Meeting of the Assessment Committee
Thursday, February 9, 2006
Academic Affairs Conference Room (2122), Founder’s Hall 3:30 p.m.
Present: Blauwkamp, Butler, Crocker, Cutler, Elliott, Fronczak, Hodge, Jackowiak, Moore, Powell, Wheeler, Wilke
Absent: Bishop, Hoehner, Skinner, Unruh, Vavricka
The meeting was called to order by Glen Powell, committee chair.
- Powell began the meeting with a presentation of the UNK Assessment Strategic Plan for 2006-2008 developed by the Governance subcommittee. After some discussion, Moore/Crocker moved for formal adoption of the strategic plan. Motion passed.
UNK Assessment Strategic Plan For 2006-08
UNK Assessment Program Priorities
- Use effective assessment practices to evaluate and optimize student learning in all settings.
- Use a continuous systematic assessment and data analysis process to assist the establishment of priorities, facilitate planning, and align resources to improve programs and enhance student learning.
- Implement benchmarking standards to define, measure, and enhance student learning.
- Develop a unified approach for systematically assessing student learning in all settings. (P #1)
- Support implementation of effective assessment practice at all levels (campus-wide to individual courses). (P #1)
- Promote continuous systematic assessment and utilization of data that assists with strategic planning processes. (P # 2)
- Develop benchmarks linked to student outcomes which enhance program development and student learning. (P #3)
- Butler presented the revised report rubric developed by the Reports subcommittee. The rubric will be a tool for departments and programs to evaluate whether they have all the components necessary for a report, as well as for the Department of Assessment to review reports as they are submitted. Butler plans to implement the rubric in the fall and has already used it, along with a sample report with some of the departments she has visited this year.
The next step will be to develop an online form for submission of assessment reports in order to achieve more focused reports.
- Powell presented a Report of Status of Departmental Assessment of General Studies Courses Submitted to the UNK Assessment Committee. Twenty-three departments or programs were involved in the campus-wide implementation of department-based assessment of General Studies Program courses last fall. The Director of General Studies has been able to visit with 18 of the departments in order to evaluate the assessment process and to offer assistance. Fifteen collected data during the fall with three planning to implement this spring. Of the remaining departments, the Director plans to visit two more next week, and the status of the others is unknown but contacts will be made as time permits. It was suggested that there may be more efficient methods for visiting with departments in the future.
Fronczak asked why there is so much tension surrounding assessment of General Studies, and Powell responded with a variety of potential causes for this tension:
- General Studies assessment is new, and the results of the assessment are unknown.
- Within the distributive education model for General Studies used at UNK, assessment results focus more directly on the department offering the courses. If the results are unexpectedly below what is hoped for, there is a natural fear that poor results may reflect negatively on the department.
- Assessment of General Studies objectives requires that departments review whether what is happening in the course actually reflects the General Studies objectives. Student assessment results forces an accountability to the General Studies objectives that we at UNK have not been used to having to do.
Kim Elliott, Scribe
Glen Powell, Chair