Overview of the learning outcomes assessment process
How Does the Assessment of Learning Outcomes Link to Other Processes at the College?
The assessment of student learning outcomes is an intrinsic part of El Camino College's planning, decision-making, and budgetary processes. At El Camino College, student learning is assessed at the course (SLO), program (PLO) and institutional (ILO) levels. The college has a documented process to ensure that learning outcomes assessment works in conjunction with curricular review, program review, and annual planning. Click here for a history of learning outcomes assessment at El Camino College.
El Camino College's current planning model demonstrates: 1) the essential connection between learning outcomes assessment and the mission of the College, and 2) how the assessment of learning outcomes integrates with program review, curriculum, planning, and resource allocation. This model guides all of the College’s planning and institutional effectiveness processes and is one of the foundations of the College’s comprehensive master plan. The College will review the model for relevance on a regular basis.
Learning Outcomes Assessment Process: Inputs & Outputs
The College’s process for assessing learning outcomes reflects various data inputs and outputs. The College’s Mission, Strategic Initiatives, Master Plan, and program goals serve as the foundation for faculty as they collaborate to develop, review, and revise specific learning outcome statements at the course (SLO), program (PLO), and institution (ILO) levels. Regulatory guidelines (e.g., state law; regional and programmatic accreditation) and institutional standards inform the timelines that are developed for assessment at each level. As they collaborate to identify appropriate materials and methodology for assessing student learning outcomes (including scoring rubrics), faculty consider discipline-specific “best practices” and culturally responsive assessment strategies. SLO, PLO, and ILO data are collected and analyzed on a continuous basis, and the results are documented in assessment reports which are shared with campus stakeholders accordingly. The results of learning outcomes assessment inform decision-making at various levels of campus operation and may result in curricular and instructional changes, related program review recommendations, and data-driven annual planning requests.
How Does Assessment Improve Student Learning?
The goal of learning outcomes assessment is to evaluate the extent to which students are achieving the stated learning outcomes at the course, program, and institution levels. Faculty collaborate campus-wide to set specific targets and success standards for student performance at each level of assessment. These learning outcomes are regularly assessed based on established timelines.
Assessment results are analyzed by faculty to determine whether or not the targets and standards have been met. Faculty submit formal assessment reports which include specific action plans developed to ensure optimal student learning and increase student success. Action plans may reflect a range of activities designed to address any performance gaps in student learning and/or to enhance the assessment process itself. Recommended actions may include curricular changes to enhance course/program scope or rigor; implementation of teaching innovations to address specific barriers to learning; and formal requests for integrated academic support services and/or other student success interventions. Faculty may also recommend that learning outcome statements be revised for clarity/scope or that the success standards and targets be modified to represent higher expectations in terms of student learning.