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Student guide to Learning Outcomes

Student Guide.jpgWhat are Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)?

Student Learning Outcomes are general skills, knowledge, or masteries which students are expected to achieve after completing a college course, academic program of study leading to an award, or even participating in a structured set of activities.  The faculty responsible for a course or award program defines what overall qualities or abilities a successful student should have after completing a college course or award program; those become the student learning outcomes. SCC has college Student Learning Outcomes available here.

Why are SLOs important?

Student Learning Outcomes are specific statements about the knowledge, skills and attitudes that are expected of students after successfully completing the program/curriculum.  Student Learning Outcomes identify graduates’ skills to transfer universities and/or employers. Student Learning Outcomes provide evidence of student learning to be utilized for accreditation requirements (certification).

Why do I need to know the Student Learning Outcomes for my course?

The Student Learning Outcomes for your course represent the overall goals of the course and give you an idea of what you should know and be able to do upon completion of the course.  Student Learning Outcomes indicate what your instructor feels is important and help you to understand the significant things to learn.  Finding out what the SLOs are and thinking about them might help guide your approach to the course.

Where can I find the Student Learning Outcomes for my course?

These are listed on your course syllabus and should be discussed by your instructor.  They are also available for every course on CurricUNET here, and in Division Offices.

Will these affect my grade?

Faculty assesses outcomes; that is, they find a way to determine if their students are achieving those desired outcomes. Instructors may test for the outcomes as part of regular class assignments; however, these assessments are not necessarily part of the students' grades in the courses. The emphasis is to evaluate the effectiveness of the course and to improve student learning, not to evaluate the accomplishment of an individual student.

Will it mean more work for me?

The SLOs are the skills or abilities you are supposed to gain in the course.  A course assignment might be part of the assessment, or the instructor might use a separate assignment or activity to assess an outcome.  That is up to the instructor.  Any assignments will be integrated parts of the course and not additional work for you.

What happens with the results of the assessments?

The results of assessments are analyzed and discussed by the faculty.  Plans are made according to the results for changes and improvements in courses, programs and teaching.

How can I see the assessment results?

This depends on the assessment and the methods to assess the learning outcome.  Student information may not be part of the assessment, as the instructor may want to verify the outcome for an entire class and not individual students.  Many times the assessment results are tabulated after the semester and course have been completed. You may ask your instructor to discuss assessment results with you if you want to learn more.

Who can I talk to?

Start by talking to your course Instructor, the department chair, division office, or the members of the Student Learning Outcomes and Assessment Review Committee (SLOARC).

*To understand SLO Terms - Click here