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Developing Student Learning Outcomes
Outcomes Assessment

Define SLOs

SLOs Defined

Course level student learning outcomes are statements of the overarching knowledge, skills, abilities, and/or values students should acquire in a course or program. These broad learning outcomes demonstrate core student understanding and application of a subject. 

This web page is designed to assist you in creating or modifying your course or program's SLO statements.  

The Difference Between Course SLOs and Course Objectives

Narrow course objectives represent valuable tools, skills, or content that enables a student to engage in a particular subject and assists the student in building toward and supporting their achievement of broader course level student learning outcomes. The main difference between SLO statements and course objectives is that SLO statements demonstrate an overarching understanding or application of a core aspect of the course while objectives are the small pieces of subject matter, which build up to the broader SLO statements. 

Creating Course SLOs

Course level student learning outcome statements should be clear and measurable and define what a student knows and/or is able to do at the completion of a course. When creating SLOs it is important to keep in mind that they are broad statements of student learning and therefore, your course should not have too many of them. The ASLO subcommittee recommends that a course have approximately two to three SLOs. If the course you are currently teaching has more SLOs than this, consider setting aside some time with the other faculty members who teach the course to reevaluate the course SLOs to see if any are repetitive, could be combined, or are really course objectives. 

Every SLO must also contain an action verb that describes the knowledge (cognitive), skills (psychomotor), or attitudes (affective) a student should gain while in a course. Sometimes, the process of finding the right action verb for an SLO can be challenging. The following document should help you find appropriate actions verbs for your SLOs.

Blooms Taxonomy Action Verbs

Once you have a draft of your course SLOs, use the checklist in the following document to ensure that your SLOs are appropriate. If you answer "yes" to all of the items on the checklist, your are on the right track to creating your course SLOs!

SLO Creation Checklist

Creating Program SLOs

A preliminary step to creating program SLOs is the development of a program mission statement and program goals. Without a mission statement or goals, faculty might have different ideas of the purpose of an instructional program and therefore, may be unable to reach a consensus on the learning outcomes for that program. 

Program SLO statements should describe what students must know, do, and value at the conclusion of a program. In addition, program outcomes tend to emphasize integrating skills into an interrelated set and often put more stress on real world application that provide a bridge to the student's next experience on the job or in upper division study at a four year university. 

If you are having difficulty creating program SLO statements, refer to the document below for helpful ideas that can guide you in your program SLO development. 

Creating Program SLOs

If you are unsure of what a program is, read our definition of a program document.