Assessing Student Learning in Higher Education

Author's Home Page 

Section 1

Section 2
 Background and Rationale for Assessment

Section 3
Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
Defining SLOs
Defining Terms
Objectives & SLOs
Sample SLOs
SLOs & Learning Domains
Writing SLOs
Evaluate the section

Section 4

Assessment Tools and Data

Section 5
Course Assessment

Section 6
Program Assessment


Section 7
Closing the Loop

Section 8
Implementing Assessment Training on Campus


Section 9
References & Resources



Using Materials from this Website

Student Learning Outcomes

In the previous section, on the background for assessment, we learned about the history and external pressures for assessment, such as the new accreditation standards. However, the real benefit of assessing outcomes lays in the metamorphosis from a teaching-centered to a learning-centered mentality.

This has created a shift in perspective.......

When planning for our courses and
programs, the primary question is no longer
"What will I teach (or what content will I cover) in this class or program?"

The primary question becomes
"What will the students learn?"

Assessment forces us to look at what the students
will be able to do at the end of the course (or program, or counseling appointment, or student government activity) that they could not do at the beginning.       

There are two more important questions, "How will I know what they can do?" and "How will students know what they can do?"

The heart and core of assessment are statements that define what the students should be able to do - the student learning outcomes (SLOs).

After completing this section the participants should be able to:

Create a set of DRAFT SLOs for a course or program that:

        Supports the faculty memberís teaching goals.

        Integrates thinking complexity appropriate to the course.

        Addresses at least two of the domains [cognitive, psychomotor, and affective].

        Aligns with program and institutional goals and outcomes.

        Complies with professional standards and specifications.

        Incorporates modifications through dialogue.

Proceed to Defining Student Learning Outcomes.
Read the Benefits of SLOs or SLOs and Active Learning for some examples

Resources and Links

Student Learning
Outcomes- What's the benefit?

Student Learning
Outcomes and Active Learning
. Fulks

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Section 3
SLOs as a Workbook
(31 pages)










Janet Fulks
Assessing Student Learning in Community Colleges (2004), Bakersfield College