Dr. Douglas Eder from Southern Illinois
University Edwardsville does a terrific activity concerning assessment at workshops.
He has everyone close their eyes and remember the first image that comes
to mind when he says the word DOG. He then asks the audience what images
came to mind.
Some see large golden retrievers, others
see curly little poodles; as you might imagine many people remember
their own dog or an outstanding dog incident. Then he asks, "Did anyone see something that was
not a dog?" In fact, some do. Some see cats and other related artifacts. One faculty
member reluctantly shared that she had seen a pile of poop.
Dr. Eder concludes by sharing that DOG is
one of the first ten words most humans learn and yet there is relatively
similarity between the images and meaning faculty
attach to that simple word. How much more significant might those
differences be when it comes to educational vocabulary relating to
Assessment practitioners have proposed a
common set of definitions in order to help facilitate communication.
something that happens to an individual student as a result of
attendance at a higher education institution.
particular levels of knowledge, skills, and abilities that a student has
attained at the end of engagement in a particular set of collegiate
particular areas of disciplinary or professional content that students
can recall, relate, and appropriately deploy.
Skills - the
learned capacity to do something.
- changes in beliefs or development of certain values.
Abilities - the
integration of knowledge, skills, and attitudes in complex ways that
require multiple elements of learning.
specific level of performance that students are expected to master.
Now reread our definition of SLOS with
the above definitions in mind.
Student learning outcomes are the specific
measurable goals and results that are expected subsequent to a
learning experience. These outcomes may involve knowledge
(cognitive), skills (behavioral), or attitudes (affective)
that display evidence that learning has occurred, at a specified
level of competency, as a result of a course or program. Learning outcomes are clear and
assessable statements that define
what a student is able to DO at the completion of a course or program.
Other important descriptions are
accessible at the link marked Definitions.
Occasionally important words will be linked to these definitions for
easy access and consistency.