The official curriculum document of record must
represent what the institution has guaranteed the public about a given
course. It is an outline that lists the important components,
criteria, and expectations for each course. WASC accreditation standards include the
specific requirement that the outcomes for courses be explicitly stated
in the curriculum document of record. This would include those core SLOs
collegially approved by the discipline faculty. The syllabus for each
course and section must include all relevant SLOs; those particular to that instructor in addition to
the core SLOs those on the document of record.
The curriculum committee may need to review the official curriculum document of record
to be sure it provides information relevant to the new accreditation
standards. Faculty may need to update their syllabi to include explicit
SLOs. Discussion about these
issues and any process changes should involve broad campus dialogue, careful
consideration of the WASC standards, and be consistent with campus culture,
missions, and values. It is helpful for the leadership to draft a
timeline for both modifying
the curriculum review process and reviewing updates on existing curriculum. A
realistic timeline would project this updating over the next 3-5 years
depending upon the campus and number of courses. Serious evaluation and careful process
modifications are essential in good assessment practices and sustainable assessment practices.
Using the ASCCC curriculum document of record format and
new WASC standards, a good starting point for
components of new curriculum documents would include:
A description of how the course addresses the key
theory, skills, knowledge, and abilities associated with the discipline.
A list of core Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) for the
course. (DO not include SLOs specific to instructors, only those SLOs
agreed to as the core course SLOs by discipline faculty.)
A very brief explanation of the process used to
determine the core SLOs.
A record of the course topics or concepts and teaching
objectives associated with each topic and activity.
Identification of the various types of instruction used
to address the course content and objectives. (These can be generally
addressed with a checklist and may vary among instructors.)
A description of how the outcomes will be assessed. (Use
the same general terms used in reporting the types of instruction. DO not specify
assessment tools; this provides freedom within each section to test
various methods and adapt tools that work best for each instructor.
It is more important to
address the use of single tools or embedded components when dealing with
This also suggests that the program review processes
may need to be reviewed and updated; this will be discussed section 6.
What should the faculty do with course assessment data
reports? As previously stated, these reports are of value to the
instructor and students. Aggregated data and results are useful to
departments or programs and protect student and faculty confidentiality.
The next section describes what these reports might look like and
suggests a reporting template for use with aggregated course data.