Rubric Training, April 2010
Mapping Session with Dr. Ruth Stiehl
Assessment Day August 2010
Frequently asked questions
- What are student learning outcomes (SLOs)?
- Who writes SLOs?
- Why are SLOs important?
- How do SLOs affect me?
- What are the SLOs for AHC?
- Will my outcomes be used in my evaluation?
- Isn’t this just a fad that will pass?
- Who is going to collect this data from instructors?
- Who do I contact for help?
- Why should I participate in this if I am not an instructor?
What are student learning outcomes (SLOs)?
The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) defines outcomes as:
The anticipated or achieved results of programs or the accomplishment of institutional
objectives, as demonstrated by such indicators as student attitudes, knowledge, and/or
performance. (WASC Handbook of Accreditation/2001)
The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) defines SLOs as:
Knowledge, skills, abilities, and attitudes that a student has attained at the end (or as a result) of his or her engagement
in a particular set of collegiate experiences. (p.49, Accreditation Standards—ACCJC
The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges defines SLOs as:
Overarching specific observable characteristics developed by local faculty that allow
them to determine or demonstrate evidence that learning has occurred as a result of
a specific course, program, activity, or process.
Outcomes are broader statements of intent or vision that are not necessarily measurable,
but observable. Objectives are small steps that lead toward an outcome or goal. Measurability
refers to both quantitative and qualitative means of measuring. (p.9, Standards and
Practices Committee: Faculty Role in Accreditation.)
Who writes slos?
- Student Services staff
- During retreats and workshops, department meetings, and as part of the program review
annual update process. SLOs may be modified during the assessment cycle.
why are slos important?
- They represent a shift in focus for the college from teaching-centered instruction
to student-centered learning and provision of service.
- They tell us whether students are learning what we want them to learn.
- They affect classroom instruction methods, assessments, and outcomes/service delivery.
- They are used as a basis for determining budget allocations to departments, and for
supplying staff needs.
- Accreditation will use them to measure what our students gain from instruction and
services and as a measure of institutional effectiveness.
How do SLOs affect me?
- Instructional and student services SLOs have been developed by your department. You
are expected to design your instruction/service so that your students can achieve
and demonstrate the identified outcomes.
- Certain measures for assessing student performance in courses are expected to be administered
by each faculty member teaching a course.
- Certain measures from your student performance assessments will be culled to help
measure program success.
What are the SLOs for AHC?
- Institutional Learning Outcomes are available on the outcomes page of this website.
- Degree and certificate outcomes are listed in the college catalog.
- Course SLOs are available on eLumen and will be listed in the course outline of record. Course SLOs should be listed
in each course syllabus so that students are aware of them.
Will my outcomes be used in my evaluation?
You will use the feedback you obtain from your student learning outcomes to improve
your teaching. In evaluation, AHC is looking for you to work toward becoming the best
instructor you can be. If you are responding to the feedback about your students’
performance with changes to promote learning you are excelling as an instructor. You
are not going to be required to report individual instructor data.
Isn’t this just a fad that will pass?
Definitely not. This is a global paradigm shift in education that is asking us to
put student learning at the center of everything that we do. To ensure that we are
quickly responding to the needs of learners. To do this, we must shift from viewing
our activities from what the instructor does to what the student learns. Scholarship
and practice is showing that this model is much more effective and efficient in improving
Who is going to collect this data from instructors?
Instructors can input their own data directly into eLumen software, which can be found
on myHancock/Work Tools or Faculty Tab/Assessment & IRP/eLumen. This software will then aggregate the data for AHC's annual report to ACCJC.
Who do I contact for help?
The Learning Outcomes & Assessment Committee (LOAC) is an on-going committee that
meets monthly, each semester. All members of this committee are available for support
of the implementation of the SLO process. In addition, the campus provides a SLO coordinator
for both instruction and student services and there are identified departmental SLO
liaisons to assist you. SLO and assessment related professional development is offered
frequently through each semester. Trainings and conferences opportunities arise frequently
so contact the Learning Outcomes Analyst for more information or to schedule individual training.
Why should I participate in this if I am not an instructor?
Student learning experiences don’t just occur in the classroom. Support for learning
is required across the college community. For example, students need to be able to
readily utilize the available resources in the library. Every one of us is here to
improve student learning. The challenge is knowing how to directly improve our work
and our processes to have that impact.
Feel free to submit any question not addressed here to the Learning Outcomes Analyst.
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