Minutes of the
Meeting of the Assessment Committee
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Academic Affairs Conference Room (2147), Founder’s Hall 3:30 p.m.
Present: Greg Anderson, Jeanne Butler, Karin Covalt, Kim Elliott, Bethany Hyatt, Mary Kommers, George Lawson, Tami Moore, and Sarah von Schrader
Absent: Paul Bishop, Ron Crocker, Kay Hodge, Gloria Vavricka, and Scott Unruh
The meeting was called to order by Director of Assessment Butler at the above time and place.
- Butler began the meeting by sending around a sign-up sheet for committee members to sign up to work on one of the two subcommittees that have been created: Online assessment report submittal or departmental focused assessments
- NCA requirements for April 2008 focused visit
- Butler shared a handout of excerpts from the 2003 NCA exit report. The seven major points were reviewed and our efforts to meet them were discussed. Handout affixed hereto and by reference made a part hereof.
- We have strived to develop a culture of assessment where faculty and staff feel that it is an integral part of what we do. We will be completing a survey this spring that will include questions regarding how important assessment is to what departments do and how do they use assessment. It is important to recognize that the importance of collecting and analyzing assessment data is to better departments and colleges, since it has been the practice of members of the NCA evaluation team to walk around campus and randomly inquire of faculty of what value is assessment in their departments. The Center for Teaching Excellence has been providing various training in assessment for faculty. This past fall, von Schrader provided feedback on assessment reports to all departments.
- Butler was hired just before the 2003 accreditation visit. Since that visit, a budget has been developed, dedicated staff has been assigned to the office of assessment, a web site has been established, a newsletter is being published, etc.
- eCampus director Vavricka has an assessment plan in place for on-line courses. eCampus has also collected data on faculty and student satisfaction, and retention. Some departments are also collecting data to compare performance in the same course taught on-line vs. in the classrooms.
- There was almost no General Studies data prior to this year and no consideration of GS objectives. All GS departments did have plans by 2005 and began collecting data in 2006. The first reports have been submitted to Director Snider and he will provide feedback in the next month to all. To get some direct assessment of the overall GS program, we are doing a pilot study of an assessment instrument, collecting data at the freshman and junior/senior level. NSSE student surveys and surveys for students and faculty related to GS will provide indirect measures of GS success. GS Roundtables and the General Studies Council are using this data in the decision-making process along with NSSE data and exit interviews.
- Writing Intensive assessment is handled by the ad hoc WI/CD Committee which had been given that charge. Most departments have submitted a WI assessment plan and are collecting data next year for their WI assessment reports.
- Cultural Diversity assessment is covered by the ad WI/CD Committee which had been given that charge. Some indirect data has been collected, i.e. from questions on a WI/CD survey, NSSE questions and exit survey. No direct measures of CD have been collected nor is there any plan for collection of assessment data for CD.
- Various recognition vehicles are in place for outstanding assessment practices, including the Assessment Awards Luncheon that is held in the Spring Semester.
All areas except CD are in good shape for the NCA visit. Butler will write the required report for the assessment office and overall assessment at UNK with the help of Sarah von Schrader. Gloria Vavricka and Carol Lomicky will have responsibility for writing the eCampus portion of the self-study. Daren Snider and Bethany Hyatt will write the GS portion of the Self-study, and the WI/CD Committee will appoint a member to take responsibility for writing the WI and CD portions of the report. We will be using a website resource room during the focused visit next April, so all information and materials related to assessment at UNK will have to be in an electronic format and put online.
- Trends in Accreditation visits
- Focused assessments
Two UNK Departments, Biology and Psychology, are examples of using assessment to focus on curriculum changes. A handout (attached hereto and by reference made a part hereof) was distributed to committee members describing the three issues Biology addressed and the eight areas Psychology is examining.
- Institutional Portfolios
von Schrader showed the IUPUI site as a model that we may adopt for our Focused Visit. The site includes a portfolio with the specific areas of focus identified, as well as specific examples of assessment data.
von Schrader shared information on WEAVEonline and TracData, two commercial assessment management systems that are being analyzed at UNK that may offer an alternative to developing our own database for campus-wide assessment use.
There being no further business to come before the Committee, meeting adjourned at 4:40 p.m. The next meeting of the Committee will be Thursday, March 8, at 3:30 p.m. in FNDH Room 2147.