Course Student Learning Outcomes

Overview

Course Student Learning Outcomes

Course SLOs (CSLOs) are statements of the overarching knowledge, skills, abilities, and/or values that students should acquire in a course. Essentially, they represent the learning expectations for a course. Every course must have its CSLOs listed on the course syllabus, and assessments that determine how well students are meeting the CSLOs are conducted regularly. 

Whether creating, modifying, or assessing a CSLO, whether analyzing or acting on CSLO results, and whether a Facilitator or Department Head, information about personnel, deadlines, appropriate forms, and necessary committee approvals is below.

Create, Modify, & Inactivate CSLOs

Creating A New CSLO

When creating a course and/or writing new CSLOs for a course, defining the overarching outcomes that students should master upon completion of the course is of utmost importance. Furthermore, these outcomes are built on the course objectives, which are specific and focused. Remember, SLOs should begin with a Bloom's Taxonomy verb at the appropriate level of critical thinking.


 What is the Process?

To submit a new CSLO, faculty authors must consider the evaluation criteria set forth in the Course SLO Checklist. Faculty authors will then submit the newly created CSLO to the department SLO Facilitator, who will submit the necessary online form. After the online form is submitted, members of the ASLO Subcommittee will carry out a Technical Review of the new CSLO. New Course Proposals, new CSLOs, and Assessment Methods must receive approval from the ASLO subcommittee. In certain circumstances, the SLO Coordinator may conduct the technical review. Upon approval, the SLO Coordinator will sign off on any New Course Proposals. In addition, newly approved CSLOs will be input into Nuventive Improve and become current on the Course Outline of Record and for assessment purposes during the semester following approval. 


Recommended Number of Course SLOs

In keeping with the Principles of Assessment, which encourage a focused and meaningful approach to the assessment of Student Learning Outcomes, the ASLO Subcommittee recommends that faculty create the following number of SLOs per course:

  • Non-Credit Course: 1 CSLO
  • 1-2 Unit Course: 1-2 CSLOs
  • 2-5 Unit Course: 2 or more CSLOs

New Course SLO Creation Considerations

When developing a new Course SLO:

  1. Complete the Course SLO Checklist, and submit the completed form to the SLO Facilitator.
  2. Reference the CSLO Assessment Methods in the next tab to inform the development of course SLO methods of assessment.

Modifying/Inactivating a CSLO

Modifying or inactivating a course or program SLO is a legitimate action to take if it is based on assessment data, if the modification/inactivation will result in a more meaningful and focused approach to gathering and analyzing assessment data, or if the course or program content is significantly modified through the curriculum process. However, departments should avoid employing gratuitous modifications in lieu of taking action based on meaningful assessment data.


What is the Process? 

To submit a modification/inactivation for an SLO, faculty authors must consider the evaluation criteria set forth by the CSLO Checklist and the PSLO Checklist. Faculty authors will then submit the newly modified/inactivated CSLO or PSLO to the department SLO Facilitator, who will submit the necessary online form.  After the online form is submitted, members of the ASLO Subcommittee will carry out a Technical Review of the modification/inactivation. In certain circumstances, the SLO Coordinator will carry out the technical review. Upon approval, the SLO Coordinator will modify or inactivate the CSLO or PSLO and/or assessment methods in Nuventive Improve. For existing courses with modified/inactivated SLOs, the updates will appear on the existing public Course Outline of Record during the Winter and Summer Intercessions and will begin to be in effect the semester after their approval. For existing programs with modified/inactivated PSLOs, the updates will appear in the next iteration of the College Catalog or Catalog Addendum. 


Recommended Number of Course SLOs

In keeping with the Principles of Assessment, which encourage a focused and meaningful approach to the assessment of Student Learning Outcomes, the ASLO Subcommittee recommends that faculty create the following number of SLOs per course:

  • Non-Credit Course: 1 CSLO
  • 1-2 Unit Course: 1-2 CSLOs
  • 2-5 Unit Course: 2 or more CSLOs

CSLO Assessment Methods 

Faculty have a variety of tools to choose from when conducting an assessment in their courses. The most common types of assessment tools for course SLOs include exam/quiz questions and rubrics. These tools are recommended for use because the data they yield allows for meaningful dialogue to occur between faculty members to improve student learning and identify and address equity gaps within their courses.

Methods of Assessment are a critical component of the CSLO Assessment Cycle. The creation of a viable assessment method is complementary to the creation of its outcome. Furthermore, without viable assessment methods, faculty will not be capable of assessing students’ mastery of an outcome, nor will faculty be able to call on robust data sets that inform program planning decisions, including resource allocation, and improvements across campus.

A course SLO methodology is defined as the means by which faculty assess course SLOs. All course sections are expected to be assessed each semester that they are offered, and the ASLO subcommittee recommends that those assessments are administered via Canvas. Using Canvas to assess course SLOs provides departments with the benefits of automating assessment and collecting data that can be disaggregated for meaningful analysis and actions to improve student learning. SLO assessment results from Canvas are displayed for full-time faculty in Tableau Dashboards and are disaggregated by mode of delivery, student ethnicity, and student gender.


Criteria/Expected Level of Achievement

The results for each course SLO should meet or exceed an expected level of achievement of 70%. This expected level of achievement was approved for all courses by the ASLO Subcommittee.

Course 1: Sample SLO Assessment

CANVAS RUBRIC (essay, skill performance, etc.): Use a standard course, discipline or department rubric to determine students’ proficiency level. Students assessed should achieve an expected level of achievement of 70% on each assessment.

Course 2: Sample SLO Assessment

CANVAS QUIZ: Use a standardized course quiz to determine students’ proficiency level. Assessed students should achieve an expected level of achievement of 70% on each assessment.

CSLO Results of Assessment, Analysis, and Actions

Results of assessment consist of the combined data from sections of a course (for course SLO analysis) or courses (for program SLO analysis) and are compared to the college-wide expected level of achievement of 70%.

To derive meaning from course or program assessment results, faculty have to dig deeper into their results than merely focusing on the overall percentage of students who have or have not met an expected level of achievement. Examining data for patterns should help faculty to discover the story behind the data.

Determining and taking appropriate action(s), based on the results of assessment and the analysis of those results, is the final step to closing the loop on SLO assessment. 


Analyzing Results of Assessment

Course and program level SLO results, as well as the entire assessment process, should be discussed among department faculty to determine the meaning behind the results of assessment and to decide upon actions to take in response. Faculty should view Tableau dashboards and share copies of the assessment instrument (e.g., rubric, quiz questions) and the assessment plan with those involved in the discussion.

Facilitators will share previously submitted Results of Assessment and keep a record of departmental discussions in the SLO Workbooks. All faculty can draw on information in the resources provided, which should assist in creating and sustaining a lively and thought-provoking discussion regarding every aspect of the assessment process for a course or program.


Taking Action(s)

Taking action(s) based on the results of assessment is the final and most critical step to closing the loop on assessment in a meaningful way. They inform the refinement and improvement of instructional courses and programs (both curricular and pedagogical), and directly impact student learning.

Regardless of whether or not the expected level of achievement was met, faculty should be taking action to improve student learning in their classrooms, and/or to improve the assessment process itself. Course and program-level SLO actions should be discussed among discipline faculty to determine further strategies, activities, and resources needed to carry out actions. SLO Facilitators will share previously suggested actions and keep a record of departmental or discipline discussions in the SLO Workbook as part of the analysis of the SLO results.

Expectations for CSLO Analysis and Actions

The CSLO Analysis and Actions Guide Worksheet is a helpful tool for guiding faculty through the analysis of SLO results and determining actions to be taken to improve student learning. For example, it encourages faculty to consider a comparison between overall course success and average SLO score, as well as question-level or rubric category-level results. It also asks faculty to consider groups of students that may have performed higher or lower on the assessment and to consider curriculum or instruction that may have an impact on any of the results. Finally, the guide links to the CSLO List of Meaningful Actions, which includes examples of specific actions that faculty can take to improve student learning in their courses, such as implementing equity-minded teaching practices or identifying resources needed to implement changes.

The CSLO Analysis and Actions Guide Worksheet should be completed during the analyzing and acting stage of the assessment cycle and submitted to the department’s SLO Facilitator by established deadlines (deadlines will be communicated by the SLO Facilitator to all department faculty).


Sample Overall Course-Level Results of Assessment, Analysis, and Actions
  • Results: 21 students completed the SLO1 assessment with an average score of 86%.
  • Analysis: In regard to SLO results, students demonstrated difficulty answering “select all that apply” questions. Students struggle with alternate format questions which negatively affect their test scores. Since these types of questions are utilized in their licensing exam, test-taking skills will be emphasized in future courses. There is also the need to include a variety of teaching strategies, such as: teach back, “Kahoots” quiz review after each lecture, student collaborative learning and team presentations, and the use of peer-reviewed articles and videos to supplement learning, and real-life experiences.
  • Actions: Integrate additional hands-on learning opportunities in the classroom such as virtual simulations and ATI learning modules. Request updated learning resources, including skills lab/clinical videos. Encourage more student involvement. Assign modules in the ATI learning program to enhance the understanding of course content. Participate in course-wide faculty professional development. Add more relevant and updated format questions similar to those on the licensing exam.

Sample Equity Course-Level Results of Assessment, Analysis, and Action
  • Results: 168 students completed the SLO1 assessment with an average score of 71%.
  • Analysis: Disaggregated results revealed that White students scored higher than other racial/ethnic groups by 9%. White students have a course success rate of about 80%, as do Asian & Filipino students. But Asian & Filipino students scored an average 71% on the assessment, as did Hispanic/Latino students, but they also have lower course success rates. In addition, disaggregated data revealed that male students (70%), on average, scored slightly higher than female students (68%). However, female students have outperformed males in overall course success rates. Disaggregated results revealed that Black/African-American students scored an average of 70% on the assessment. More emphasis on the relationship between levels of thinking (explicit, interpretive, critical) is required to help students achieve understanding of more difficult concepts. Moreover, foundational skills may need to be reviewed in order to develop higher-level thinking skills.
  • Action: The department will make changes to the course outline of record, specifically in the areas of learning objectives, instruction, and assignments. In addition, the department will plan for times of collaboration with all faculty teaching the course to ensure consistency in the interrelationship between concepts as well as re-evaluating the questions with the lowest average scores. In addition, faculty teaching prerequisite courses will collaborate to identify core concepts that provide a foundation for higher-level thinking and analysis. In addition, faculty will ensure scaffolding of concepts in order to support enhanced learning and aid in mastery of skills.