Southwestern College

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Learning outcomes assess “the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and habits of mind that students have and take with them when they successfully complete a course or program.”
--Suskie, 2009

“The assessment of student learning outcomes (SLOs) is a curricular activity that can be both beneficial and productive.  Faculty who engage in SLO development and assessment can acquire concrete evidence upon which to base the collegial review of their programs and the improvement and enhancement of student learning both in individual classes and across a program.  If SLO processes are integrated into the culture of the college, the use of assessment data as a basis for decision making can empower the faculty voice in planning and budgeting discussions.”
--Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC), 2010

There are three types of outcomes specific to our SWC courses and programs.  Each of these SLO types align up to our ISLOs.

Course-level Student Learning Outcomes (CSLOs) are linked to specific courses, workshops, and tutoring sessions.

Program-level Student Learning Outcomes (PSLOs) are linked to a specific program or major.  PSLOs should be assessed after the completion of a series of courses in a program, degree, or certificate.   

General Education Student Learning Outcomes (GESLOs) are linked to categories of study within the three general education plans at SWC.

In the collection of CSLO, PSLO, and GESLO data, it is imperative that student privacy is respected.  When collecting, analyzing, and reporting data use aggregate data (a collection of scores), and avoid the tracking of individual students.

The Academic Senate of California Community Colleges (ASCCC) offers the following Guiding Principles for SLO Assessment.  

Guiding Principles for SLO Assessment
Principle One: Faculty have the primary responsibility for developing assessment tools and determining the uses of data that are collected, and therefore faculty engagement and active involvement in SLO assessment is essential.

Principle Two: Outcomes assessment is a process that should involve all appropriate participants at each level of the college, not just select groups or individuals.

Principle Three: SLOs and SLO assessment should be connected to the overall culture of the college through the college vision or values statement, program review processes, and college curriculum, planning, and budgeting process.

Principle Four: SLOs should be clearly mapped and aligned throughout a course sequence and among various levels (course, program, institution) to achieve the most efficient and effective assessment.

Principle Five: SLO assessment should be as authentic as possible and should be minimally intrusive to the educational experience of student and the instructional planning and performance of faculty.

Principle Six: Rather than relying on one assessment methods for all situations, effective assessment may benefit from a variety of methods, even within a single course, that can respond to different learning outcomes, teaching styles, and student learning needs.

Principle Seven: Assessment data do not exist in a vacuum and must be analyzed alongside all other factors that may impact achievement of outcomes.

Principle Eight: SLO assessment processes and grading are different but mutually compatible activities and should complement rather than conflict with each other.

Principle Nine: Effective outcomes assessment requires a college commitment of sufficient staff and resources.

Principle Ten: SLO assessment of student learning outcomes is a process that is separate from faculty evaluation.

Principle Eleven: Faculty should engage in SLO development and assessment not because it is a requirement for accreditation but rather because it is good professional practice that can benefit programs and students.

Last updated: 5/1/2014 8:56:28 AM