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Student Learning Outcomes

Student Learning Outcomes


Welcome to Columbia College Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) resource site.  This site provides information and links to assist any Columbia College personnel in developing and implementing Student Learning Outcomes.  Columbia College has chosen to implement Student Learning Outcomes throughout the college at the course level, program and/or service level and at the college-wide level.  Our collaboratively created and collectively accepted definition follows.


A robust SLO includes:

♦ A behavioral objective that describes what a student will be able to do, know or be at the conclusion of a course/service/program;

♦ A description of the method(s) to assess performance;

♦ The criteria for evaluating the outcome;

♦ A plan for ongoing assessment leading to continuous quality improvement(s).

While the specifics of SLO design and implementation will be unique not only among programs and services but among individuals, the benefits of using Student Learning Outcomes are applicable to all.  (Adapted with permission from the Office of Educational Assessment .)

Increased Student Awareness of Their Own Learning - Student learning outcomes give students a way to think and talk about what they have learned.  Being able to state - either verbally or in writing - what they now can do that they could not do previously helps students organize their own learning for themselves and for external audiences, such as job interviewers.  SLOs make it easier for students to "know what they know" and give them a language to communicate what they know to others.

Another Avenue for Faculty/Staff Self-assessment - Use and assessment of student learning outcomes help faculty and staff evaluate and improve their own teaching or services.

A Common Language about Learning Throughout the College - Student learning outcomes can help departments develop a common language that students, faculty, and staff share.  This common language can facilitate communication and build bridges among various departmental services for students, from admissions through advising and instruction.

A Context for Design and Revision of Courses, Programs or Services -  Students learning outcomes assist in the design of new courses or services, keeping the focus on the place they serve in the larger picture.

Clearer Student Expectations - Well thought out and developed outcomes that have been made known to students will enable clearer criteria for grading assignments or in some way observing whether the outcomes are being met.  Outcomes are an important first step toward clear communications of expectations to students.  The job of advising becomes easier when advisors have expected course and program outcomes that they can point to when advising students on either course or major selection.

Improved Promotional Materials - Departments will be able to promote their programs to students and other constituents via the presentation of the outcomes toward which they strive.

Accreditation - Columbia College aligns with accreditation expectations for student learning outcomes by developing a "culture of evidence" in support of our mission statement.

SLO Resources