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Student Learning Outcomes | Office of Instruction

VVC Assessment Manual (pdf)

View the SLO Coaching Assessment Video

Student Learning Outcomes have come upon us full force. They need not be as difficult as they sound. Some descriptions seem to heighten mysteriousness about them and create more complications than necessary. Described below is the assessment process for individual classes, but the process must also be done for programs, departments, student services, administration, and other divisions of the college.

Student Learning Outcomes are simply an answer to the question, What do you want your students to be able to do at the end of your course? The question is phrased that way because SLOs require assessment, which is meant to provide accountability. Two, three, or four SLOs per course should be sufficient; the more of them you write, the more will have to be assessed. As a result, simplicity is the goal. SLOs are written into the Course Outline and then samples of assessments for the SLOs are written as well.

Assessment gives verification of the achievement of the SLOs by the students. It can be done by testing, exercises, or performance. Assessment is expected to be done for SLOs on a regular basis and is meant to be recorded in some way for research and record keeping. Accreditation agencies may ask for verification of SLOs and assessment at any time. In any given semester, it is possible to assess SLOs one at a time or several at a time. As long as all SLOs are tested within a given time period, perhaps every five or six years, assessment of SLOs is acceptable.

An Assessment Report describing the process, essentially an assessment of the assessment, is also expected. Once assessment for SLOs is done, the instructor(s) evaluates the effectiveness of the SLOs and the assessment of them. From the information taken by the assessment, the instructor can revise the SLOs or can revise the assessment tools to better accurately measure student accomplishment in the future. When finished with assessment, the instructor writes an Assessment Report detailing the assessment of the students' accomplishments, evaluating the SLOs and assessments, and providing suggestions for improving effectiveness. The process is ongoing,continually reviewing assessment and the SLOs, all in the hopes of improving instruction and learning.