Joint Task Force on Student Learning Outcomes Assessment (JTFSLOA)
Higher Education institutions are facing increasing expectations to develop and maintain student learning outcomes assessment processes that inform teaching, learning, and student development practices on their campuses. The University of Massachusetts Amherst already uses a number of indirect indicators of student performance and experience (e.g., NSSE, Senior Survey, SRTI Course Evaluation results, other ad hoc surveys and focus groups). The next steps are to develop methods for systematically gathering and assessing students’ actual performance on desired student learning outcomes (i.e., “direct” measures of student performance such as course work, capstone assignments, student portfolios, etc.) and to engage additional academic departments and faculty members in the assessment effort. Through this effort, the University will enhance its capacity to marshal evidence of student performance to inform educational practices.
The Joint Task Force on Student Learning Outcomes Assessment (JTFSLOA) shall make recommendations to the administration and the Faculty Senate about how to best develop and support student learning outcomes assessment for formative (improvement) purposes. With a particular but not exclusive emphasis on direct assessments of student learning, the JTFSLOA will address methods for conducting and promoting student learning assessment at both the department/program-level (focusing on learning outcomes relevant to the individual department or program) and at the institutional level (focusing, for example, on student learning outcomes related to the General Education program).
The JTFSLOA will be composed of a faculty representative from each School and College, and the Library, to be appointed by the Rules Committee and four (4) members of the administration to be appointed by the Provost, plus the Secretary of the Faculty Senate (or a designee), serving ex officio.
The Provost shall appoint one of the members to serve as Chair.
Reporting and Sunset:
The Joint Task Force shall provide interim reports to the Faculty Senate at least annually and shall present a final report. The Joint Task Force is authorized for a maximum term of 3 years.
From the Special Report of the Rules Committee concerning the Establishment of an Ad Hoc Committee to be Named the Joint Task Force on Student Learning Outcomes Assessment (JTFSLOA), Sen. Doc. No. 12-053A.