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Student Learning Outcomes Assessment
What is Student Learning Outcomes Assessment
Assessment is the process of collecting evidence to see if students are actually learning what we’re teaching. The focus is on what students are able to do, rather than just listing an inventory of what is covered in a particular class. “Assessment is the ongoing process of:
- Establishing clear, measurable expected outcomes of student learning.
- Ensuring that students have sufficient opportunities to achieve those outcomes.
- Systematically gathering, analyzing, and interpreting evidence to determine how well student learning matches our expectations.
- Using the resulting information to understand and improve student learning.”
Linda Suskie, Assessing Student Learning: A Common Sense Guide ( 3)
Tom A. Angelo also promises us that "When ... embedded effectively in larger institutional systems, assessment can help to focus our collective attention, examine our assumptions and create a shared culture dedicated to assuring and improving the quality of higher education.”
Purposes of Assessment
We assess to assist students in their learning. We assess to advance students to the next level. We assess to make adjustments to improve learning or increase the efficacy of our services. (Based on Ruth Stiehl's The Assessment Primer).
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the faculty leadership, the college administration and the Chancellor states, "... we will use assessment of student learning outcomes primarily to understand, and thereby improve, student learning through informed decision making and planning. "
Proficiency in SLO Assessment
According to accreditation standards, all colleges must achieve proficiency by 2012:
- Student learning outcomes and authentic assessment are in place for courses, programs and degrees.
- Results of assessment are being used for improvement and further alignment of institution-wide practices.
- There is widespread institutional dialog about the results.
- Decision-making includes dialog on the results of assessment and is purposefully directed toward improving student learning.
- Appropriate resources continue to be allocated and fine-tuned.
- Comprehensive assessment reports exist and are completed on a regular basis.
- Course student learning outcomes are aligned with degree student learning outcomes.
- Students demonstrate awareness of goals and purposes of courses and programs in which they are enrolled.