Assessment of Student Learning

University of Minnesota, Morris











DATE:                    December 11, 2008


SUBJECT:           Assessment of Student Learning Committee Minutes  


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

                          Tom Johnson, Kristin Lamberty, Arne Kildegaard, Laura Thoma, and Matthew Privratsky.


ABSENT:             Cheryl Contant


MINUTES:       recorded by Linda Pederson



The meeting began at 11:00 AM in the Prairie Lounge, Student Center.


O’Reilly said  because of the Imholte Hall emergency on Wednesday, Dean Contant was unable to finish the updated Action Plan for Assessment proposal, thus it will not be on today’s agenda, but Dean Contant will present at a future meeting.  O’Reilly said today the discussion will include NSSE survey results and General Education Survey trends.


ASLC Minutes 11/13/08

O’Reilly asked for approval of the ASLC Minutes dated November 13, 2008.  Motion (Lamberty, Dabbs) to approve the minutes; minutes unanimously approved with one abstention.


Lamberty will be on maternity leave during the first 6 weeks of spring semester and questioned if the ASLC needs a replacement for her.  A brief discussion followed, the committee agreed not to find a replacement for her.


A member asked if the Dean had sent out the memo (plan for assessment) discussed at last month’s meeting; O’Reilly replied it has not been sent.


O’Reilly asked ASLC member to forward their schedules to Pederson to determine the meeting schedule for spring 2009.


National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)

The committee discussed the NSSE; the survey results were distributed at last month’s meeting for members to review. Some comments included:

Š    The survey is administered every two years, the lasted report is 2008.

Š     O’Reilly said the VCAA and VCSA will make a presentation to campus next semester.

Š     A member suggested to look at and analyze the good and bad points, need to examine in more detail each histogram. 

Š    The histogram is divided by First Year and Senior Year

Š    Histogram numbers are based on the percentage of students answered survey.

Š    Need more encouragement from faculty to encourage students to complete survey.  Helsper said students are sent an e-mail requesting them to complete the on-line survey.   A student member commented that many students do not read mass e-mailings, and do not  fill out the surveys.

Š    A member asked if an incentive are offered to students to complete the survey; Helsper replied no.  She said in the past, a bookstore gift certificate was offered as an incentive for students to complete the GenEd survey, but this discontinued due to budget issues.

Š    Helsper said NSSE cautioned not to pressure students to complete survey

Š    Suggested that faculty encourage students in classroom to complete the survey, will give good feedback

Š    A member said if the survey is given in class to students, they would be more likely to complete the survey.  Helsper responded that paper surveys would be more costly for UMM, than the on-line survey.  A student suggested that classes set a time to go to the library to complete the survey on-line.

Š    A member noted it is important to know response rates and sampling procedures if we are comparing results with other campuses.


O’Reilly asked members if there were areas of concern, and what do we want to do with it. Members discussed the 2004 survey, which raised concern on writing on campus.  The committee discussed the UMM, Assessment of Your Learning Experience: General Education document.  Helsper discussed the tables, noting student rate importance based on their college major. Johnson said we developed the instrument, and can make changes if needed.  The ASLC discussed the rating scale, noting the scale is divided in two groups.  A member said the wording can be confusing, but said it is fine the way the rating is divided.  Johnson said, the simplest would be to make it a four point scale.  Helsper said the TC will run the same questionnaire on the web in February.


O’Reilly said we need to choose direction and asked if sub-committees should be formed. Helsper replied, in the past, the ASLC had a GenEd Sub-committee.  The GenEd sub-committee made recommendations to the curriculum committee for question change, and did a pretest to see if student attitudes changed from when they entered and left UMM.


A student suggested changing FYS to Liberal Arts, noting it would be helpful for students to understand liberal education.


Johnson asked how much the ASLC needs to do, O’Reilly responded the real assessment will be done by faculty/disciplines; our job is to see that it is being done.


Committee members agreed to form two sub-committee for spring session. 

GenEd Subcommittee

Julie Eckerle (convener), Tom Johnson, Laura Thoma, Kristin Lamberty


Academic Challenge Sub-Committee

Arne Kildegaard (convener), Matt Privratsky, Michael O’Reilly, Julia Dabbs


Meeting adjourned at 12:04 PM.