gains insights into their own learning. After discussion, decided it should not be a formal requirement, but as part of graduating application packet.

¨ Strategy for assessing GenEd components

Measure of student perceptions of how well they met the objectives and how important they thought they were. It is not a vote of what GenEd will be. The four components of continuing GenEd to be first assessed will be writing, foreign language, history and mathematics. The components were selected because of a readily identifiable core faculty and to provide a breadth of assessment. The college writing, foreign language, history and mathematics faculty have agreed to propose educational outcomes and methods of assessment.


Next meeting will be March 3 at 2:00 PM in the Moccasin Flower Room.

Meeting adjourned at 3:00 PM.