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Student Learning Outcomes 101: Basics for Curriculum Chairs and SLO Beginners

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Title: Student Learning Outcomes 101: Basics for Curriculum Chairs and SLO Beginners


1
Student Learning Outcomes 101 Basics for
Curriculum Chairs and SLO Beginners
  • Marcy Alancraig, Cabrillo College
  • Janet Fulks, Bakersfield College
  • Lynne Miller, MiraCosta College
  • Janice Tomson, Long Beach City College
  • Bob Turner, MiraCosta College

2
Todays Questions
  • Whats an SLO? How is it different from an
    objective? How do you evaluate how well one is
    written? How many should a course have? Do
    SLOs belong in the COR? How do you get started
    assessing SLOs? How do SLOs relate to student
    services?

3
Todays Goals
  • Demystify the process

4
Todays Goals
  • Demystify the process
  • Develop a common vocabulary

5
Todays Goals
  • Demystify the process
  • Develop a common vocabulary
  • Help you to assess the quality of SLOs

6
Todays Outcomes
  • After completing this workshop, curriculum
    committee chairs and faculty will be able to
    recognize good SLOs, and explain how dialogue
    about SLOs and assessment can help to improve
    curriculum.

7
Things to Remember
8
Things to Remember
  • There is a lot of room for variation.

9
Things to Remember
  • There is a lot of room for variation.
  • It is an iterative process.

10
Things to Remember
  • There is a lot of room for variation.
  • It is an iterative process.
  • The process thrives on dialogue!

11
Things to Remember
  • There is a lot of room for variation.
  • It is an iterative process.
  • The process thrives on dialogue!
  • It is all about student learning.

12
ACCJC Expectations for Instructional Assessment
in 2010
13
ACCJC Expectations for Instructional Assessment
in 2010
  • SLOs widely spread across courses, programs,
    and the institution.

14
ACCJC Expectations for Instructional Assessment
in 2010
  • SLOs widely spread across courses, programs,
    and the institution.
  • Complete feedback loops (assessment used to
    inform curricular revision, as needed).

15
ACCJC Expectations for Instructional Assessment
in 2010
  • SLOs widely spread across courses, programs,
    and the institution.
  • Complete feedback loops (assessment used to
    inform curricular revision, as needed).
  • Faculty designed processes (with
    evidence of broad faculty input).

16
The Assessment Process ? Plan-Do-Review
1. Establish goals and missions For courses and
programs
6. Use results to refine instruction (close the
feedback loop)
2. Write intended Student Learning Outcomes
(SLOs)
Student Learning
5. Evaluate assessment results
3. Develop means of assessment and criteria for
success for evaluating SLOs
4. Incorporate SLOs And assessment tasks into
instruction
17
Refining Instruction
Refining instruction (i.e., closing the feedback
loop) can be accomplished in a number of ways,
including
18
Refining Instruction
Refining instruction (i.e., closing the feedback
loop) can be accomplished in a number of ways,
including
  • revising SLOs

19
Refining Instruction
Refining instruction (i.e., closing the feedback
loop) can be accomplished in a number of ways,
including
  • revising SLOs
  • revising assessment methods

20
Refining Instruction
Refining instruction (i.e., closing the feedback
loop) can be accomplished in a number of ways,
including
  • revising SLOs
  • revising assessment methods
  • revising instruction (e.g., more chances for
    students to practice the desired outcome)

21
Remember
  • The assessment process doesnt require anything
    that good teachers dont already do!

22
Good teachers . . .
  • develop expectations for what their students
    will learn,
  • design curriculum to meet those goals,
  • design assignments appropriate to the
    curriculum,
  • assess student success,
  • revise instruction as needed.

23
How is this process different?
24
How is this process different?
  • This process . . .
  • formalizes assessment (all instructors in a
    given course participate students across
    sections are assessed on agreed upon learning and
    standards),

25
How is this process different?
  • This process . . .
  • makes assessment more transparent (all faculty
    and students know what students are expected to
    learn),

26
How is this process different?
  • This process . . .
  • makes collaborative decisions about the
    desired outcomes of learning
  • (SLOs and assessments are the product of
    discourse among discipline experts).

27
How is this process different?
  • This process . . .
  • facilitates alignment of instruction
  • (SLOs are aligned with prerequisites and
    program requirements).

28
  • Student Learning Outcomes
  • (see workbook)

29
Questions that Drive Outcomes Assessment and the
Writing of Student Learning Outcomes
30
Questions that Drive Outcomes Assessment
  • What must my students be able to do out there
    with what theyve learned in here?
  • in here is the classroom.
  • out there is wherever our students go after
    they take our classes the next course in a
    sequence, a transfer institution, a career.

31
Questions that Drive Outcomes Assessment
  • How do we know students can do what we expect
    them to with what theyve learned?

32
Questions that Drive Outcomes Assessment
  • How do we know students can do what we expect
    them to with what theyve learned?
  • How can we use that information to improve
    learning in future semesters?

33
Important to Remember
34
Important to Remember
  • Different courses emphasize different learning
    domains (i.e., cognitive, affective,
    psychomotor).

35
Important to Remember
  • Different courses emphasize different GE-level
    outcomes (e.g., critical thinking, aesthetic
    appreciation).

36
Important to Remember
  • Outcomes should be consistent across sections
    of a given course (both on-ground and on-line).

37
But . . .
  • Individual faculty determine the scope of
    instruction (i.e., SLOs do not limit what can be
    covered in a class).

38
But . . .
  • Individual faculty determine the scope of
    instruction (i.e., SLOs do not limit what can be
    covered in a class).
  • Individual faculty determine how students are
    taught.

39
But . . .
  • Individual faculty determine the scope of
    instruction (i.e., SLOs do not limit what can be
    covered in a class).
  • Individual faculty determine how students are
    taught.
  • Individual faculty determine how assessment
    scores will impact students grades for their
    classes.

40
SLO a Working Definition
  • A student learning outcome is what students can
    do at the end of instruction with the knowledge
    they have gained.

41
Strong SLOs . . .
  • (see workbook)

42
Strong SLOs . . .
  • use language with active verbs (e.g.,
    analyze, interpret, distinguish), with an
    emphasis on Blooms higher order thinking skills,

43
Strong SLOs . . .
  • use language with active verbs (e.g.,
    analyze, interpret, distinguish), with an
    emphasis on Blooms higher order thinking skills,
  • are measurable or observable,

44
Strong SLOs . . .
  • use language with active verbs (e.g.,
    analyze, interpret, distinguish), with an
    emphasis on Blooms higher order thinking skills,
  • are measurable or observable,
  • combine discrete skills into an overarching task,

45
The best SLOs also . . .
  • explicitly or implicitly address the
    conditions under which the performance will be
    assessed (e.g., simulation, case study),

46
The best SLOs also . . .
  • explicitly or implicitly address the
    criteria, or primary traits, to be used
    in assessing student performance (e.g., design a
    sales plan that includes . . .),

47
The best SLOs also . . .
  • are generally amenable to assessment using a
    scoring rubric.
  • Adapted from Kari Tucker Jerry Rudmann

48
Objectives vs. Outcomes
  • Objectives Outcomes
  • Discrete, teachable Combine discrete
    skills, tools, or content
    objectives into (the nuts and bolts)
    overarching results
  • Can be numerous Limited in number

49
Objectives vs. Outcomes
  • Some objectives may already use outcomes
    language.

50
Objectives vs. Outcomes
  • Some objectives may already use outcomes
    language.
  • Some objectives may feed multiple SLOs.

51
Objectives vs. Outcomes
  • Some objectives may already use outcomes
    language.
  • Some objectives may feed multiple SLOs.
  • Some objectives may not feed any SLO.

52
Examples of Strong SLOs
  • (Active verbs are in pink.)
  • (See workbook for more examples.)

53
Library Resources and Research
  • Given specific websites to evaluate, students
    will be able to assess each website's authority,
    currency, bias, and accuracy.

54
Basic Computer Skills
  • Given a sample dataset, the student will use
    Excel to create a spreadsheet that incorporates
    simple mathematical formulas.

55
Beginning Spanish
  • By end of the course, the student will
    demonstrate the ability to ask and answer
    questions related to self, work, and courtesy.

56
Art History
  • The student will be able to compare and contrast
    various periods in European art, distinguishing
    historic influences of the major art epochs.

57
SLOs That Dont Work So Well
58
  • Too prescriptive Given data on three
    Pre-Columbian cultures, the student will write a
    1000-1200 word essay analyzing the geographical
    influences on the development of those societies.

59
  • Too prescriptive Given data on three
    Pre-Columbian cultures, the student will write a
    1000-1200 word essay analyzing the geographical
    influences on the development of those societies.
  • Better Given data on three Pre-Columbian
    cultures, the student will analyze the
    geographical influences on the development of
    those societies.

60
  • Too broad Students will analyze global
    political systems.

61
  • Too broad Students will analyze global
    political systems.
  • Better Students will analyze 20th century
    western democracies and responsibilities of
    citizens in those democracies.

62
  • Too narrow Students will use a microscope.

63
  • Too narrow Students will use a microscope.
  • Better Students will use laboratory equipment
    to analyze tissue samples.

64
  • Not measurable Students will understand the
    causes of World War II.

65
  • Not measurable Students will understand the
    causes of World War II.
  • Better Students will evaluate the causes of
    World War II.

66
A strong SLO is . . .
  • what students can do
  • at the end of instruction with
  • the knowledge they have gained.

67
Time to Work!
68
Time to Work!
  • Look at the worksheet.

69
Time to Work!
  • Look at the worksheet.
  • Using the criteria, critique these SLOs.

70
Time to Work!
  • Look at the worksheet.
  • Using the criteria, critique these SLOs.
  • SLO Creation Tools and Criteria are found in
    Appendix D of the workbook.

71
Determining the Quality of SLOs
  • Who makes this judgment
  • on your campus?

72
Determining the Quality of SLOs
  • General Criteria (see workbook)
  • Do use active verbs. Dont use the word
    understand or inactive verbs.

73
Determining the Quality of SLOs
  • General Criteria (see workbook)
  • Do use active verbs. Dont use the word
    understand or inactive verbs.
  • Go for higher level thinking skills.

74
Determining the Quality of SLOs
  • General Criteria (see workbook)
  • Do use active verbs. Dont use the word
    understand or inactive verbs.
  • Go for higher level thinking skills.
  • Make sure the outcome is assessable.

75
Determining the Quality of SLOs
  • General Criteria (see workbook)
  • Describe the outcome in a way that suggests an
    assessment, but dont allow the SLO statement to
    become too prescriptive.

76
Determining the Quality of SLOs
  • General Criteria (see workbook)
  • Include the criteria for assessment.

77
Determining the Quality of SLOs
  • General Criteria (see workbook)
  • Include the criteria for assessment.
  • Think about the course as a whole.

78
Determining the Quality of SLOs
  • General Criteria (see workbook)
  • Include the criteria for assessment.
  • Think about the course as a whole.
  • Use the outcomes to describe the major skills or
    knowledge.

79
Sticky Issues
80
Sticky Issues SLOs in COR?
81
Sticky Issues SLOs in COR?
  • Yes
  • Place to document SLOs
  • Available to everyone
  • Quality control for adjuncts bound to the same
    SLOs
  • Allows look at linked classes
  • Helps filling out the annual report

82
Sticky Issues SLOs in COR?
  • No
  • What if outcomes change? Upkeep may be demanding
  • The process of changing all CORs may be
    overwhelming
  • Could be too prescriptive if done wrong
  • May conflict with SLOs in transfer courses

83
Sticky Issues SLOs in COR?
  • Yes
  • Place to document SLOs
  • Available to everyone
  • Quality control for adjuncts bound to the same
    SLOs
  • Allows look at linked classes
  • Helps filling out the annual report
  • No
  • What if outcomes change? Upkeep may be demanding
  • The process of changing all CORs may be
    overwhelming
  • Could be too prescriptive if done wrong
  • May conflict with SLOs in transfer courses

84
Other Sticky Issues
85
Other Sticky Issues
  • How many SLOs per course or program?

86
Other Sticky Issues
  • How many SLOs per course or program?
  • Who determines quality?

87
Other Sticky Issues
  • How many SLOs per course or program?
  • Who determines quality?
  • Who approves the SLOs?

88
Other Sticky Issues
  • How many SLOs per course or program?
  • Who determines quality?
  • Who approves the SLOs?
  • How do we keep it real, not mechanistic?

89
Other Sticky Issues
  • How many SLOs per course or program?
  • Who determines quality?
  • Who approves the SLOs?
  • How do we keep it real, not mechanistic?
  • How do we build in dialogue?

90
Take-Home Messages
91
Take-Home Messages
  • There are many approaches to the process.

92
Take-Home Messages
  • There are many approaches to the process.
  • You are already doing much of this! (See
    the workbook for an SLO/assessment audit.)

93
Take-Home Messages
  • There are many approaches to the process.
  • You are already doing much of this! (See
    the workbook for an SLO/assessment audit.)
  • The process encourages collegial dialogue and
    emphasis on what matters.

94
Take-Home Messages
  • There are many approaches to the process.
  • You are already doing much of this! (See
    the workbook for an SLO/assessment audit.)
  • The process encourages collegial dialogue and
    emphasis on what matters.
  • Drafting SLOs is just one step of the cycle.

95
The Assessment Process ? Plan-Do-Review
1. Establish goals and missions For courses and
programs
6. Use results to refine instruction (close the
feedback loop)
2. Write intended Student Learning Outcomes
(SLOs)
Student Learning
5. Evaluate assessment results
3. Develop means of assessment and criteria for
success for evaluating SLOs
4. Incorporate SLOs And assessment tasks into
instruction
96
Final Take-Home Message
  • Its all about student learning!

97
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