Date: 09-12-11
Present: Stacey Parker Aronson (chair), Amanda Granaas, Nancy Helsper, Carrie Jepma, Jana Koehler, Denise Odello, Ted Pappenfus
Absent (due to unavoidable scheduling conflicts): Cyrus Bina, Stephen Burks

FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS: At our inaugural meeting, we discussed possible future agenda items for the committee.

Š      We will contact the new Dean Bart Finzel, the Curriculum Committee and the Division chairs to see if any of them have tasks they would like the Assessment Committee to undertake this year.

Š      We will consider holding an Open Meeting for discipline coordinators to assist them with the assessment report process. I will send an e-mail first via the division chairs to find out whether or not a meeting would be of interest to anyone.

Š      It was suggested that we create an award for the best assessment reports of each division as determined by a vote of their peers.

Š      We should inquire as to whether or not we should add more FAQs.

Š      We will study the most recent report from the Higher Learning Commission to see what it had to say about assessment at UMM. Carrie remembered that the HLC criticized UMM for its lack of incentives for discipline coordinators who most often write the assessment reports and receive no compensation for doing it.

FEEDBACK FOR ASSESSMENT REPORTS: Ted suggested that we designate “best practices” in the assessment reports. Nancy and Carrie noted that, while some reports purport to be assessment reports, they are really not. They wondered how we could convey this to the authors and disciplines of these reports without creating frustration and more anxiety. How can we provide constructive feedback on the reports? If we are reluctant to do so, how do we improve the reports and, subsequently, the experiences for our students? Also, we need to communicate with disciplines about how the information from the assessment reports will be used by the new administrators. Given that these reports were intended to be evaluative and not punitive, it is important that both the Chancellor and the Dean communicate to disciplines and to the campus at large that the intent of assessment is to improve student learning, not to determine allocations for disciplines.

Stacey will schedule another meeting soon.