ONGOING HISTORY OF SLOs & ASSESSMENTS AT ECC
During the '04 - '05 and '05 - '06 academic years, faculty, staff, and managers read books and articles on the subject, attended presentations and workshops, and reviewed how other schools have approached the task of creating meaningful assessments of student learning outcomes. An SLO Task Force was formed and held meetings regularly. One result of the SLO Task Force was to create a first draft of Institutional-Level Student Learning Outcomes (ILOs).
First Draft of Institutional-Level Student Learning Outcomes
As a result of his/her experiences at El Camino College:
- Students are productive citizens.
- Students are equipped to meet the challenges of life.
- Students are prepared for and are competitive in the workforce.
- Students possess critical thinking skills.
- Students embrace learning and are committed to lifelong learning.
- Students are knowledgeable about local and global events.
- Students appreciate and enjoy the arts and humanities.
- Students improve the quality of their lives.
- Students improve the lives of others.
The second achievement of the SLO Task Force was the recommendation to the Administration that two faculty coordinators be given course releases to move the process of developing and assessing SLOs at the course and program levels. In May, 2006, two faculty members, Lars Kjeseth and Jenny Simon, accepted one course release each for the '06 - '07 academic year to coordinate the next stage of the development of student learning outcomes and assessments at El Camino College.
The Student Learning Outcomes and Assessment Cycle Project
During the summer of 2006, Lars Kjeseth and Jenny Simon, working in close collaboration with the Deans, the V.P.A.A., and the President of the Academic Senate, developed a three semester project designed to create and implement meaningful (but not comprehensive) student learning outcomes assessment cycles (SLOACs) at the course, program, and institutional levels. The structure of the SLOAC Project imitates the three phases of a student learning outcomes assessment cycle.
Flex Day, August 24, 2006: Launching the SLOAC Project
On August 24, 2006, the SLOAC Project was formally launched on Flex day. Lars Kjeseth and Jenny Simon set the stage with an introductory talk, entitled
Faculty then met in their respective division meetings, at the end of which they selected from among three break-out sessions:
1) Foundations of Student Learning Outcomes and Assessment (Facilitators: Jenny Simon and Evelyn Uyemura)
In this session, faculty who wanted to know more about the basics of constructing student learning outcomes (SLOs) at the course level learned more about what SLOs are and what they are not. Participants left this session knowing how straightforward it is to transform a course objective into a student learning outcome. Instructors were introduced to the research question model for designing assessment plans for course-level SLOs.
2) Program-Level Assessment Cycles –Connecting Program Goals with Student Learning Outcomes (Facilitator: Lars Kjeseth)
In this session, participants examined two important issues relating to program level SLOs and assessments: (1) How do we move from program goals to program level SLOs and how do we tie these program level SLOs to course level SLOs? (2) How do we connect program level SLOs to institutional level SLOs or core competencies?
3) College Level Student Learning Outcomes / Core Competencies (Facilitator: Ian Haslam)
In this session, participants began the conversation about what we hope our students will be able to do after leaving El Camino College. Using both the recommendations of last year's SLO Task Force and examples from other community colleges, participants began to articulate what will eventually become the El Camino College Core Competencies.
The Assessment of Learning Committee
In fall 2006, the Assessment of Learning Committee (ALC), the committee tasked with establishing and growing the infrastructure for the Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Cycle project, met for the first time. The committee consists of the SLO coordinators, representatives from each academic division, the student services division, as well as the institutional researcher, the co-chairs of accreditation, the Vice President of Academic Affairs, and the Dean Liaison. In spring 2007, representatives from the Compton Center joined the committee. Please view the Fall 2006 Progress Report for more information. For current committee membership, agendas and minutes from the meetings, please see the Assessment of Learning Committee page.
The Core Competencies (now called ILOs)
The first task of the ALC was to draft and finalize a set of core competencies (now referred to as Institutional Learning Outcomes or ILOs). The committee pulled from a variety of sources to complete this task, including the original Institutional Core Competencies drafted by the original SLO task force (above) as well as the results of the workshop led by Ian Haslam on flex day, August 24, 2006 (described above), during which participants looked at core competencies from other schools and voted on the ones most important to them. The final draft of these core competencies was completed at the end of fall 2007, and approved by the Academic Senate in early spring 2007. Please see Review and Revision of Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs) below for a list of the core competencies that were approved in 2007.
The SLO Reporting Process
Another early task of the ALC was to draft forms for reporting the results of SLOs and assessments. An early set of these forms was drafted at the end of fall 2006 and used during flex day in spring 2007. They consisted of a course- and program-level SLO reporting form and an Assessment Audit form. The assessment audit form still exists on the Forms page and is a form that faculty can use as a starting point for SLO and assessment development. The SLO and Assessment Reporting form was improved and expanded from its earlier version, and a form for student services was added. The newest versions of the form can also be found on the Forms page.
Starting in spring 2007, the ALC went to work on drafting a set of assessment principles, which would be used as the guiding philosophy in continuing the build the infrastructure for the SLOAC project. The committee started drafting these principles in spring 2007 and finalized them at the end of fall 2007. They were approved by the Academic Senate at the beginning of spring 2008. Please refer to the Assessment Principles page to view this document.
Assessment of Student Learning Week: Launched October 23-26, 2007
During the week of October 23-26, 2007, the SLO Assessment Coordinators and the ALC launched the first Assessment of Student Learning Week, to take place each semester between the eighth and tenth week. Assessment of Student Learning Week consists of two events: two to three "Assessment Fairs" and a "Mini-Conference." At the Assessment Fairs, faculty, staff, and administrators from all parts of the campus come together to share their SLOs, assessment methods, and results. They may also have space to work with their colleagues on developing their SLOs and assessments, and the SLO Assessment Coordinators as well as several ALC members are on hand to help. The mini-conference, always on the Friday of Assessment of Student Learning Week, features a variety of activities, including presentations, workshops, and time to work with colleagues on SLO and assessment development. Please click here to view the flyer from the first Assessment of Student Learning Week, from October 23-26, and here to view the flyer from the second Assessment of Student Learning Week from April 21-25, 2008.
Flex Day, February 6, 2008: A Huge Leap Forward
On February 6, 2008, SLO Assessment Coordinators Linda Gallucci and Jenny Simon took the stage and presented "SLOs: Where We are and Where We're Going," which not only gave faculty an update on the progress of the SLOAC project, but also gave them an idea about how the project would develop in the future. In addition, the coordinators took the opportunity to show the faculty the nuts and bolts of filling out the SLO and Assessment Report form. As a result of the presentation, the number of SLO proposals on file with the coordinators jumped in a single day from 178 courses with at least one SLO to 323 courses with at least one SLO.
Setting Benchmarks: On Task to Meet ACCJC Deadline
In Spring 2008, the ALC took on the task of setting benchmarks for the next years in order to meet the ACCJC's mandate that institutions reach "Stage 3: SLO Framework Complete" by 2012, according to the "Rubric for Assessment of Progress Towards Implementing a Student Learning Outcomes Framework at a Community College." Please click here to view a document with a list of benchmarks and goals for reaching stage 3 by 2012.
In fall 2013 and spring 2014, the ALC conducted a comprehensive review of ILO statements and reports with the goal of, if needed, developing a revised set of ILO statements. The ALC presented a revised set of ILOs to the Academic Senate, and these were ratified by the Academic Senate in May 2014. Past and current ILOs are listed below.
College ILO statements as ratified by the Academic Senate in 2007 (1-5) and 2010 (6):
- Content Knowledge: Students possess and use the knowledge, skills and abilities specific to a chosen discipline, vocation or career.
- Critical, Creative and Analytical Thinking: Students solve problems, make judgments and reach decisions using critical, creative and analytical skills.
- Communication and Comprehension: Students effectively communicate in written, spoken or signed, and artistic forms to diverse audiences. Students comprehend and respectfully respond to the ideas of others.
- Professional and Personal Growth: Students exhibit self-esteem, responsible behavior and personal integrity. Students are reflective and intellectually curious; they continue to improve themselves throughout life.
- Community and Collaboration: Students appreciate local and global diversity and are respectful and empathetic during personal interactions and competitions. Students effectively collaborate and resolve conflicts. They are responsible, engaged members of society, who are willing and able to assume leadership roles.
- Information and Technology Literacy: Students locate, critically evaluate, synthesize, and communicate information in various traditional and new media formats. Students understand the social, legal, and ethical issues related to information and its use.
College ILO statements as ratified by the Academic Senate in May 2014:
- Critical Thinking: Students apply critical, creative and analytical skills to identify and solve problems, analyze information, synthesize and evaluate ideas, and transform existing ideas into new forms.
- Communication: Students effectively communicate with and respond to varied audiences in written, spoken or signed, and artistic forms.
- Community and Personal Development: Students are productive and engaged members of society, demonstrating personal responsibility, and community and social awareness through their engagement in campus programs and services.
- Information Literacy: Students determine an information need and use various media and formats to develop a research strategy and locate, evaluate, document, and use information to accomplish a specific purpose. Students demonstrate an understanding of the legal, social, and ethical aspects related to information use.
As indicated above, the Content Knowledge ILO has been eliminated. The ALC felt that the concept of content knowledge was already embedded in the other ILOs and would be best assessed at the SLO and PLO level. The approach of this ILO assessment report will be used to examine SLO and PLO results for all academic programs. Findings will be shared widely with campus faculty, administrators, and staff.
A new ILO assessment cycle will be established by the ALC in fall 2014.