There are 3 different levels to learning outcomes: Course, Program, and Institutional
Two core questions should be asked when creating learning outcomes. Note: The population of students with which we are asking the question will differ between the levels of outcomes. Insert one of the following (A-C) into question 1 and 2 below.
A. At the end of my course
B. Who finish our program OR Who finish a sequence of classes
C. Who graduate or transfer from EMCC
- What do I/we want students ______(A/B/C)______to know?
- What do I/we want students _____(A/B/C)_______to be able to do?
Course – What are the observable and measurable knowledge, skills, and attitudes/behaviors a student can do by the end of a course? These are not specific tasks, but show a broader understanding of course content. These outcomes should help students be ready for the next course in a sequence, if applicable.
Program - When a student completes a program or a series of classes (English sequence, Math sequence, certificate programs, etc), what are the observable and measurable knowledge, skills, and attitudes/behaviors a student can do? These outcomes will help students be workforce or transfer ready.
Institutional - What are the observable and measurable knowledge, skills, and attitudes/behaviors a student can do when they complete their goal at EMCC. These outcomes are also the abilities EMCC has set as their goals for students to have when they leave our college.
When creating learning outcomes, keep in mind that the outcomes should state what students will do or produce to demonstrate their learning.
Why are SLOs important?
Student Learning Outcomes are a critical component to the institution's assessment model, and plays a large role in creating a continuous culture of assessment. Benefits of measuring and assessing SLOs are, but not limited to:
- Best Practice - Measuring and assessing SLOs has become a best practice for higher education institutions around the United States. As EMCC continues to be an innovative higher education institution, we are making great strides to measuring the impact of our efforts on student learning.
- Accreditation - EMCC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and one of the key components of one of Criterion 4 is the continuous assessment and evaluation of teaching practices to measure student learning.
- Continuous Program Improvement - Without valid data supporting or not supporting teaching and learning practices, EMCC faculty and staff cannot continue to innovate in our course and program design. Through measurement of SLOs, faculty and staff can measure and compare data across sections or programs to measure the effectiveness of teaching and learning strategies and make recommendations for improvement.