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History of Assessment at ECC

History of Learning Outcomes Assessment at ECC

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) Task Force

During the 2004-2005 and the 2005-2006 academic years, El Camino College faculty, staff, and managers engaged in active preparation to create meaningful assessments of student learning outcomes -- reading books and articles on the subject, attending presentations and workshops, and reviewing how other schools approached the task.  An SLO Task Force was formed, and regular meetings were held to advance the assessment effort.

First Draft of Institutional-Level Student Learning Outcomes

One of the charges and accomplishments of the SLO Task Force was to create a first draft of Institutional-Level Student Learning Outcomes (ILOs):

As a result of his/her experiences at El Camino College:

  1. Students are productive citizens.
  2. Students are equipped to meet the challenges of life.
  3. Students are prepared for and are competitive in the workforce.
  4. Students possess critical thinking skills.
  5. Students embrace learning and are committed to lifelong learning.
  6. Students are knowledgeable about local and global events.
  7. Students appreciate and enjoy the arts and humanities.
  8. Students improve the quality of their lives.
  9. Students improve the lives of others.

Faculty Leadership for Student Learning Outcomes - SLO Coordinators

The SLO Task Force also recommended to the College Administration that two faculty members be given course releases to serve as coordinators to guide the process of developing and assessing student learning outcomes at the course and program levels. In May, 2006, faculty members Lars Kjeseth and Jenny Simon each accepted a one-course release for the 2006-2007 academic year to coordinate the next stage of the development of student learning outcomes and assessments at El Camino College.

Launching the Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Cycle (SLOAC) Project

During the summer of 2006, Lars Kjeseth and Jenny Simon worked in close collaboration with the Deans, the Vice President of Academic Affairs, and the President of the Academic Senate to develop 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 mirrored the three phases of a student learning outcomes assessment cycle.

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 Welcome to the Zen of the Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Project

Faculty then met in their respective division meetings, at the end of which they selected from among three break-out sessions to attend:

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.

Student Learning Outcomes 101 (PowerPoint presentation)

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?

The Zen of Program-Level Student Learning Outcomes (PowerPoint presentation)

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.

Institutional Core Competencies Workshop (PowerPoint presentation)


The Assessment of Learning Committee (ALC)

Fall 2006 marked the first meeting of the Assessment of Learning Committee (ALC), the committee tasked with establishing and growing the infrastructure for the Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Cycle project. The committee consists of the SLO coordinators, representatives from each academic division, a representative from 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, as well as meeting agendas and minutes, please visit the Assessment of Learning Committee (ALC) page. 

The Core Competencies (currently referred to as ILOs)

The first task of the Assessment of Learning Committee (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 SLO task force as well as the results of the workshop led by Ian Haslam on flex day, August 24, 2006 (described above), during which participants reviewed 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 was approved by the Academic Senate in early spring 2007. Please see “Review and Revision of Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs)” section below for a list of the core competencies that were approved in 2007.

The SLO Reporting Process

Another early task of the Assessment of Learning Committee (ALC) was to create template forms for reporting the results of student learning outcomes 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 an Assessment Audit form and a course- and program-level assessment reporting form. The assessment audit form was used by faculty as a starting point for developing student learning outcomes assessments. The assessment reporting form was subsequently improved and expanded from its earlier version, and a template was developed for assessing service area outcomes (SAOs) in the area of student services. 

Assessment Principles

In spring 2007, the ALC began 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 finalized these Assessment Principles at the end of fall 2007. They were approved by the Academic Senate at the beginning of spring 2008.


Assessment of Student Learning Week: Launched October 23-26, 2007

During the week of October 23-26, 2007 the SLO Coordinators and the ALC launched the first Assessment of Student Learning Week, to take place each semester between the eighth and tenth week. As an ongoing event, Assessment of Student Learning Week was designed to feature: 1) two or three "Assessment Fairs," and 2) a "Mini-Conference."  The Assessment Fairs showcase faculty, staff, and administrators across campus who present their student learning outcome statements, assessment methods, and assessment results. The Fairs provide a venue for faculty, staff, and administrators to collaborate with their colleagues (with additional support and assistance from SLO Coordinators and ALC members) on the development of their student learning outcomes and assessments. The mini-conference, which will be held on the Friday of Assessment of Student Learning Week, features a variety of presentations, interactive workshops, and designated time to collaborate with colleagues on activities related to learning outcomes assessment. Please click here to view flyers from the first Assessment of Student Learning Week, from October 23-26.


Flex Day, February 6, 2008: A Huge Leap Forward

On February 6, 2008, SLO 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 demonstrate to 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 Assessment of Learning Committee (ALC) assumed the task of setting benchmarks for subsequent 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 which identifies benchmarks and goals for reaching stage 3 by 2012.


Review and Revision of Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

In fall 2013 and spring 2014, the Assessment of Learning Committee (ALC) conducted a comprehensive review of ILO statements and reports with the goal of developing a revised set of ILO statements, if needed. In May 2014, the Academic Senate ratified a revised set of ILOs presented by the ALC. Past and current ILOs are listed below.


ILO Alignment Process

A comprehensive re-mapping of SLOs, PLOs, and ILOs took place in early fall 2014.

During Spring Flex Day 2010, the college faculty mapped their courses and programs to the College's institutional learning outcomes (ILOs). Using a scale of 1-4 (1 = least important and 4 = very important), faculty were asked to rate how strongly each ILO was related to each of the program's courses. By doing this, the College has been able to assess the first three ILOs by focusing on courses that aligned as “very important” to the institutional learning outcome.

Below are the completed alignment maps organized by division.

  • Behavior Social Sciences (American Studies, Anthropology, Child Development, Economics, Education/Liberal Studies, Ethnic Studies, Global Studies, History, Human Development, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Women's Studies)

  • Business (Business, Computer Information System, Law, Real Estate)

  • Fine Arts (Art, Communication Studies, Dance, Film Video, Music, Photography, Theater)

  • Health Science and Athletics (Kinesiology Athletics, Kinesiology Fitness/Wellness, Kinesiology Theory, Nursing, Radiological Technology, Recreation, Respiratory Care, SRC/Adapted Physical Education, Sign Language/Interpreter Training)

  • Humanities (Academic Strategies, English, ESL, Foreign Language, Journalism)

  • Industry and Technology (Administration of Justice, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, Architecture, Auto Collision Repair/Painting, Automation, Robotics, and Manufacturing, Automotive Technology, Computer Aided Design/Drafting, Construction Technology, Cosmetology, Electronics and Computer Hardware Technology, Fashion, Fire and Emergency Technology, Welding)

  • Mathematical Sciences (Math, Computer Science, Pre-Engineering)

  • Natural Sciences (Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Health Sciences, Horticulture, Physics)


College ILO statements as ratified by the Academic Senate in 2007 (1-5) and 2010 (6):

  1. Content Knowledge: Students possess and use the knowledge, skills and abilities specific to a chosen discipline, vocation or career.
  2. Critical, Creative and Analytical Thinking: Students solve problems, make judgments and reach decisions using critical, creative and analytical skills.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Communication: Students effectively communicate with and respond to varied audiences in written, spoken or signed, and artistic forms.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

The ILOs that were ratified by the Academic Senate in May 2014 reflect a reconceptualization of the original themes.  The Content Knowledge ILO was eliminated, as the ALC felt that the concept of content knowledge was already embedded in the other ILOs and would be best assessed at the course and program levels. The assessment of ILOs will involve the analysis of the course- and program-level assessment results for all academic programs. Findings will be shared widely with campus faculty, administrators, and staff.

A new ILO assessment cycle was established by the ALC in fall 2014.