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Assessment Information For Students


Assessment FAQs for Students 

To download a pdf version of this information, click here.


What Are Learning Outcomes?  

A Learning Outcome is a broad term to describe the campus endeavor towards improving student learning.   SLOs tell students what they will know or be able to do at the end of each stage of their studies (e.g., courses, programs). 


What is a Student Learning Outcome?

A Student Learning Outcome (SLO) tells students what they will know or be able to do at the end of a course.   SLOs describe the knowledge, skills or abilities that students should achieve by the end of a course.    


Where Can I Find SLOs?

SLOs are required to appear on your course syllabus.   Feel free to ask your instructor about them. 


Do I Need to Know the SLOs for My Course?

Yes, because SLOs are a good indicator of what faculty teaching the course think it is important for you to learn.  However, since SLOs focus on the big picture, they may not help you with studying specific chapters or for specific exams.  Make sure you understand what the SLOs are at the beginning of the course because they should help you set goals for what you will learn.  Throughout the course, you can consider how what you are learning is related to each SLO.


Will SLOs Mean More Work or Another Test or Assignment for Me?

It probably won't mean more work for you.  Faculty decide what the assessments will be and when they will be given.  Some faculty may use a current assignment in the course as the assessment or they may create an assignment that will be embedded into the course.  You may or may not know what's being used as the SLO assessment.

In addition, the assignments used for SLO assessment will probably be looked at or assessed for other qualities than how the instructor grades the assignment.  For example, you might be asked to write a research paper that is given an overall grade as part of the course but your instructor might also look at it to see how well he or she taught research skills.  As another example, you might be asked to solve a problem for which your grade focuses on getting the right answer, but your instructor will look at it to see how well he or she taught a specific procedure or thought process.


How are SLO Assessment Results Used?

The assessments are designed to help faculty understand how well their students in their courses are learning.  They help faculty determine where they can make instructional improvement. Usually, assessment information will be collected anonymously to look at students as a whole group rather than as individuals. Often, the assessment for the SLO takes place at the end of the semester.


Who can I talk to about SLOs?

If you have questions about this process, you can talk to your instructors, Division Facilitators, SLO Coordinators, Deans, or anyone on the Assessment of Learning Committee (ALC).    Refer to to locate these people.


What is the Assessment of Learning Committee (ALC)?

This committee is made up a cross-section of faculty, staff, and administrators - people from all across campus.  It includes faculty, facilitators from each division, associate deans, and a dean’s representative as well as representatives from student services, Institutional Research and Planning, Academic Affairs, and the Library.  The ALC works to guide the campus through the learning outcomes assessment process and to create policy to ensure the process is meaningful and manageable.