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|Writing Student Learning Outcomes for Courses||Course SLO Assessment Procedures|
|Assessing Course Outcomes||SLO Assessment Showcase, Resources, and Forms|
|Methods of Assessment|
The assessment of the Student Learning Outcomes of courses occurs at SRJC for two main reasons:
The following overview of the assessment cycle for courses provides links to supporting information, examples, procedures for documentation, and forms.
At this point, all courses at SRJC have the Student Learning Outcomes listed in the Course Outline of Record. The following basic guidelines are for faculty who are developing SLOs for new courses or revising SLOs of current courses.
Definition: A Student Learning Outcome is a statement of the knowledge, skills, abilities, or values students should acquire in a course. An SLO usually subsumes multiple objectives, allows for assessment, and anticipates the application of learning outside of the classroom or in future educational contexts.
The SLOs of a course are usually developed through collegial discussion among faculty who create, revise, and/or teach a course. When writing SLOs, it helps to envision exactly what the student would be able to do in the real world or the next level of the program after completion of the course.
A course may have one to five SLOs, depending on the length and depth of the course itself. SLO statements tend to be more global statements when compared to course objectives, which describe more specific skills or abilities. SLO statements also:
Read more about identifying and composing Student Learning Outcomes for courses on the More About Writing Course SLOs.
The purpose of identifying and assessing Student Learning Outcomes in a course is to determine the degree to which students are gaining the skills, knowledge, and abilities that are taught in the course.
Often assessment occurs as part of the course’s regular activities, such as tests, projects, papers, or demonstrations of skills – the same assignments used for grading students. In addition to providing the information for grading, assessment results can provide a picture of how well students in general are learning. This kind of information may confirm effective practices or may suggest that certain aspects of the course such as curriculum, materials, teaching methodology, sequence, or even the SLO, itself need to be changed to improve student learning.
When changes are initiated to address one or more SLO, it’s logical to follow up with another assessment to determine whether the changes made a difference. The conclusions drawn from this second assessment may indicate that concerns have been addressed or that further changes are in order. Using results to determine the effect of changes, re-assessing, and deciding on the next step are often referred to as “closing the loop” – that is, completing one assessment cycle. Depending on the situation, the cycle may begin again immediately. Ongoing assessment is part of effective teaching because it can reveal patterns, successes, and new possibilities.
The action verbs used in the SLO statements give a general indication of how students’ achievement of the outcome could be demonstrated. That is, sometimes critical thinking skills may need to be expressed orally or in writing, while other times, the application of skills has to actually happen and be observed. Often both forms of assessment may be involved.
It’s important to make sure that the method of assessment actually addresses the SLO itself.
Example: If the SLO says that students will be able to “identify and discuss ethical issues in the profession,” an objective test alone would not be a wholly adequate form of assessment because students are not actually discussing their ideas.
The following includes types of assessment that might be used for some of the SLOs listed above.
|SLO||Possible Assessment Tools|
|English 1A: Develop a multi paragraph persuasive essay containing a thesis statement supported by details and evidence organized in unified, coherent, and adequately developed paragraphs.||Essay assignment and/or essay test scored with a rubric|
|Dental Hygiene 82A: Correctly interpret symptoms and select appropriate intervention to manage patient fear, anxiety, and/or pain in a dental clinic setting.||Observation of role-play scored with a rubric; objective test|
|Nutrition: Analyze a documented nutritional problem, determine a strategy to correct the problem, and write a draft nutritional policy addressing the broader scope of the problem.||Essay test and/or written project|
|Organic Chemistry: Assess and recognize an audience in order to develop appropriate communications both orally and in writing that are sensitive to the audience's needs, values, and point of view.||Observed role-play; speech or oral presentation; essay|
|Office Communications and Interpersonal Skills: Synthesize (on paper and in the laboratory) and purify a specified product from a list of given starting materials, while following common safety regulations and procedures.||Written description and observed demonstration|
|ESL for Child Development Introduction to Early Childhood: Use English to evaluate the personal qualities of an effective early childhood educator.||Essay test and/or oral presentation; objective test; interview report|
|Classical Music Appreciation: Describe and relate how the syntax and structure of Classical music has changed over time relative to cultural circumstances.||Essay test or oral and instrumental presentation|
|Philosophy of Peace and Nonviolent Action: Form reasoned and well-informed judgments on current issues involving the development of peace and the nonviolent resolution of conflict both within and between individuals and social groups.||Student essay response to current events; project; oral presentation|
Departments are responsible for conducting and recording assessments of all course SLOs. The following basic steps are based on the Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Procedures approved by the Academic Senate in spring 2011.