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.”
“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
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
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
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