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Strategic Planning & Learning Outcomes Workshop September 26, 2002 What is Strategic Planning? Achieving shared vision Intentional goal setting with measurable outcomes Conscious of context and resources

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Strategic Planning&Learning Outcomes Workshop

September 26, 2002

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What is Strategic Planning?

  • Achieving shared vision

  • Intentional goal setting with measurable outcomes

  • Conscious of context and resources

  • Dynamic-neither orchestra nor jam band but a jazz combo consisting of a main theme with improv

  • Used to develop action plans where units detail how they will attain specific goals

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Action Plan Uses

  • Bird cage liner

    • No! An unused plan is a waste of time and trees!

  • Use for overlapping planning cycles to avoid redundancy and last minute effort

    • Part of Educational Master Plan (6 yr cycle)

    • For Accreditation Self-Study (6 yr cycle)

    • Program Review (4 yr cycle)

    • Funding (annual)

  • One continuously revised action plan does all this and it won’t scratch!

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Why should we do Strategic Planning?

  • Because Marty says so

  • Because WASC says so

  • Because a good strategic plan can result in better programs and services for students

  • To avoid redundancy

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What Strategic Planning model do you use?

  • Military

    • Invented strategic planning in hierarchal context

  • Business

    • Used strategic planning off and on since the 1950’s

    • SWOT, align internal practice within external context

    • Ansoff’s gap analysis (difference between current and desired situation) and synergistic strategies (“2+2=5”)

    • Porter’s 5 forces = new competitors, substitutes, buyers, suppliers, existing competitors

    • TQM focuses on inputs, processes, component products, outputs, client satisfaction “Do it right the first time”

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Another Business Fad?




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Strategic Planning in Higher Ed

  • Key differences

    • Hierarchy is not as rigid and requires a more participatory approach

    • Ultimate goal is enhancing human potential

    • Students aren’t quite customers

    • Offerings aren’t entirely demand driven (if it were, would we have algebra!?)

    • Reward system in education not based on promotion

    • Outcomes can be less tangible

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Planning Steps

  • Vision

    • Mission Statement and Values

  • Assessment

    • Evaluate past plan success and failures

    • Review external and internal data and reports

    • Benchmarking=how do we do compared to others?

  • Objectives and Outcome Measures

  • Action Plans with roles, responsibilities, timelines, required resources

  • Evaluation Plan

  • Re-assess

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  • Planning is a group effort

  • Please make comments and suggestions on formatting, speling, clarity, and content

  • Current Strategic Plan is a draft and with your help will become finalized

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NOAA Strategic Plan Example

1.0 Deliver Better Products and Services

1.1 Expand and improve the existing weather, water, and climate product and service line:

1.1.1 Increase the accuracy and timeliness of NWS warnings.

Performance Measure:

Reduce the national average tornado warning false alarm rate from 0.80 (1998) to 0.69 or lower and increase the probability of detection from 0.64 (1998) to 0.73 or higher and the lead time from 11 minutes (1998) to 13 minutes (2005).

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Scoping/Environmental Scanning

  • Reviewing External Trends

    • Census

    • Department of Finance

    • Department of Education

  • Analyzing Internal Data

    • Research Website

    • Surveys

  • Leads both to objectives and obtainable measures

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Fall 2001 Age by Gender

of Non JPA Students

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Selecting Measurable Outcomes

  • Students will reflect the community


  • Student ethnic proportions will not be significantly different from those of district residents aged 18 and over

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Selecting Measurable Outcomes

  • Students will do better in math


  • Success rates in all math classes will be at or above the state average by 2005


  • Computational post-test skills scores for intermediate algebra students will increase by 5% over the 2003 baseline by 2007

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Measurable Outcome Examples

  • Success Rates

  • Retention Rates

  • Persistence Rates

  • Award Rates

  • Transfer Rates

  • Population Participation Rates

  • Congruency Between Student and Graduates

  • Student Satisfaction

  • Exit Test Scores

  • Learning Outcomes Measures

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Note that differences are not always significant

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Benchmarking with a Rate

Average Change = + 0.4% per year R2 = 0.54 p = 0.04

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Congruency for Special Population with Rates at Program Level

01-02 Success Rates in English

None of these differences are statistically significant

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Absolute numbers Levelwith no comparison

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So what are Learning Outcomes and LevelHow do I make an Action PlanandWhen do I have to have this done andWho do I give it to?

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What Are Learning Outcomes? Level

  • Learning outcomes are statements that specify what learners will know or be able to do as a result of a learning activity.

  • Outcomes are usually expressed as:

    • Knowledge

    • Skills

    • Attitudes

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Learning Outcomes… Level

  • Provide direction in the planning of a learning activity. They help to:

    • Focus on learner’s behavior that is to be changed.

    • Identify specifically what should be learned.

    • Convey to learners exactly what is to be accomplished.

    • Serve as guidelines for content, instruction, and evaluation.

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Outcomes Level

  • Are based on your

    • Mission

    • Vision

    • Values

    • Goals

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Gavilan LevelMission Statement

  • In an environment that nurtures creativity and intellectual curiosity, Gavilan College serves the community by providing a high quality learning experience which prepares students for transfer, technical and public service careers, life-long learning, and participation in a diverse global society.

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Values, Objectives & Measures Level

  • We value excellence in and promotion of comprehensive programs, services, and activities.

  • Because we value excellence, our objective is to develop learning outcomes and measures at the services and program level.

  • The measure we will use to determine whether we have met our objective is that students will demonstrate their learning in all programs according to institutional learning outcomes.

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Learning Outcomes… Level

flow from an identified need, that is the gap between an existing condition (what students can do or know) and a desired condition (what students should be able to do or know).

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Distinguishing Characteristics of Good Learning Outcomes Level

  • The specified action by the learners must be :

    • Observable

    • Measurable

    • Performed by the learners

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Effective Learning Outcomes… Level

  • Are measurable ~ not always easily measurable, but measurable!

  • Are measurable now. That is, there are sufficient opportunities in the curriculum for the student to demonstrate the desired knowledge, skills, or attitudes.

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To Write Good Learning Outcomes Level

  • Know who your audience is

  • Clearly state what action they are to take

  • Identify the result that must come from their action

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Poor Learning Outcomes Statements Level

  • Students will understand the reasons for the Gulf War.

  • Students will appreciate Cubism.

  • Students will learn the importance of good nutritional habits.

    • How are these objectives observable?

    • How are these objectives measurable?

    • What are students supposed to do as a result?

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Learning Outcomes Example 1 Level

  • Students will learn the importance of good nutritional habits.

  • Students will be able to identify five major diseases that are caused by poor nutrition and explain how they can be avoided.

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Learning Outcomes Example 2 Level

  • Students will appreciate Cubism.

  • Students will be able to name the distinguishing characteristics of the Cubism movement and describe its impact on 20th century art.

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Learning Outcomes Example 3 Level

  • Students will understand the reasons for the Gulf War.

  • Students will identify and analyze in writing the social, political and economic reasons for the Gulf War.

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One Outcome per Statement! Level

  • The number of students enrolled will increase. The participation rate of all district high schools will improve.

    • Not specific: Increase by ?% or number. Improve by ?%

    • Two different objectives.

    • Two different outcomes.

    • Two different measures.

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The Importance of Action Verbs Level

  • The verb chosen for the outcome statement should be an action verb that results in overt behavior that can be observed and measured:

    • Compile Arrange Classify

    • Analyze Identify Operate

    • Design Solve Write

    • Apply Differentiate Calculate

    • Demonstrate Formulate Compose

    • Explain Predict Assess

    • Compare Estimate Critique

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Verbs to Avoid Level

  • The following verbs are unclear and subject to different interpretations in terms of the specified action. These verbs call for covert behavior that cannot be observed or measured.

    • Know

    • Understand

    • Appreciate

    • Become familiar with

    • Learn

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Gavilan LevelInstitutional Learning Outcomes

  • Communication

    • Listening

    • Reading

    • Writing

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Gavilan LevelInstitutional Learning Outcomes

  • Cognition

    • Analysis & Synthesis

    • Problem Solving

    • Creative Thinking

    • Quantitative Reasoning

    • Transfer of Knowledge & Skills to a New Context

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Gavilan LevelInstitutional Learning Outcomes

  • Information Competency

    • Research

    • Technological

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Gavilan LevelInstitutional Learning Outcomes

  • Social Interaction

    • Teamwork

    • Effective Citizenship

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Gavilan LevelInstitutional Learning Outcomes

  • Aesthetic Responsiveness

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Gavilan LevelInstitutional Learning Outcomes

  • Personal Development & Responsibility

    • Self-management

    • Ethics & Values

    • Respect for Diverse People & Cultures

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Assessing Student Learning Through Learning Outcomes Level

  • Identify the need

  • Identify the audience.

  • Measure the gap between what students are able to do and what they should be able to do.

  • Construct learning outcomes.

  • Ensure that there are sufficient opportunities in the curriculum for students to acquire the specified knowledge, skills or attitudes.

  • Ensure that teaching & learning strategies are appropriate for the outcomes you desire.

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Assessing Student Learning Through Learning Outcomes Level

  • Use formative assessments to determine students’ progress and to modify curriculum and strategies as necessary.

  • Use summative assessments to measure whether students have achieved the desired outcomes.

  • Evaluate whether your program has resulted in the specified outcomes and modify as needed.

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Scope of Your Task Level

  • Select one to three objectives for your department

  • Preferably, one would be on learning outcomes

  • Develop an action plan to meet these objectives

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Action Plan Example Level

  • VALUE 1: An imaginative and nurturing community of learners through rigorous scholarship, creativity, and personal and professional development.

  • OBJECTIVE 1.1: Establish institutional learning outcomes* (see attached) and measures for general education and one vocational program.

  • OUTCOMES MEASURE 1.1.1: Students will be able to demonstrate their learning in all courses according to the institutional learning outcomes.

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Timeline of Tasks Level

  • First Draft October 25th

  • Final Draft November 15th

  • Send Drafts to Terrence: [email protected]

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Resources Level







  • County and city websites

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Dr. Harriett Robles Level

Dean of Instruction and Matriculation

West Valley Community College

[email protected]

Terrence Willett

Director of Research/Interim Director of Planning

Gavilan Community College

[email protected]