Assessing for learning is a systematic and systemic process of inquiry into what and how well students learn over the progression of their studies and is driven by intellectual curiosity about the efficacy of collective educational practices. That professional context anchors assessment as a core institutional process guided by questions about how well student learn and what we expect them to learn.
Student Learning Outcomes
SLOs must be defined and assessed for every degree-granting program. If a department offers both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in two subject areas, they must define and assess four sets of program-level SLOs. A few departments already have these SLOs in place. These departments should examine them and revise them as appropriate. All departments must define all program-level SLOs and be prepared to assess them in Fall where possible and no later than Spring in all cases. Chairs and program coordinators should work with their faculty in developing SLOs.
Each program normally has a few broad goals relating to such aspirations as professionalism, ethics, critical thinking, communication, knowledge, and/or professional skills. Program goals relate to the purpose of the program in terms of value added to the student, and would therefore not be something like “increase enrollment by 10%.”
Degree-Level Program SLOs
Each goal should have one or more intended student learner outcomes. A program may have about four to eight SLOs. Program-level SLOs should not be a list of all course-level SLOs. Each SLO should be measureable in a straightforward manner. An SLO should not say “Students will appreciate art,” or “Faculty will provide students with opportunities to perform,” or Students will demonstrate knowledge of the history, theories, and applications of math.” A program-level SLO should be stated in this manner: Students will be able to action verb something.
The goals and SLOs to be developed and submitted could simply follow the format below.
- Goal 1. Development of professional skills
- SLO 1.1. Students will be able to identify behavioral disorders.
- SLO 1.2. Students will be able to suggest remedial therapies.
- Goal 2. Enhancement of communication skills
- SLO 2.1. Students will be able to explain their observations.
- SLO 2.2. Students will be able to write technical reports.
- Goal 3. Acquisition of scientific knowledge
- SLO 3.1. Students will be able to interpret research findings.
- SLO 3.2. Students will be able to perform laboratory procedures.
The following attachment is the evaluation tool that the Assessment Committee uses to evaluate degree level SLOs.
Please be aware that all units and departments, Colleges, and divisions are required to submit an IE report.
Although writing the report can be time consuming, it’s a valuable opportunity to review accomplishments, enumerate our goals, and refocus our attention on the University’s mission. Additionally, working on the report provides time for thoughtful consideration of resources and the articulation of an effective course of action to continue accomplishing our goals.
The Council for Assessment and Planning Committee appreciates the time spent on writing the Institutional Effectiveness reports and most of all the guidance you provide to shape the future of your unit or academic department.The following four sections must be completed by all units for the IE report:
- Executive Summary – Brief synopsis of accomplishments and planning activities (should cover last fiscal year but many departments use this place to talk about accomplishments for current fiscal year)
- Resource requests – prioritized listing of specific near-term resource requests
- Assessment of Institutional Effectiveness report – the report on the IE plan that was in effect for last fiscal year
- The revised IE plan – goals, objectives, and assessment measures for next fiscal year.
Academic departments must also submit the
- Report of degree-level SLOs – the report on the SLO assessments for last fiscal year
This page was last updated on: February 20, 2013