Image: Banner image of campus

Learning Outcomes & Assessment Home

Learning Outcomes & Assessment
Student Learning Outcomes & Assessment Committee – SLOAC

Announcements & Updates:

Learning Assessment Status – November 2015, Week 4
(Fall 2013-Spring 2016 Cycle)

Course Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs):
SLOs assessed: 34%  
Courses with at least one SLO assessed: 49%

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs):
PLOs assessed: 4% 
Programs with at least one PLO assessed: 6% 

Service Area Outcomes (SAOs):
SAOs assessed: 44% 
Service areas/admin units with at least one SAO assessed: 72%  

Course SLO Assessment Completion by Discipline:*

ADJUS 20% CHDEV 56% ESL 0% LANHT 36% PHIL 25%
ART 21% COSER 71% FISCI 0% MATH 50%** PSYCH 33%
ASAME 10% CIS 0% GEOG 17% MEDAS 9% RADSC 16%
ASTR 25% COPED 0% GEOL 60% M/LAT 18% RLEST 68%
ATHL 42% COUN 66% HLTED 0%** MUSIC 72% SOC 11%
BIOSC 13% EDT 0%** HIST 67% NURS 61%
BUS 36% EMT 100% HUMAN 33% NUTR 53%
CHEM 15% ENGL 37%** KIN 13% PARLG 77%

*Note: these percentages are based on the courses that are currently in Taskstream. Some discipline percentages may have decreased due to addition of current/new courses not previously in Taskstream. Some courses in Taskstream may also not be able to be assessed.
**Recently entered assessments are currently being reviewed for quality and completeness. Percentage will increase if determined to be complete.


Service Area Outcome (SAO) Assessment Completion by Area/Administrative Unit:

Div I 100% Bus Ofc 0% Centro Latino 100% Orientation 0%
Div II 100% Custod Srvcs 100% Counseling 100% Trnsf Cntr 0%
Grants & Programs 0% Library 75% DSPS 33% Vet Srvcs No SAOs
Pres Ofc 33% Admissions 100% EOPS 33%
VPI Ofc 25% Assessment 50% Fin Aid 33%
VPSS Ofc No SAOs CalWORKS 100% Hlth Cntr 0%

Fall 2015 Assessment Flex Day Presentations:

Weren’t able to make it to the Flex Day assessment keynote address or workshop led by Dr. David Marshall? Find out what you missed by viewing or downloading the slide presentations HERE!


“Assessment is an ongoing process aimed at understanding and improving student learning.  It involves:

  • making our expectations explicit and public;
  • setting appropriate criteria and high standards for learning quality;
  • systematically gathering, analyzing and interpreting evidence to determine how well performance matches these expectations and standards;
  • a using the resulting information to document, explain, and improve performance.

When[assessment] is 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.” (Thomas A. Angelo)

What is a learning outcome?
Learning outcomes are the skills and/or knowledge that a student can expect to have upon completion of a specific educational task (course, program, degree, etc.). There are different levels of outcomes: course, program, and institutional. There area also outcomes for student services and administrative units.

Every college uses slightly different terms to describe the types of learning outcomes. Merritt College uses the following terms:

  1. Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) to describe learning outcomes for courses
  2. Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) to describe learning outcomes for degrees and certificates
  3. Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs) to describe the learning outcomes for all Merritt College students who transfer or earn a degree or certificate.
  • Additionally, Service Area Outcomes (SAOs) describe the learning outcomes for student services and administrative units.

Why are learning outcomes used?
Learning Outcomes are assessed on a regular cycle in order to ensure that our students are meeting our stated goals and to continually improve the quality of the instruction and services that we provide.

Who does the assessment work?
Everyone at the college is engaged in assessment work. Click here for a variety of examples of assessment work.

How often are learning outcomes assessed?
All outcomes are assessed at least once every three years. Three years cycles have been developed for all courses and programs to ensure that assessment work is continuous and current.

Where is all of the assessment data kept?
Coruse SLOs are a part of all course outlines. They, along with assessment data, are documented in Taskstream. Taskstream allows collection of assessment data in one location.

Who is charged with organizing assessment work for the college?
The Student Learning Outcomes and Assessment Committee (SLOAC) is charged with keeping track of assessment work, organizing professional development activities, reviewing data, and educating the college. SLOAC meets monthly. In addition, college administration and department chairs play key roles in planning and keeping track of outcomes assessments in their areas.