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PBA Home > Institutional Research & Analysis > Outcomes Assessment > AOC meeting notes 4/11/02

Assessment Oversight Committee (AOC) meeting notes 4/11/02

Kumiko Takahara has resigned from the committee due to her impending retirement.

Michael Grant, chair
Gordon Brown
Padraic Kenney
Ronald Melicher
Elease Robbins
Candice Miller
Jim Sherman
Lou McClelland, staff
Perry Sailor, staff

Sam Fitch, Padraic Kenney, Merrill Lessley, Kathy King


  1. Peter Ewell article from Assessment Update, "Taking Stock of Accreditation Reform" (not available online). The article is about accreditation reform spurred by grants to accrediting bodies - including NCA - by Pew Charitable Trusts. Among the grants' aims are getting accreditors to shift some energy away from reviewing inputs and processes and toward looking at learning outcomes. They hope to do this in part through shifting the underlying logic of external review from a "program evaluation" model toward a broader notion of "academic quality assurance." The former approach uses methods that are consciously separated from the teaching and learning processes in the name of objectivity; the latter aims at transforming those processes by embedding stated collective goals for learning attainment in the standards each faculty member uses to evaluate all student work.
  2. Notes to accompany Lou's presentation on recent PBA activities related to assessment


  1. Reaction from units to earlier comments on their assessment efforts that went out over provost's signature.
  2. Lou report on PBA activities

1. Reaction from units to provost's comments -

So far Mike has had phone contact with several units. No meetings. Suggests dividing up units among committee members today, and that members meet with units via going in groups of 2 or 3 to chairs' offices. Can't seem to get on faculty meeting agendas.

Jim: Engineering departments only get interested at accreditation time. Haven't found a way to break that.

Mike: For A&S it's PRP. Depts. think assessment is busy work, just one more thing, etc. An extra.

Lou: Way it's been handled in accreditation so far reinforces that feeling. That's changing (see end of Ewell article).

Mike: But so far depts. just don't buy in. One chair says grades (undergrad) and comprehensive exams, defenses, etc. (for grads) already do all the assessment needed. Mike pointed out knowledge and skill goals, asked how course grades linked to those. Chair admitted that goals were legitimate expression of dept.'s goals for students, course grades didn't measure them. But then said it was an overwhelming task (to assess in terms of knowledge and skill goals).

Jim: Departments aren't clear what their objectives are.

Mike: We can move forward, but it will take time.

2. Lou report -- - see link above under Handout #2.

Lou: Little posted on website with respect to committee activities so far, e.g., letters to units not posted, nor are guidelines for units.

Mike: Should we post letters to units? Don't think so.

Mike: Does anyone here have any ideas for how to get units going?

Jim: Went to assoc. dean, said "We've got to get assessment going," no disagreement, but no action. Have to tie to performance review of chairs, asst. deans, etc. Either funding or performance review. Funding leverage limited. Have to make it performance review.

Mike: Should I take this to the provost?

Lou: One other incentive: publicity. E.g., PRP has both assessment, diversity requirements. No monetary reward for latter but they're serious about it, at least in words.

Mike: So, do I talk to the provost? Or do we meet with chairs, starting in summer? Goal: an updated, recent report for all units.

Lou: I still think there's more assessment out there than is being reported. If you ask a chair to name 3 curricular changes in the last 3 years, most will have some. And if you ask "why did you do that?" they have a reason, something concrete that they based it on. But they don't think that's assessment.

Decision: Mike will send list of units that need meetings with committee members to all members. People can volunteer, select units they want to meet with. Mike and Perry will begin meeting with units over summer.

Mike: Do we need customized material for units?
Lou: What are in the guidelines?
Mike: Links to PBA pages, examples, large vs. small depts. About 15 pages.

Decision: Mike will send guidelines to PBA for posting on web site. Next meeting will be in fall.

PBA: PS-- L:\IR\OUTCOMES\aoc\notes020411.doc

Last revision 05/09/02

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