University Assessment Panel

Notes from Meeting of
February 21, 2003

The seventh meeting of the University Assessment Panel (UAP) for the 2002-2003 academic year was held on Friday, February 21, 2003 at 10:00 a.m. in Lowden Hall 304.


The Illinois Board of Higher Education is offering General Education Assessment Workshops, in Chicago and Bloomington.  A team will be sent to each workshop and Barnard will be forwarding the information to the panel.  Feedback from the Doug Eder assessment workshops has been positive.  Eder does a good job of breaking down assessment into understandable pieces.  Those interested in handouts from the presentation should email Barnard.

Upcoming agenda items will include reviewing the University Assessment Plan in preparation for Higher Learning Commission.  The chapters of the self-study will be posted on the web for review, and the panel will be asked to provide feedback on the chapter on mission and planning.  Other agenda items for spring include the IBHE accountability projects.

Panel members having suggestions for topics to discuss in Toolkit should email Askins.  The next issue is scheduled for publication mid- to late-April.

Alumni Survey

A draft of the 2002 undergraduate alumni survey was distributed to the panel for feedback.  Barnard summarized the revisions on the draft.  The section rating student support services was revised to give more useful feedback.  Another change under consideration is to print the letter to students on the survey if the survey is condensed to three pages.  Barnard is working to make the survey confidential, by eliminating SSN as the primary identifier and by using bar-coding.  The hope is that alumni will be more comfortable responding and the response rate will be increased.  The response rate was improved in last yearís survey by using the Public Opinion Lab to follow up with non-responders.

Panel members gave feedback on specific questions that they felt could be improved, added or eliminated.  Suggestions were also made to standardize the responses if possible between sections, and to replace some questions not providing enough useful information with questions assessing general education.  The panel concurred they would like to see a not applicable response option on the questions pertaining to overall university experiences and courses.  There will likely be a more extensive overhaul of the survey next year, and consideration of some suggestions may be deferred to next yearís revision.

Portfolio and Capstone Proposals

Two portfolio proposals were approved.  One portfolio proposal was withdrawn prior to the meeting.  One capstone proposal was approved, and two other capstone proposals are approved if clarification can be provided on how results will be used in program assessment.

Capstone Final Report for the Certificate in Applied Ethics

The report on the capstone pilot course for the Certificate in Applied Ethics was distributed with the meeting agenda for comments.  Comments were that it would be unfortunate if the capstone was discontinued and also a brief discussion of how the population of students the capstone was piloted on affected the outcome.

Feedback on Assessment Plans

Assigned panel members gave feedback on assessment plans and status reports from Business, Education, and Engineering.  Discussion of the remaining Liberal Arts & Sciences plans from the agenda will be continued at the March 7 meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:54 am.  The next meeting of the UAP will be March 7, 2003 in Lowden Hall 304.