Student Learning Outcomes Assessment

Report
Student Learning Outcomes
Office of the System Vice President of Academic
& Student Affairs
Michael Ralph, Ph.D. Interim Vice President, SUS
Student Learning Outcomes
To order our thinking about student learning outcomes and
SLO planning, a good starting point is to develop a student
learning outcomes assessment logic as illustrated in the
logic step model
Student Learning Outcomes
Key Questions:
Where do we start our thinking about student
learning outcomes (SLO)? (Answer: at the beginning, we
start by defining them)
Okay, how do we define SLOs? (emphasize integrated learning)
At what different levels can we organize SLOs?
(at the inst/prog. mission, curriculum level, syllabus level,
instructional level, quizzes, exams)
How do we assess and evaluate SLOs? (use key principles)
Now what? (feedback loop)
Use the results of our evaluation and assessment to
refine SLOs at various levels
Student Learning Outcomes
To order our thinking about student learning outcomes and
SLO planning, a good starting point is to develop a student
learning outcomes assessment logic as illustrated in the
logic step model
How do we order Our Thinking about
Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)?
Student Learning Outcomes
Defining SLOs:
Student “learning outcomes are essential and enduring
knowledge, abilities (skills) and attitudes (values,
dispositions) that constitute the integrated learning needed
by a graduate of a course or a program.”1.
This definition differs from more traditional academic
approaches by focus on the integration and the development
of more general abilities
____________________________
1. Definition
by Mark Battersby and the Learning Outcomes Network, Center
for Curriculum, Transfer and Technology, February 1999
Student Learning Outcomes
What recommends and makes this definition desirable is its focus on:
 A curriculum - what students need to know and be able to do as
determined by student and societal needs not disciplinary tradition
 What students should be able to do (application) rather than merely
what knowledge they possess as a result of the experience of a
course or program
 Placing importance on the development and assessment of generic
abilities
Student Learning Outcomes
Writing useful Outcomes
Consistent with the logic step model illustrated earlier,
after understanding and defining SLOs we may begin the
process of identifying or writing SLOs for various levels





The curriculum
Program
Course
Course module
Exam
Student Learning Outcomes
Checklist for writing useful outcomes:
1.
Is your focus on outcomes and not processes?
2.
Have you started each outcome with an action verb?
3.
Have you used only one action verb per outcome?
4.
5.
6.
Avoided vague verbs such as know and understand?
Used verbs used reflect the level of learning required?
Ensured that outcomes are observable and measurable?
7.
Written the outcomes in terms of what the learner does, not what
the instructor does?
8.
Checked that the outcomes reflect knowledge, skills, or attitudes
required in the workplace?
9.
Included outcomes that are woven into the entire course (such as
work effectively in teams)
 Yes
No
Student Learning Outcomes
Checklist for writing useful outcomes (cont’d):
10.
Checked that there are the appropriate number of
outcomes (no more than three per major topic)?
11.
Listed the sub-outcomes for each outcome?
12.
Ensured that the outcomes fit within program and
course goals
 Yes
No
Student Learning Outcomes
Assessing and evaluating SLOs
Key principles:

Clarity – Prior to performance evaluation students should be clear
about what they are expected to know and how they are expected to
know it
SLO assessment should comprise:

Frequency – multiple measures of

Variety - Writing, oral presentations, visual presentations, paper and
student performance
pencil tests, take home tests, independent work, group work
Student Learning Outcomes
Assessing and evaluating SLOs (cont’d)
Key principles:


Novelty – creative demonstrations and applications by students of
knowledge they have gained in new situations
Mastery – Using pre, intermediate and post assessment activities an
instructor can have a realistic measure of the value added at each
stage and determine to what extent students have mastered the
content area
Student Learning Outcomes
Useful student learning outcomes assessment produces important
results that can be critical in improving the teaching learning
experience. Feedback can thus help to:

Enhance institutional effectiveness

Enhance accountability reporting

Enhance curriculum effectiveness

Enhance syllabi content

Enhance instructional delivery

Enhance SLO assessment
Student Learning Outcomes
A comprehensive way of developing, managing, and assessing
and using the results of Student Learning Outcomes
evaluation to refine and improve learning experiences is
through a SLO Assessment Plan. 2.
This plan organizes and provides useful guidance for application in a
higher education institutional setting
2.The
plan that follows was modified and refined by Michael Ralph, P.h.D.
using a basic framework recommended by Peggy L. Maki, Senior
Scholar at the American Association for Higher Education
Student Learning Outcomes
Developing an Effective SLO Plan
A. State
expected
outcomes
Examples:
Stds will able
to integrate
Stds will
demonstrate the
ability to
identify,
evaluate and
access
Stds will apply
models of ----to
--------
B. Where are
expected
outcomes
addressed
Example in:
 Courses
 Programs
 Services
 Internships
 Community
service projects
Work experiences
 Independent
studies
C. Methods &
Criteria to
Assess
outcomes
D. Level of
expected
performance
Examples:
Tests & Quizzes
 Writing samples
 Collaborative
problem-solving
project
 Portfolio
 Performance
 Simulation
 Focus Group
Examples:
Numerical score
on a national
exam
 Numerical score
on a licensure
examination
 Holistic score
on ability to solve
problems
 Mastery level
score on a final
project
E. Collect
baseline
information
Using:
Standardized
tests
 Locally designed
tests
 In-class writing
 In-class case
study
 Portfolio
 Performance
Student Learning Outcomes
Identifying Targeted Students, Schedules and Responsibility
A. Determine whom you will
assess
Examples:
 All students
 Student cohorts, such as:
 At risk students
 Students in academic
developmental programs
 Students with low SAT/
ACT scores
 First-Time Full-Time
freshmen
 Students entering their
senior year
 Students completing
developmental programs
B. Establish a schedule for
Assessment
Examples:
 Prior to enrollment
 At the end of a specific
Semester
 At the completion of a required
set of courses
 Upon the completion of
a certain number of
credits
 At program completion
 At the completion of an
internship
 At the completion of a
course of studies
E. Collect baseline information
Examples:
Internal Evaluators:
 Faculty on a program
team
 Faculty on an interdisciplinary team
 Assessment committee
 Writing Center faculty
 Testing Center Staff
External Evaluators:
 Faculty from partnering
institutions
 Agency representatives
 Sponsors of various
academic awards
Student Learning Outcomes
Using SLO Results and Feedback to Continuously Improve
and Upgrade Teaching and Learning
A. Determine how Teaching &
Learning approaches and
content will be revised
Examples:
 All students
 Student cohorts, such as:
 At risk students
 Students in academic
developmental programs
 Students with low SAT/
ACT scores
 First-Time Full-Time
freshmen
 Students entering their
senior year
 Students completing
developmental programs
B. Disseminating and
discussing SLO assessment
and evaluation
Examples:
 Curriculum design committee
 Academic disciplinary areas
 Academic accountability and
stewardship officials
 Institutional Effectiveness
committees
 Program and institutional
accreditation teams
C. Continuation of SLO
Assessment and Evaluation
Example:
After all revisions in curricula,
programs, syllabi courses, delivery of
instruction and assessment have been
implemented … , Begin a new SLO
Assessment Cycle
Student Learning Outcomes
Accountability and Reporting Indicators








Graduation Rates (current, over ten years)
Retention Rates
Minority participation
Programs accredited
Percentage passing the PRAXIS Exams
Percentage passing Nursing Board Exams
Percentage passing other professional & certification exams
Percentage enrolling into graduate schools
Words to Ponder
“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 those
expectations and standards; and using the resulting
information to document, explain, and improve
performance.” 3.
_____________________________________________
3.Dr. Tom Angelo, Reassessing (and Defining) Assessment. The AAHE
Bulletin, 48(2), November 1995, pp.7-9.
Words to Ponder
“Assessment is like learning in that it will never be
completed. We will just work to get better and smarter at
it so that our students will demonstrate higher levels of
competencies.” 4.
_____________________
4.Dr. Richard Drum, Vice President for Learning Services at AWC
in his Focus on Assessment Report, April, 2001.

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