NMHEAA's Student Learning Taskforce
Taskforce Chair: Susan Wood
Past Chair: Chris Burnham
New Mexico Assessment Task Force
2011-2012 Final Report and Re-organization Scheme
August 13, 2012
Through the spring and summer of 2012, the Executive Board of the New Mexico Assessment Task Force (NMATF) met and subsequently communicated via email regarding the status of the Task Force and future directions we might take to make our work more effective. These deliberations, an assessment of our assessments, resulted in a decision to modify our relationship to the New Mexico Higher Education Department and to reorganize as the Student Learning Task Force (SLTF) under the auspices of the New Mexico Higher Education Assessment Association (NMHEAA).
This document provides an overview of the history and
accomplishments of the NMATF and establishes the procedures and conditions for
the transition from NMHED to NMHEAA. We expect the transition to be completed in
August of 2012 so that the SLTF can function under the new procedures for the
upcoming academic year.
The NMATF wants to emphasize that our aim in reorganizing is to continue our work but in ways that are more efficient and effective than in the past.
Charge and Mission
The New Mexico Higher Education Department charged the New Mexico Assessment Task Force (NMATF) with designing and implementing a procedure for fulfilling the 2005 legislative mandate that each institution of higher education in New Mexico systematically report assessments of the effectiveness of all courses and programs associated with the State General Education Common Core. The NMATF was originally established as an offshoot of the Articulation Task Force established as a result of the 2005 legislature (The Post-Secondary Education Articulation Act [Section 21-1B-1 et seq. NMSA 1978]). 2008 was the first year during which institutions were required to report. Academic year 2011-12 marked the first time the NMATF completed a reporting cycle in its entirety, from the request for reports from HED in September, 2011, to collecting and reviewing reports and providing feedback on the reports in January 2012, to presenting best practices at NM Higher Education Assessment and Retention Conference February, 2012.
Though the NMATF was charged directly by the Secretary for
Higher Education, the Task Force established its mission over the course of
three years of meeting and planning. Institutions began reporting in 2008. The
Task Force determined its mission to be creating a positive culture of
assessment across higher education in NM characterized by the belief that
assessment is a normal and healthy professional responsibility deserving close
and continuing attention and that through assessment institutions are better
able to accomplish their various missions and best serve the students of NM.
Having completed an entire cycle and understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the current organization and procedures, the Task Force suggests the following reorganization. This reorganization has three aims: 1. to clarify the mission and scope of the former NMATF, now the SLTF, and its relationship to NMHED; 2. to simplify reporting requirements; 3. to create collaborations among NM higher education institutions and the SLTF in order to improve assessment practices.
The reorganization described below offers direction to the HED that would maintain compliance with the legislative mandate by establishing time frames for reporting and providing public access to assessment reports via links to institutional websites on the NMHED website.
Recommendations to HED
In compliance with legislative mandate, require each institution to post an annual report on its own website on assessment activities as related to Common Core Competencies. In addition to reporting assessment procedures, each institution will complete a self-assessment of effectiveness of assessment and describe how the assessment results will be used to improve student learning
Put a call out each year to institutions by September 30 requiring submission of a link to assessment reports by December 15. These links would be posted on the NMHED website and accessible to the public.
Assessment reports can be completed on forms provided by HED and available on the HED website, or in formats specific to the reporting institution. Forms available on the HED website would be periodically revised by the NMATF, now the SLTF.
Reports would be posted on each institution’s website and identified using a standard labeled link clearly identified on entry portal to institutional website (institutional homepage)
As noted above, the link that institutions would send to the NMHED would take users directly to the assessment report, not the institution’s homepage.
As noted above, NMHED would post links to each institution’s report on the HED Core Competencies website: http://www.hed.state.nm.us/Core_Competencies_Assessment.aspx
In January of each year, NMHED would complete a compliance check via institutional websites to determine that institutions are in compliance with reporting requirements.
Recommendations by the NMHEAA reorganizing the NMATF as the Student Learning Task Force (SLTF).
The re-envisioned TF would retain its mission as defined.
Rather than become an affiliate of the NMHEAA, the current NMATF become a Task Force of the NMHEAA. Changing the name from NMATF to the Student Learning Task Force (SLTF) better reflects the purpose of the Task Force.
The re-envisioned TF would consider and serve the needs of institutions in supporting assessment at all levels of the institution, not just in general education. At the request of individual institutions, the SLTF would provide feedback regarding the effectiveness of individual assessment reports and programs. At the request of the HED, the SLT would review and provide feedback regarding specific assessment reports sent in any reporting cycle.
The TF of the NMHEAA would serve in an advisory role to the HED, but not as an agent of the HED.
If the HED would like the TF to continue its role in identifying “best practices” in assessment of the State Common Core General Education, the HED would need to contact the NMHEAA and request the TF review institutional websites for best practices. There would be a clear understanding between the HED and the NMHEAA that the TF would be willing to complete this task as requested annually.
As a TF of the NMHEAA, the NMHEAA would provide a light lunch for those who meet annually to review institutional websites.
As a TF of the NMHEAA, the TF would host a standing session at the Annual Conference (NMHEAR) to “award” best practices in SCC GE assessment, and possibly additional (or extended) sessions to help institutions in their assessment practices of GE, or other institutional assessment initiatives.
As an advisor to the HED, the TF of the NMHEAA would make recommendations to the state regarding State Common Core learning outcomes.
As an advisor to the HED, the TF of the NMHEAA would provide recommended instruments/templates for institutional reporting of assessment of the State Common Core.
Disposition of Documents
Records of meetings of the NMATF and correspondence with members and with the Executive Committee currently kept by the TF Chair will be collected and turned over to the Chair of the SLTF.
Transfer of Leadership
Upon completion of the re-organization, the Chair of the NMATF, currently Chris Burnham, Department of English, New Mexico State University, will shift to Susan Wood, Assessment Coordinator at Dona Ana Community College and Executive Board member of the NMHEAA .
Immediately upon submission of this 2011-12 Final Report and Re-organization Scheme
(REV, 11/9/12. CB)
Contact Susan Wood about this web site
Check back in December 2014.