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Student Learning Outcomes. Los Angeles Valley College Training, Spring 2008 – part I SLO Coordinator – Rebecca Stein [email protected] ; (818) 947-2538. Why SLOs?. New Accreditation Standards “Covering” material does not guarantee students have learned it

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Student Learning Outcomes

Los Angeles Valley College

Training, Spring 2008 – part I

SLO Coordinator – Rebecca Stein

[email protected]; (818) 947-2538

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Why SLOs?

  • New Accreditation Standards

  • “Covering” material does not guarantee students have learned it

  • Success is determined by students leaving a course/program with integrated, higher learning skills they can demonstrate

  • Establishes clear and transparent expectations for students

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ACCJC Requirements

  • Faculty must:

    • articulate SLOs for each course and program offered.

    • design assessments/evaluations that provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate what they learned.

    • evaluate those assessments and use the information for improvement.

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ACCJC Requirements

  • SLOs should become an integral part of every syllabus.

  • SLOs should act as a guide for classroom activities.

  • SLOs should direct classroom assessments/evaluations.

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What is this thing called SLO?

  • SLO means Student Learning Outcome.

  • They represent broad themes beyond specific course content.

  • They cut across the curriculum.

  • They are measurable or observable.

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Tied directly to specific course content.

Address skills, tools, or content that enable a student to engage in a particular subject.

5 – 7 per course.


Overarching understanding and application beyond specific course content.

What students take away from the course that they can use in other courses or in life.

1 – 2 per course.

How is an SLO different from an objective?

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What are the different levels of SLOs?

  • College-Level

    • General Education

    • Institutional Outcomes

  • Program-Level (Degree or Certificate)

  • Course-Level

  • Service Outcomes

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Writing Course SLOs

  • Don’t think about content – consider what students should be able to do with what they’ve learned.

  • How will they demonstrate this?

  • What can they produce to show faculty that they have learned to apply their new knowledge?

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Writing Course SLOs, continued

  • Describe the broadest goals for the class (higher-level thinking).

  • Require students to synthesize many discreet skills or areas of content.

  • Ask them to produce something – papers, projects, portfolios, demonstrations, performances, exams, etc.

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Some Don’ts

  • Don’t use the word “understand” – go for higher level skills.

  • Don’t make the outcome something that is difficult or impossible to assess.

  • Don’t use student attitudes unless it is crucial to your course and you can figure out how to assess it.

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Some Dos

  • Look at your syllabus and major assignments as a starting place. What are students being asked to demonstrate in the assignment?

  • Use action verbs and focus on what students can do.

  • Make sure the SLO aligns with other courses in a sequence, if applicable.

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Sample Course SLOs

  • Forensic Anthropology – analyze skeletonized human remains to determine sex, age at death, height and genetic ancestry.

  • Microsoft Word – Analyze communication requirements and produce professional-quality business documents.

  • Journalism – Construct visually attractive and readable newspaper pages.

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Sample Course SLOs

  • Acting – select, analyze and perform selections utilizing skills of memorization, vocal projection, spatial awareness, stage directions and physical expression.

  • Composition – write essays demonstrating academic rhetorical strategies and documentation.

  • Critical thinking – write evidence-based essays demonstrating logical reasoning and argumentative skills.

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Sample Course SLOs (LAVC)

  • Architectural Drawing - develop a complete set of architectural drawings for a single-family dwelling.

  • Foreign Language - using the vocabulary and structures learned, perform elementary everyday communicative functions in the target language orally and in writing.

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Checklist – SLO Statement:

  • describes a behavior or skill beyond recitation or recall of content knowledge

  • uses action verbs from Bloom’s Taxonomy Level 3 and higher

  • describes an overarching outcome rather than something minute; it is global in scope

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Checklist – SLO Statement

  • describes a real life skill that students will use beyond the end of the course or the program

  • describes an outcome that is amenable to assessment using a scoring rubric or some other method of evaluation

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Bloom’s Taxonomy

  • Level 3 – Application

    • demonstrate, interpret, predict, solve

  • Level 4 – Analysis

    • compare, contrast, debate, identify

  • Level 5 – Synthesis

    • explain, perform, categorize, develop

  • Level 6 – Evaluation

    • explain, interpret, summarize, judge

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What is a “Program”?

  • Degree Programs

  • Certificate Programs

  • Non-degree Programs (e.g., VCAP, TAP, Writing Center)

  • Program-level SLOs represent skills, knowledge, and abilities the students attain as a result of the program.

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Writing Program-Level SLOs

  • When writing program outcomes:

    • state the program purpose or mission

    • consider other areas or programs that feed into or interact with your program

    • analyze community expectations for the program

    • survey program descriptors and accomplishments

    • review the components of the program

    • determine participant expectations

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Writing Program SLOs

  • Good program assessment begins with a clearly stated Mission or Goal that defines the program's reason for existence.

  • Based upon this purpose, assessable outcomes represent a mechanism to determine how well the program is achieving its goal and provides feedback on how to improve.

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Course SLOs

Program vision, mission, and goals

Community expectations

Program SLOs

LAVC mission, vision

and goals

Student needs and goals

Related professional expectations

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Sample Program SLOs

  • Child Development Certificate

    • attain entry level employment in early childhood settings.

    • plan developmentally appropriate activities and environments for young children.

    • communicate effectively with parents and supervisors.

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Sample Program SLOs (LAVC)

  • AA Degree in Sociology

    • use a societal framework in order to analyze any given situation rather than an individual analysis

    • explain and advocate for healthier societal policies and practices

  • AA Degree in Music

    • perform appropriate repertoire on their instrument or voice

    • analyze various compositional techniques

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Course Outcomes

Connecting the Dots

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General Education Outcomes

  • Reasoning Skills

  • Communication Skills

  • Global Awareness

  • Social Responsibility and Personal Development

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Aligning Course SLOs (with Program and GE SLOs)

F – formative; S - summative

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Assessment: A Brief Introduction

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What’s Assessment All About?

  • An ongoing process aimed at understanding and improving student learning.

  • Faculty making learning expectations explicit and public.

  • Faculty setting appropriate standards for learning quality.

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Questions for Assessment

  • What do students need to DO “out there” that we are responsible for “in here”? (Stiehl)

  • How do students demonstrate the intended learning now?

  • What kinds of evidence must we collect and how do we collect it?

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Assessment Examples

  • Licensing Exams (e.g., Nursing)

  • Reflective Self-Assessment Essay

  • Satisfaction/perception surveys (student, faculty, staff, employer, community)

  • Case study and problem solving

  • Exam questions

  • Term papers

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Assessment Examples

  • Flowchart or Diagram

  • Capstone Projects

  • Skill Demonstrations

  • Use of Rubrics

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Checklist – Assessment Measure:

  • is directly related to the outcome (and can realistically measure/document the SLO)

  • is specific enough to show how the SLO is being assessed (e.g., it is not enough to simply write “exam” without showing how the exam will assess student learning)

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Checklist – Assessment Measure

  • will produce and/or document evidence of student learning (and will produce manageable information and statistical knowledge)

  • is a realistic, feasible way of collecting and analyzing evidence

  • can differentiate between different levels of achievement through the use of a rubric or other measures

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The Paper Trail

  • Course and Program SLO forms need a Discipline Approval form.

  • Submit to Erline Ewing in Academic Affairs (for VCCC approval).

  • Other areas submit to area coordinator:

    • Student Services – Walter Jones

    • Administrative Services – Brick Durley

    • President’s Office – Cherine Trombley

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Training Part II – April 28th

  • Assessing SLOs

    • Why

    • Types of Assessment Data

    • Grading vs. Assessing

    • How to Choose an Assessment Tool

    • Assessment Examples

    • Rubrics

  • SLO Cycle – Closing the Loop

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SLO Drop-In Hours

  • Tuesday, February 26th from 11 am – 1 pm in Bungalow 3

  • Thursday, February 28th from 9:30 – 11 am in the PMRC

  • Thursday, March 6th from 2:00 – 3:00 pm in the PMRC

  • Additional dates to be announced