Office of Academic Assessment

Newsletter Fall 2010

November 1, 2010 * Fall 2010 Issue

Newsletter Banner - Inquiry into Student Learning

A Newsletter on Assessment

The Office of Academic Assessment, with the support of Undergraduate Programs/Core, and the contributions of USM faculty, is distributing a newsletter each semester, beginning with this Fall 2010 issue.

The purpose of this newsletter is to share perspectives, research, and other information about inquiry into student learning at the institutional, program, and course level. In addition, the newsletter provides information about inquiry into student learning at USM, focusing especially on faculty projects.

Faculty Inquiry into Student Learning

This issue's articles discuss faculty involvement in systematically investigating how and what students are learning. See also the results of the NILOA (National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment) survey regarding what provosts and chief academic officers are saying about assessment. Two of USM's faculty members, Adam Tuchinsky and Ann Dean, describe recent activities focused on inquiry into student learning.


*EYE Fall 09 Cohort
See the EYE program assessment report, results of the students who enrolled in an EYE course in the Fall 2009 semester.

*EYE 117
Adam Tuchinsky describes his experience with EYE 117: Thoreau: Nature, Society and Self and the assessment of course outcomes.

 *Assessment of Writing

Ann Dean examines the ENG 104, College Writing 4-credit Course.

 *The Faculty Role in Assessment

An article from Inside Higher Education, May 28, 2010 issue.

 *Engaging Intellectual Work: The Faculty’s Role in Assessment

James Slevin, College English, Vol 63, No 3. Jan 2001.

 *More than you think, Less than we need:

Kuh, G., &Ikenberry, S. (2009). More than you think, Less than we need: Learning Outcomes Assessment in American Higher Education. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois and Indiana University, National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA).

Full Report or Abridged Version

 *Building a Culture of Evidence

ETS researchers developed a framework to improve the collection and dissemination of information on student learning outcomes.  Here is their report on a practical approach to help meet the call for accountability. “A Culture of Evidence:  An Evidence-Centered Approach to Accountability for Student Learning Outcomes” by Catherine Millett, David Payne, Carol Dwyer, Leslie Stickler, Jon Alexiou, 2008.

 *Assessment of Student Learning

Do our students leave USM with the knowledge, proficiencies, and commitments a USM education is supposed to foster? What are we doing well and why? What can we do better, and how? These are the questions that assessment is intended to answer...St.Olaf College's website (linked above) includes a brief tutorial on how and why we do assessment at the college level.

 *Classroom Assessment Techniques

A simple way to examine the gap between what you think your students are learning and what they are actual learning…see one type of classroom technique that you can use today. 

 *NSSE-FSSE 2011 updates

USM will participate in the Surveys on Student Engagement for Spring 2011.

 *If you have any feedback about this first issue, or would like to submit an article to share, or if you have any suggestions for future assessment themes, please email: