Assessment of Student Learning

University of Minnesota, Morris








DATE:             November 13, 2008



SUBJECT:      Assessment of Student Learning Committee Minutes  



PRESENT:       Michael O’Reilly (chair), Cheryl Contant, Julia Dabbs, Julie Eckerle, Susan Hennen, Nancy 

                          Helsper, Kristin Lamberty, Arne Kildegaard, Laura Thoma, and Matthew Privratsky


ABSENT:        Tom Johnson [with apologies]


MINUTES:      recorded by Linda Pederson



The meeting began at 11:00 AM  in Imholte Hall, Conference Room 218.


ASLC Minutes, 05/01/08

O’Reilly asked for approval of the ASLC Minutes dated May 1, 2008.  Motion (Thoma, Lamberty) to approve the minutes; unanimously carried.


ASLC Minutes, 10/09/08

O’Reilly asked for approval of the ASLC Minutes dated October 9, 2008.  Motion (Thoma, Lamberty) to approve the minutes; unanimously carried.


Assessment of Student Learning Website

O’Reilly announced that Helsper has updated the Assessment of Student Learning Website, all 2006-2007 UMM Discipline Assessment Results are posted to the web.


Report on Indianapolis Assessment Conference

O’Reilly reported on the Indianapolis Assessment Conference that he, C. Contant, L. Meek, and J. Ericksen attended in October.  O’Reilly made copies of several pages from the “Assessment Clear and Simple” handout received at the conference.  O’Reilly discussed the pages with the committee members, noting

-       it describes what we are looking for in assessment

-       describes the ideal system for information-gathering and improvement of student learning

-       Some departmental assessment plans are already in place

-       Assessment methods described by disciplines


Contant said we are an institution that cares about improving what we do and to improve what we are assessing.  She said we are moving forward with the assessment process, we have a good skeleton, but need to work on the connective tissue; then we will be in good shape.  Contant said there should be linkage among groups on campus to a variety of other places.  Assessment can and should effect what a discipline needs in a new position.  Contant noted that existing discipline assessment programs are good, but there is not much assessment for GenEd and Institutional assessment.  Discipline assessment requires little further effort, but some are missing one component, namely “what did you learn, what changes were made?”  Members discussed assessment reports, the following noted:

-       Based on assessment, aspects requiring change should be noted and changes proposed. Disciplines should add impact on discipline to the report

-       Discipline assessment should be an annual process, with a structured schedule

-       The biggest task is to document and make the connections


Talking Document on Developing the Assessment Program at UMM

Members reviewed the document; O’Reilly noted this document is a summary of a discussion of those who attended the Assessment Conference in October.  He said the process will grow with what we have already in place, and the ASLC must persuade disciplines to keep the process moving.  Helsper said the 1997/1998 Discipline Goals/Objectives are on the Assessment website.  A member said it is helpful to share examples/objectives and gave examples:

-       Conduct basic scholarly work, use of search tools

-       Specific objectives linked to the larger objective

-       Objectives more specific to breakdown of larger goal

-       Write goals and objectives down on papers

-       Objectives are measurable things that tell us students have accomplished it


Dean Contant discussed an overview and suggestions of the assessment program with the committee. Dean Contant will compose a memo (on behalf of the Dean /ASLC) to roll out plan for assessment.

Disciplines would be asked to report:

1.     Significant changes made on the basis of the 2006-2007 Discipline Assessment Report, and/or 2007-2008 Discipline Assessment Reports.

2.     Document assessment impact on discipline.

3.     Actively assess their Gen Ed contributions.

A member noted it is easy for the ASLC to focus on discipline assessment, but said GedEd is more difficult  to assess. 


Helsper said she will need a full hour to discuss the NSSE Report.


The Assessment Committee will meet Thursday, December 11 at 11:00 AM in the Prairie Lounge.


Meeting adjourned at 12:00 PM.