Student learning outcomes (SLOs) in themselves are familiar to us. They are the verb-begun statements, often based on Bloom’s taxonomy, that define the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities that we expect our students to master in our classes.
SLOs are just the first step in a recursive process of research, review, and re-thinking. In other words, where once we just defined our outcomes, we will now describe our students’ mastery of these outcomes, and also develop methods of re-teaching as needed. This is the cycle of assessment and inquiry that we are engaged in.
WASC, ACJCC, and the Academic Senate recognize that this mandate will require work at many institutions, but they also note that in most cases, re-imagining what already exists and what can be adapted will meet the guidelines.
If you’ve ever eaten at a Counter Burger you know that you can build a burger to your own specifications by making a series of choices. Choose the bun, choose the meat, choose the toppings, and choose a sauce. The power of choice indeed.
With the SLOAC design process, you have an equally interesting series of choices. Here’s the SLOAC Menu:
And that’s an SLO! Once written, then it’s filed in the Office of Instruction course management system and scheduled for the AC part of SLOAC, the assessment cycle that occurs on a rotating basis — think one-third of the courses in the catalog every quarter.
The academic senate adopted a resolution to allow each division to adopt its own SLO Assessment Cycle timing. To this point, as a campus we have all been on the same (minimum) cycle of assessing and reflecting on at least one SLO every year for every course taught. Going forward, however, each division may agree to adopt a different cycle if desired, provided that each SLO for each course is assessed and reflected upon at least every three (3) years. This three-year time span is intended to ensure that divisions will have a minimum of one full set of SLO Assessment Cycle data for every course by the time their comprehensive program review is due.
Divisional curriculum representatives are asked to lead faculty discussions to determine the SLO Assessment Cycle timing that will make the most sense for their division. The Office of Instruction will assume divisions will continue with the current (default) cycle unless they hear from the division curriculum committee representatives that they have decided to adopt something different. See SLO Update (12-04-14)