Student learning outcomes, or SLOs, define skills or abilities a student will gain from the successful completion of a course. SLOs are overarching, clear, and assessable statements. Outcomes may involve a combination of knowledge, skills, abilities, and/or attitudes that display behavioral evidence of learning by the student. Student learning outcomes define what is learned, not what is taught.
Student learning outcomes are written in the first step in a Student Learning Outcome Assessment Cycle, or SLOAC. You, as a member of the De Anza College faculty, define learning outcomes, document plans to assess these outcomes, and analyze the course’s effectiveness through the reflection and enhancement process. Assessments are assignments within the course that aim to fulfill one of the course’s student learning outcomes. After the course is complete, you return to the SLOAC and reflect on the course’s ability to meet its stated learning outcomes. You and your colleagues also have the opportunity to suggest enhancements to the course, which may improve it for future classes.
De Anza College requires faculty to document outcomes for each of their courses. When you complete a SLOAC, it is recorded in the course’s outline of record via De Anza’s Electronic Curriculum Management System, or ECMS. The college uses the records within the ECMS during accreditation processes and to improve teaching and learning at De Anza.
Any faculty member who teaches a course can be involved in its SLOAC. You and your fellow course instructors decide who among you should be considered the team leader. Only the team leader can initiate the creation, documentation, and integration of the student learning outcomes statements. Team leaders can document a course’s student learning outcomes, while team members plan assessments, reflect on the course, and suggest enhancements.
As faculty members document learning outcomes for all courses at the college, you will return to the SLOAC system only to document assessment plans and reflection and enhancement statements.
You document a SLOAC for your course via two paths: