Consider the Following Basic Features of SLOs:
SLOs use action verbs.
SLOs aim at higher-level learning and are not content specific.
SLOs capture the big-picture; the overall, basic purpose.
SLOs capture what students are supposed to do.
SLOs ask students to apply what they have learned.
How To Write SLOs
1. Consider a fundamental attitude, knowledge, skill or ability that your student will hopefully internalize by the end of your course. Describe what your student is ABLE TO DO now that s/he has internalized this.
2. Use action verbs to describe this outcome.
3. Write this in a way that can be assessed—directly or indirectly, qualitatively or quantitatively—someway, somehow.
4. Make sure that the outcome assesses higher-level learning, as opposed to memorization, identification, repetition, etc. (see Bloom’s taxonomy below for a description of higher-level learning and the words used to describe it).
Examples of Course Specific SLOs
- History: Students will be able to critique and defend America’s foreign policy.
- Biology: Students will demonstrate the ability to analyze evolutionary theory.
- Speech: Students will demonstrate the ability to create, and effectively present, professional and engaging persuasive speeches.
- Math: Students will apply algebraic concepts to everyday problem solving.
- Cultural Anthropology: Students will learn how to compare and contrast different models explaining the origin, relativity and function of cultural norms.
- Psychology: Students will demonstrate the ability to create hypotheses about human behavior from the standpoint of various schools of psychology.
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