Each year, all people within a department or unit need to meet to discuss SLO assessment results.
The aim of the discussion is to examine results and plan for any changes
that can lead to the improvement of student learning. Improvements to
and support of student learning a key step in the SLO assessment cycle.
The following statements are from the Accrediting Commission of Community and Junior College’s (ACCJC) “Rubric for Evaluating Institutional Effectiveness – Part III Student Learning Outcomes” (July 2011).
“There is widespread institutional dialogue about the results of assessment and identification of gaps” (Proficiency Level)
The purpose of gathering outcome data is to find areas in need of
improvement using the following steps in decision-making (Steps adapted
from Adler, Rodman, & Hutchinson, 2012):
“Decision-making includes dialogue on the results of assessment and is
purposefully directed toward aligning institution-wide practices to
support and improve student learning.” (Proficiency Level)
“Dialogue about student learning is ongoing, pervasive and robust.” (Sustainable Continuous Quality Improvement Level)
Step 1: Identify the areas in need of improvement.
a. Analyze aggregated assessment data.
b. Make a list of findings.
c. Discern which areas are functioning well and which areas are in need of improvement.
Step 2: Analyze areas in need of improvement.
a. Discern the reason(s) for not meeting stated outcomes.
b. Word each problem area as a broad, open question that encourages
exploratory thinking. The aim of writing broad, open questions is to
encourage brainstorming. Brainstorming may lead to new, outside the
Step 3: Develop creative solutions for improvement through brainstorming.
Too specific: Should we switch from being a Pepsi campus to a Coca-Cola
campus? (Reason: The choices provided are too limiting for a rich
Preferred: Broad and open: Should we switch from being a Pepsi campus
to a different brand? (This option encourages exploratory thinking)
Too specific: Should we require all students to visit the Writing
Center? (Reason: The choices provided are too limiting for a rich
Preferred: What options are available to help students improve
their writing skills? (This option encourages exploratory thinking)
a. List as many solutions as possible without judging their quality.
b. Try not to reject any solutions that may be suggested; doing so may inadvertently stop the flow of ideas.
Step 4: Evaluate the solution(s)
a. Create a list of criteria that should be used when evaluating
solutions (e.g., must be low-cost or free, must already exist on campus,
needs to be implemented in a classroom environment, must have
supporting technology, et cetera.).
b. Go through each idea on the brainstorming list. Combine, remove or revise identified solution(s).
c. Gain consensus on a final solution. When deciding, it is good to ask the following types of questions:
1. Will a given solution produce the desired changes?
Step 5: Implement solution(s)
2. Can your group implement the selected solution successfully?
3. Given the amount of time, resources and support available for your
department or unit, is each solution practical and/or possible?
4. Will the solution be supported by your colleagues and/or by campus systems beyond your immediate department or unit?
5. Does the solution contain any serious disadvantages?
a. Create timeline for implementation.
b. Identify specific tasks to be accomplished.
c. Determine necessary resources.
d. Define individual responsibilities.
e. Provide for emergencies.
Step 6: Review the solution(s)
a. Meet periodically to evaluate progress.
b. Revise each solution as necessary or remove completely and revisit Step 4.
Last updated: 5/24/2013 2:18:43 PM