Assessment of Student Learning

University of Minnesota, Morris








DATE:             March 27, 2008


SUBJECT:      Assessment of Student Learning Committee Minutes  


PRESENT:       Jim Togeas (Chair), Donna Chollett, Michael O’Reilly, Mary Elizabeth Bezanson, Hsing-Wen

                          Hu, and Nancy Helsper


ABSENT:        Therese Buchmiller, Tom Johnson, Abby Swafford and Chris Vinderslev


GUEST:           Michael Korth


Minutes:          taken by Linda Pederson



The meeting began at 8:00 AM in the Blue Stem Room.  Togeas invited Michael Korth to participate in today’s meeting, noting Korth is in charge of self-study.


ALSC Minutes, 02/28/08

Togeas asked for approval of the ASLC minutes dated February 28.  Motion (O’Reilly, Bezanson) to approve the minutes; unanimously carried.


Campus-wide learning objectives

The ASLC received as an appendix a portion of the May 3, 2007 minutes of the University Senate in which the seven learning outcomes for Twin Cities’ students was adopted.  Togeas noted that the Senate simultaneously adopted seven student development outcomes and said that  the questions  before us are:

a)     Should UMM adopt a set of campus-wide learning objectives or outcomes?

b)    If the answer is yes, Togeas reviewed the following three options with the ASLC.

-       Option 1) Adopt the outcomes of the University Senate as they stand.

-       Option 2) Adopt a modified version of the Senate outcomes

-       Option 3) Adopt a set of outcomes based on the learning objectives identified in the recent report to the HLC.


Discussion of campus-wide learning objectives included:

-       Members agreed, if the outcomes are adopted, they should be connected to the UMM mission statement.

-       A member noted that each discipline has objectives that go beyond the Senate learning objectives

-       A member questioned  if campus-wide learning objectives are separate from evaluation and assessment, and how do you demonstrate campus-wide learning objectives are being met?


Korth pointed out that:

1.     If  UMM adopts the Learning outcomes, we will have to address them.

2.     The Curriculum Committee has addressed the Learning Outcomes, and has appointed a sub-committee to work on this issue.


Togeas said he met with the Interim Dean and asked if the ASLC should address the Learning Outcomes, and Guyotte said yes.  Helsper suggested that both the Curriculum Committee and the ASLC should be involved.  Togeas agreed to contact Lawrence and get answers back to the ASLC.  Other comments included:

-       We have evidence of assessing some of these outcomes.  What more evidence do we want?

-       We do assessment all the time, does administration make decisions based on the assessment.

-       HLC is moving the target – they want assessment on all levels, not just student learning.


Togeas said if we are going to adopt the campus-wide learning outcomes, we need a statement indicating the reason why we are adopting it.  A member commented that this is outside the role of the ASLC, “our role is assessing the outcomes, not our role to adopt the outcomes.”  Helsper suggested that the ASLC make a recommendation to the Curriculum Committee about adoption of the outcomes, and both the CC and ASLC could send it to Assembly, if approved.  Togeas will contact Lawrence and Guyotte and inquire what the CC has done.  Other comments included:

-       A member noted that SCEP adopted the learning outcomes last year and wondered if SCEP has an assessment plan and has taken steps to implement it. 

-       It was noted that more should be added to the list of learning-outcomes, viz., addressing how to assess them.

-       Togeas said assessment is already done on our campus, we have models and it would be appropriate to invite some of the disciplines that have strong assessment programs to tell us what they are doing.

-       Assessment is already being done in disciplines. A member wondered how to connect it to GenEd

-       A member asked if decisions have been made based on GenEd Assessment. Korth replied that assessment led to deleting the old general education computing requirement, although the decision is poorly documented.


Togeas said we are looking for a better rationale than the one in the minutes of the Faculty Consultative Committee. Discussion included:

-       A member asked what are the channels through GER in disciplines? Who is responsible for this information if you want documentation, and said that there should be some entity that does this.

-       Need a statement for GER showing how each course is assessed; a document would be produced  showing how the course is  assessed and problems solved

-       Need to put structure into assessing General Education

Togeas said he would contact Guyotte and Lawrence about their discussion on campus-wide learning outcomes and report back to the ASLC.


The meeting adjourned at 9:00 AM