Assessment of Student

Assessment of Student Learning


DATE: Tuesday, March 9, 1999

12:00 PM in the Prairie Lounge

SUBJECT: Assessment of Student Learning Committee Minutes


PRESENT: Jim Cotter (Chair), Mary Elizabeth Bezanson, Eric Klinger, Carol Marxen, Leslie Meek, Jenny Nellis, Engin Sungur (Coordinator of Assessment)

ABSENT: Aaron O'Leary


Minutes approved for 2/9/99 and 2/23/99.



Sungur presented suggestions for a new direction for UMM assessment of student learning:

Emphasize that assessment is for improvement of student learning and not for evaluation of performance (Plan, p. 5: ...this assessment process should not bear a connection to the college's faculty evaluations for the purposes of promotion, tenure, and salary determination);

Show that it is useful;

Provide funding for assessment by units;

Ease the units' work load by keeping the information and results for them on web pages (would need to upgrade skills and computers);

Make it more visible;

Follow-up and support the units' needs based on assessment results throughout the appropriate channels (Plan, p. 4: The results of the assessment efforts should be tied into institutional planning and resource allocation directly.);

Create a Talking About Teaching series based on the units' assessment experiences;

Emphasize the importance of replacing anecdotal evidence with scientific information;

Ask for scientific evidence on students' learning for any curriculum change and budget request;

Attempt to change the attitude from "what the students think" to "what the students learn";

Use assessment for rewarding and not for evaluating (expect assessment data for teaching awards);

Try to be the leader of assessment within the UM System and educate the rest (try to get funding for this leadership from the System);

Increase the students' awareness on the importance of assessment;

Increase the flexibility of the assessment process (do not ask units to fill out forms with deadlines) and follow the principle "if you want something, provide the assessment information";

Emphasize that units are doing the assessment for themselves, not for anyone else including the NCA;

Change the appearance of the assessment forms; and

Doing assessment can not be an objective. Replace the name of the process and the committee to "student learning" from "assessment of student learning."

Powers: The Student Learning Committee oversees and provides support to all aspects of the learning process, receives all data and materials generated related with the students' learning, recommends improvements on information collection process and supports units' requests on enhancing students' learning, and disseminates reports and the initiatives on students' learning.

A discussion followed. Talked about increasing ownership of assessment, making it more visible by sending unit plans to all faculty in the discipline, and making faculty aware of assessment video/ workbooks and journals in the Faculty Center. Discussion to be continued at next meeting.


Meeting adjourned at 12:50 PM.