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 Assessment of Student Learning

CASL - 31 August 2012

Present: Shannon Godsey, John Schwetman, Mick McComber, Jerry Pepper, Jim Klueg, Julia Williams, Praveen Aggarwahl, Richard Davis.

Excused: Jeni Eltink

The CASL charge was reviewed with the following change:

 “…is convened by the assessment director and reports to the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs…” to “…Director of Student Learning Assessment and reports to the Associate Vice Chancellor of Undergraduate Education…”

It was recommended to add the bullet point “Communicate regularly with EPC, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Life, and the campus as a whole.”

It was recommended that Associate Deans and Program Directors receive assessment updates and offer support for the work PALs are trying to achieve in their departments and programs.

Shannon shared the goals for CASL, which included

    • Complete Academy project
    • President’s Alliance action plan
    • Plan professional development
    • Involve students in assessment
    • Implement new database (Campus Labs)

Richard suggested finding an alternative for ePortfolio.  There was also a suggestion for professional development around the Campus Labs implementation.


There was discussion about possible professional development opportunities including outside speakers.  Suggestions included Susan Hatfield, Charlie Blaich, or a representative from Alverno or Evergreen College.


The group discussed the template for the HLC Academy Results Forum Report.  They identified changes to the original project including: firm assessment support from administration, assessment pilot in liberal education, a shift in the make-up of CASL, changes to reporting templates and a shift from building a process to focusing on program improvement.  Identified challenges included reluctant or refusing programs, assessment’s place in governance, assessment in liberal education, fear about how assessment data would be used, and lack of criteria in UMD SLOs.  Positive changes included: the changed nature of assessment conversations including curriculum and student life, upper administration’s approach to assessment, increase in conversations at the program level and across programs, more general academic and co-curricular support for assessment activities, more institutional commitment increased by the meaningful way assessment is conducted rather than using a standardized test, benefits to department heads when hiring and recruiting (based on candidates awareness and attitudes towards assessment), co-curricular programs re-writing missions, goals and outcomes and having evolving conversations—something that didn’t happen before.  It was noted this is a culture shift.


Julia shared the idea of using mechanism to ask seniors specific questions about outcomes and what has changed/learned during their time at UMD.  She suggested using paired questions about the outcomes and asking students to rate themselves along a continuum.  There was also discussion about a similar pre/post process that begins in Seminar and ends as a senior.  This possible project will be further discussed.


The group reviewed the President’s Alliance Action Plan.  Currently, 65% of programs have updated assessment plans. Shannon will meet with Associate Deans and Program Directors for ideas to reach the 100% update indicated on the Action Plan.


Shannon provided an update on the assessment in Liberal Education pilot project.  She was able to complete an assessment report for Logic and Quantitative reasoning using the information gathered from the cover sheet and workshop held in May 12.  While the process and workshop were very informative and several success stories following with workshop were shared, there is still concern about the feedback loop, or, how to use the information gained to inform/improve the program.  This discussion will continue in the future


There was discussion about who should act as a PAL for the next iteration of assessment in Liberal Education.  The group chose the next categories for assessment in 2012-13: Fine Arts and Global Perspectives.


Shannon shared information regarding assessment activities this fall.  These include:

  • New Liaison Training and refresher (14 Sept—4 times)
  • Reports (DUE OCTOBER 15)
  • Results Forum (November 7-9)
  • Peer review (NOVEMBER 16; 9am and 1pm)


Shannon Godsey (recorder)

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