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Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

 
 

Student learning outcomes (SLOs) are course objectives centered on the students as opposed to more traditional faculty-centered or course-centered expressions. SLOs do not describe what faculty want to teach or what the course will cover, but what the student will be able to do once the student completes the course.

Course SLOs should be aligned with the broader outcomes of the college, such as degrees, certificates, and the college Mission. Faculty should use classroom activities, such as group work and class discussions, as a way of helping students to reach course SLOs. Faculty should also use assessments, both formative and summative, as a way of measuring whether or not students have reached those SLOs.

Course-level SLOs can be assessed with either direct or indirect methods. Direct methods may include portfolios, capstones, performances, embedded assignments, student self-assessment, and tests. Indirect methods may include surveys, interviews, focus groups, and ethnographic research. The choice of method will depend in part on the SLO that is being assessed.

Every year, 20% of the active courses at the college ought to be assessed.


Examples

A Bad SLO: Students will understand how to communicate effectively

Why: it is not measurable and probably too vague. You cannot measure understanding, only what people can do with their understanding.

A Good SLO: Students will able to evaluate the effectiveness of a brochure

Why: it is specific and measurable because it focuses on what students will do.

 


 

 

page last updated: April 28, 2014

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