Assessment of Student Learning

University of Minnesota, Morris









DATE:             May 1, 2008


SUBJECT:      Assessment of Student Learning Committee Minutes  


PRESENT:       Jim Togeas (Chair), Tom Johnson, Michael O’Reilly, Mary Elizabeth Bezanson, Nancy Helsper
                          and Chris Vinderslev.


ABSENT:        Therese Buchmiller, Donna Chollett, Hsing-Wen Hu, and Abby Swafford


MINUTES:      recorded by Linda Pederson



The meeting began at 8:00 AM in the Prairie Lounge.


ASLC Minutes, 04/17/08

Togeas asked for corrections/additions/deletions or approval of the ASLC Minutes dated April 17, 2008. Motion (Johnson, Bezanson) to approve the minutes; unanimously carried.


Report from Subcommittee on Learning Outcomes

Togeas drafted responses based on ideas expressed during discussion at the ASLC meeting on April 17.  Discussion included:

-       “Communicate Orally” – term is too broad.  A member suggested using the same wording as used by NSSE.

-       We are encouraged to use the Seven Senate Learning Outcomes, but are not obliged to do so.

-       ASLC thought the word “interdisciplinary” too restrictive, and thought “multidisciplinary” would be more appropriate.  The committee discussed how to assess interdisciplinary outcomes. A member voiced concern about the accessibility of learning outcomes, if they are not behavioral outcomes. It was  noted that one of the problems with current assessment – we can’t assess what students are thinking, but we can assess what they do.

-       Work with the word “master” –  multiple modes.

-       Interdisciplinary approach is encouraged – discussed possible wording.  Suggested to change wording to read “Understanding various modes of inquiry including interdisciplinary approaches to knowledge.  Also suggested to add sentence “recognize interdisciplinary learning is desirable, and is difficult to assess.”

-       Togeas summarized discussion from last meeting on Social Responsibility – ways to assess based on current GE designators (ethical and civic engagement)

-       Discussion of GenEd Requirements. A member asked if we can suggest a 3000-level course outside of a Major as part of the GER?  A member noted that GER supports some disciplines and said in these times, with low enrollment, it privileges some disciplines.

-       Discussed if current GenEds are assessible; a member replied that he didn’t think they were being assessed at the moment.

-       Embedded assessment – GenEd is assessed within the course.

-       Every course needs a GenEd designator.  Consider basis, and explain how course continues to fit designator.

-       Suggested to look at goals and objectives of all GenEd courses and see if they are assessible.


From today’s discussion, Togeas noted the following changes:

-       Understanding interdisciplinary modes of inquiry and approaches to knowledge/Process of discovery (item 1) – change language

-       Skills-based outcomes (5a) – send NSSE language to Curriculum Committee Subcommittee


A member noted that next year is a catalog year so the Curriculum will not be taking up the subcommittee report immediately, and suggested this discussion should continue next year.


Meeting adjourned at 9:00 AM.