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  1. 1. Minutes of the Fourth AMCOA Meeting, September 14, 2011Prepared by Kerry McNallyHost Campus: Massachusetts College of Liberal ArtsI. AttendanceThe third AMCOA meeting was hosted by Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts from 10:00a.m.-12:00 Noon on September 14, 2011. Representatives from 15 institutions attended themeeting (See list in Appendix A), and Peggy Maki, Consultant under the Davis EducationalFoundation Grant awarded to the Department of Higher Education, chaired the meeting. Peggyopened the meeting and introduced Donna Kuizenga, Special Assistant to the Provost at theUniversity of Massachusetts Boston.II. Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts President, Mary Grant: Opening RemarksPresident Mary Grant welcomed the AMCOA Team to Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts(MCLA). She also thanked Kristina Bendikas and David Langston for their wisdom and goodleadership on behalf of MCLA for the AMCOA Project. President Grant pointed out that studentassessment is not a new concept, although it may feel new. All of the campuses do assessmentwith a level of involvement that varies across a spectrum. Student assessment is something weshould be concerned about as it focuses on the learning that occurs on the campuses andthroughout the public higher education system. As a senior ranking President, leading a stateinstitution for over 10 years and having strong connections across the state, President Grant iscommitted to using her influence to advocate for scoring authentic student work as evidence ofstudent learning and a way to improve student learning to ensure that this process producesquality education. “We‟ve never done anything like this in the past. This is a faculty-drivenassessment process.” Assessment is important, and Grant is proud of MCLA, which has beeninvolved with LEAP Rubrics for years. This AMCOA Project allows us to learn from oneanother and trade ideas that enable us to drive the agenda. She thanked AMCOA members forthe time they are investing in the Project and thanked Peggy Maki who has a national perspectiveon assessment. “Unlike that joke about „I‟m the government and I‟m here to help you,‟ Peggy isan incredible resource for assessment. We are fortunate to have her in this process and to pushthe agenda. Thank you all for the trek out here and thank you for all of your help.”
  2. 2. Minutes of the Fourth AMCOA Meeting, September 14, 20112III. Process for Naming of AMCOA Co-ChairsThree Co-chairs will be elected by the Team, one from the Community Colleges, one from thefour-year universities, and one from the UMass universities. Nominees, as stated in the Davisgrant, must be faculty or administrators who also hold faculty positions. It is very important thatTeam Members sign today‟s attendee list and hand in their completed ballots. Team Memberswill vote for candidates in all three sectors. For the Team Members not present at today‟smeeting, Peggy will e-mail the ballot to them on Monday. The Team agreed to this process.Peggy will bring the completed ballots to the Commissioner and his Advisory Committee forfinal selection. Once they have named the three co-chairs, Peggy will call each of them—likelyin October. Peggy asked if anyone on the list of nominees wished to decline and emphasizedthat the candidates for this role should have the time to do it. Lori Dawson of Worcester StateUniversity asked that her name be removed from consideration because this should be a faculty-driven endeavor and she is now in an administrative position. In the interest of full disclosure,Christopher Cratsley of Fitchburg State University said that although he is Interim Director ofAssessment, he is also on the faculty. He has been a faculty member for ten years and iscurrently teaching graduate students, but he has taught undergraduate students in the past. Hesaid that if the Team agreed, he would like to remain on the ballot. The Team agreed to keephim as a nominee. (Please see Appendix B, Peggy Maki‟s e-mail to the Team on the process fornaming AMCOA co-chairs.)IV. Update on Poll Results about Extending the Length of Monthly AMCOA MeetingsPeggy Maki provided an update on the question of whether the AMCOA Team meeting lengthshould be extended to accommodate discussion items or presentations. With 21 Team Membersresponding to the online poll, 76% of that total voted to extend the team meetings to three hours.Based on further discussion about this issue, since the total number of people voting was lessthan half of the total membership of AMCOA, the team recommended that Peggy determine thelength of each future meeting based on the agenda -- anywhere from two to three hours. She alsostated that she can move discussion items up earlier in an agenda and put information items atthe end so that if people do need to leave early, they will have had the chance to engage indiscussions.V. Scheduling Monthly Meetings Beyond November, 2011AMCOA Team Meetings were scheduled for 2012 through the end of the Davis Grant. The2012 dates follow:
  3. 3. Minutes of the Fourth AMCOA Meeting, September 14, 20113Thursday, January 12, 2012Wednesday, February 29, 2012Monday, March 26, 2012Tuesday, May 1, 2012Because December is such a busy month wrapping up the academic year, it was decided thatthere would be no AMCOA Team meeting that month. Also because the fourth conference willbe held at the end of April the team decided to skip that month and meet early in May. Please letPeggy or Kerry know if your school is willing to host one of the 2012 AMCOA meetings.VI. Update on Developing Descriptive Text for a Proposed Assessment Methods DatabasePeggy asked Maureen Melvin Sowa if she would be willing to create a draft that describes whatshould be entered into an assessment method database on Yammer. Maureen will present thatdraft at the October 18 meeting.VII. Parameters for Assessment ExperimentsPeggy asked if there were any edits or changes members would like to propose to the text for theParameters for Assessment Experiments. Tom Curley suggested developing a more detaileddescriptor under criterion 5, and Peggy agreed to work with him to revise that. She then willsend the final draft to AMCOA members for a “last look” before mailing out the final copy onSeptember 26 to AMCOA team members, presidents, vice presidents, and CAOs with a deadlinefor proposals set for October 31, 2011.Peggy asked that the following three AMCOA members serve as scorers of the submittedproposals: Bonnie Orcutt, Charlotte Mandell, and Tom Curley. Susan Chang and LisaPlantefaber will substitute for any scorer whose institution is named in one of the proposals.This group will also develop a scoring rubric to rank proposals that then will be sent to theCommissioner and his Advisory Committee for final decisions. Peggy said that her sense is thatmany of the Team Members are developing collaborations across the State to draft theirassessment experiment proposals.VIII. Final Plans for September 30 Conference (Kris Bendikas) and Status of VideotapingKristina thanked the Team Members for their patience while the kinks were worked out for thisfirst conference. She also wanted to make sure that everyone knew how the roundtables will
  4. 4. Minutes of the Fourth AMCOA Meeting, September 14, 20114work. After each presentation everyone will return to the Blue Lounge, where there will be signson the tables for each roundtable connected to a presentation. At these tables people can askquestions of the presenters, make comments, or bring up concerns. People may use the otherrooms that are empty, but the formal Roundtable discussions will occur in the Blue Lounge.Peggy also reminded the Team that one of the overarching outcomes of the conferences is tofacilitate networking across the State. The roundtables provide that kind of opportunity so thatpeople will be in a position to have dialogue with people from other campuses and possiblyinvite them to their campuses to share their experiences.When Kristina asked if there were any questions, the following issues were brought up:How is the conference being marketed to the broader community? ThisSeptember 30 conference will be comprised of those individuals that AMCOAmembers invite—given the short planning time for it.How can we release information about future conferences to the largercommunity so that more people can bring the lessons learned from theseconferences back to their campuses? Presidents and CAOs have been informed,but we have not moved into alternate communication channels. Under the Davisgrant there are limited funds to support each conference; in addition restrictionson space at each campus determine the number of people who can attend.Typically, the uppermost seating that can be accommodated is around 200people. If members have suggestions for widening publicity, they should letPeggy know. Others responded that we should see these conferences as ways tocreate a “ripple effect” on campuses, so it is important that Presidents and VicePresidents invite people who will take the lessons and information from eachsession back to their campuses and “spread the word.” Peggy said perhapsfuture funding could support developing larger conferences. She alsomentioned that the DHE newsletter will announce the remaining conferences,and DHE will also do some feature stories on the AMCOA Project as it goesforward.Peggy encouraged the Team and invited attendees to sign up for the Conference on EventBrite,an on-line registration site we are using to register for each conference. Kerry can monitor howmany spaces are being taken for the conference and report back to AMCOA team members ifthere are additional tickets available so that team members can bring more people from theircampuses. Peggy thanked Kristina Bendikas and the Conference Planning Group for all theirgood work and thanked Lori Dawson for the support she has provided for hosting the September30th Conference at WSU.Peggy reported that she has had to work through State protocols to assure that we can videotapesessions at the September 30th Conference. As it stands now, presenters will have to produce
  5. 5. Minutes of the Fourth AMCOA Meeting, September 14, 20115written handouts and/or PowerPoints of their presentations, so that people can access the materialin more than one form—an ADA requirement. After the conference is over, Kerry will askpresenters to forward her all written handouts and PowerPoints. Through Worcester StateUniversity‟s generosity, we will be able to videotape most of the presentations. Given thehuman power available to videotape, we will be limited to filming three presentations in themorning and three in the afternoon. Peggy called for volunteers who are willing to offer onlywritten materials and not be videotaped. Please notify Peggy or Kerry. Videotapes will beavailable on our Yammer site. Questions from the group that she still has to address are thefollowing:If a team member signs onto Yammer, may that person forward a video to otherfaculty?May the videotapes be downloaded? Will this allow them to go into the publicdomain in uncontrolled ways?Should there be a hot link to the presentation videos?What format will the videos be in?The DHE has also approved a permission form for presenters to sign, which will allow WSU tovideotape them.Kerry will collect the evaluations at the Conference and then send them to the PlanningCommittee so that recommended changes are incorporated into the next conferences. Kristina,Peggy, Kerry and the new conference co-chairs will have a post-conference call to debrief andeducate the new co-chairs on best practices for future conferences.IX. Discussion of Future Conferences under The Davis GrantAs the planning groups begin to work together for the mirror conferences, Peggy suggested that afocus on assessment in the disciplines be included because she has heard about that level ofinterest in her campus visits. For the upcoming conferences in November and February, Peggymade a call for volunteers for those planning groups. The plan for the November and FebruaryMirror Conferences is that they will be regional to reduce the commuting for attendees and coverthe same material. However, Peggy said that if new ideas emerge after the Novemberconference, new sessions can be offered in the February conference. A question for these twoconferences is whether or not they should be advertised together -- an issue that the planninggroups should address.
  6. 6. Minutes of the Fourth AMCOA Meeting, September 14, 20116X. Some Observations Based on Peggy Maki‟s Campus VisitsAlthough Peggy said she would be happy to provide an overview of her assessment visits onceshe has completed all of them at the end of October, she wanted to share some of herobservations so far. Specifically, she stated that she is amazed at how many campuses arefocused on LEAP, have adopted the VALUE rubrics, and are applying them or adaptations ofthem to student work. Over the longer term she believes that we will need to work togetheracross the State to score student work using the VALUE rubrics if the Commissioner decides tobecome a LEAP-affiliated state based on responses from all of our public institutions. We likelywould invite representatives from AAC&U to scoring sessions to answer questions that areraised about any adaptations to the VALUE rubrics. Often, she has seen that institutions willagree on a core set of criteria and then add other criteria for their institutional needs.Peggy said that it has been a treat for her to be on all of the State‟s campuses and to learn abouttheir progress in assessment. Presidents have been incredibly supportive and aware andknowledgeable about assessment. Every institution is improving and doing it “on a spectrum,”as Mary Grant said. Having been at NEASC in the late ‟80s when a commitment to assessmentwas first launched in accreditation, Peggy said she sees the progress that has taken place in thisState.XI. Upcoming Meeting Agenda TopicsPeggy stated that Pat Crosson is scheduled to present to the AMCOA Team at the Octobermeeting, specifically focusing on AMCOA‟s Phase II developments. Concern was expressedthat Phase II developments may not recognize the work achieved in Phase I, specifically theproposed composite model for reporting results that is described in Phase II. Peggy suggestedthat this issue be raised when Pat is present in October, but also reminded the team of thewording in Phase I and in the current Davis grant: “to develop campus-based assessmentsystems that can be used across the state and inform the eventual statewide system.”At the October meeting, Ellen Wentland has generously agreed to present on assessmentpractices at Northern Essex Community College—the first of our internal opportunities to learnfrom each other.At our November meeting, Michael Young has agreed to present on assessment practices atBridgewater State University.The next AMCOA meeting will take place on October 18thfrom 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. atMiddlesex Community College in Bedford. Peggy Maki will send an agenda and driving
  7. 7. Minutes of the Fourth AMCOA Meeting, September 14, 20117directions to the site one week before the meeting. Please let Kerry know as soon as possible ifyou plan to attend the meeting or cannot.Mark Your Calendars: November 17, 2011: Regional Assessment Conference atGreenfield Community College, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (8:30 a.m. Registration)Next Meeting: October 18, 2011 at Middlesex Community College in Bedford
  8. 8. Minutes of the Fourth AMCOA Meeting, September 14, 20118Appendix A Institutions Represented at the AMCOA September 14thMeeting:Berkshire Community CollegeBunker Hill Community CollegeFramingham State UniversityGreenfield Community CollegeHolyoke Community CollegeMassachusetts College of Liberal ArtsMiddlesex Community CollegeQuinsigamond Community CollegeRoxbury Community CollegeSalem State UniversitySpringfield Technical Community CollegeUniversity of Massachusetts AmherstUniversity of Massachusetts BostonWestfield State UniversityWorcester State University
  9. 9. 9Appendix B Process for Naming of AMCOA Co-chairsSeptember 7, 2011Dear AMCOA Team Members:Having discussed with the Commissioner’s Advisory Committee last week the process by which anAMCOA chair will be named, I would like to describe the results of that discussion and the process wewill follow.Specifically, the Advisory Committee supported the naming of three faculty co-chairs, representing eachof the constituencies of our state system: state universities, UMass, and community colleges. I will workwith these co-chairs to develop our monthly meetings and design the future directions of ourcollaborative work. Annually, one chair will serve as the point of contact for the Commissioner,providing perspectives on assessment issues as our work together develops and periodically chairingmeetings or leading discussions at our meetings. Kerry and I will continue to assume responsibility forsetting up monthly meetings and maintaining contact with all of you throughout our work so that thiskind of administrative work is not burdensome to those of you who will serve as co-chairs. The processof naming co-chairs will consist of: (1) AMCOA team members nominating individuals from eachconstituency on a ballot; and (2) the Advisory Board naming the three individuals based on the ballotresults.To prepare for our September 14 meeting at MCLA, I have listed below eligible individuals who arefaculty. Administrators who also hold a faculty position can also be included in this list of eligible people.If I have not listed any of you who hold dual positions, please let me know and I will include you on thelist I will present to team members on the 14th. Further, if you do not wish to be nominated, please alsolet me know and I will remove your name from the list. On September 14 I will ask that you nominateone faculty for each of the constituencies on a paper ballot. I will then present those ballots to theAdvisory Board; the Advisory Board will name the three individuals as soon as possible. If you have anyquestions about the responsibilities of the co-chairs, please email me.Please look over the attached list and then email me by September 12 if I have missed any eligiblemembers or if you do not wish to be considered for nomination.Community College Faculty:Charles Prescott Berkshire CCMaureen Sowa Bristol CCWilliam Berry Cape Cod CCKate Finnegan Greenfield CC
  10. 10. 10Terri Kinstle Holyoke CCNina Keery Massachusetts Bay CCSusan Keith Massasoit CCJohn Savage Middlesex CCSusan Taylor Mt. Wachusetts CCSuzanne van Wert Northern Essex CCGaelan Benway Quinsigamond CCJavad Moulai Roxbury CCTimothy McLaughlin Bunker Hill CCUMass Faculty:Neal BrussState University Faculty:Wendy Haynes Bridgewater SUBenjamin Railton Fitchburg SUDavid Langston MCLAAmanda Woods Mass Maritime AcademyJames Gubbins Salem SUBonnie Orcutt Worcester SU