What Students Want To Know about Student Learning Outcomes
What are Student Learning Outcomes?
Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) are statements that specify
what knowledge, skills, abilities, attitudes, values, feelings a student should
be able to demonstrate AFTER an educational experience (e.g.
reading a chapter in a textbook, completing a course, working on a group
project, completing a lab experiment, earning a degree or certificate or
completing a program of study).
Why Write SLOs?
The US Department of Education believes that SLOs are the
most effective way to measure actual learning and are more telling than a grade
in a course which is a culmination of all the educational experiences in the
course. When faculty measure whether a student can perform a specific outcome,
then we know that true learning has happened.
How Do Faculty Measure Them in My Course?
Faculty use assignments in your course to measure specific
SLOs. Those assignments range from quizzes, to essays, to department –wide
finals, to oral presentations. The assignment used depends on the SLO to be
Where Can I See My SLOs?
SLOs are required to be on your class syllabus. SLOs are
also available on SWC’s curriculum management system CurricUNET which is
accessible to the public by clicking
here. Search for your course and click on the SLO Report Icon.
What Will SLOs Tell Me? Why Do I Care?
SLOs tell you what you’re expected to be able to do after
you finish an assignment, a course, or even an entire program. Knowing what’s
expected of you allows you to prepare for a course or program and to focus on
achieving those outcomes, which increases your likeliness of success.
Program-level outcomes show you what skills you will walk away with after
earning a degree or certificate which can help in career planning. To see the
program student learning outcomes for your degree or certificate program, as
well as historical results on how well other students are doing on those outcomes,
Do I Go if I Want To Know More
SWC’s Website on Student Learning Outcomes provides more
comprehensive information on outcomes and contact info. Click here for the website.
Program-Level Student Learning Outcomes
Program-level Student Learning Outcomes (PSLOs) assess the knowledge, skills, abilities, competencies, attitudes, beliefs, opinions, and values students learn while completing a program of study (e.g., certificate, degree). The purpose of PSLOs is to guide program improvement to support all students in achieving the program’s learning outcomes. Results in PSLO reports represent recent students’ levels of attainment for each PSLO assessed within a program.
When researching a Major (Academic Program of Study), consider comparing PSLOs (what you can learn) to Gainful Employment (what your education will cost) by the time you complete a certificate or degree in a technical field.