The SLO Process
This page will guide you through the SLO process. It is important that you follow the steps below, in chronological order. Prior to beginning, make sure you read the SLO FAQs for an overview of the process. If you need personal assistance, contact John Ruys for an appointment.
Step 1: Write an SLO
Before writing an SLO, ask yourself the following questions:
- What are the major themes that run through your course?
- What are the big "takeaways"?
- What do you want your students to remember about your class 10 or 20 years from now?
- What must you communicate to your students in order to walk away at the end of the semester feeling like you did your job?
- The "core" question may well be, how does your class change a person's life? You might find that the answer points a straight line to one or more of the Core Competencies as LPC has defined them.
Now, to write an SLO, start with what you're already doing. Choose a paper, essay, exam, project or presentation that you already require students to do. Ask yourself exactly what skills or knowledge the assignment requires students to demonstrate; i.e. what is the purpose of the assignment?
Put that purpose into a statement that begins with the following phrase:
"By the end of the course, students should be able to. . ." do what?
Remember to use specific verbs from Bloom's Taxonomy.
View actual SLOs written by LPC faculty.
Step 2: Prepare your Assessment
Now that you have an SLO, you need to think about how the students will accomplish it. In other words, how will your assessment tool (i.e. the paper, essay, exam, project or presentation) allow students to demonstrate mastery of the SLO? Design your assessment with this question in mind.
If your assessment tool is a paper, essay, exam with substantial writing, project or presentation, you should develop a rubric for evaluating how students will master the SLO.
If your assessment tool is an objective exam (multiple-choice, for example), you might need to revise or identify groups of questions that, when answered correctly, demonstrate student ability to achieve the SLO.
Step 3: Measure the Outcome
Based on your rubric, give each student a score (0-4, for example, for a 5-point rubric). Make sure you translate these scores into raw scores or percentages to give to your students and to possibly enter into your gradebook.
Step 4: Apply the Lessons Learned
Analyze the achievement level of the class as a whole in eLumen. Did most of the class achieve the SLO? What was the overall result?
You will want to discuss the results with other faculty in your discipline and develop a plan for improving results the next time you teach the course. If you determine that improvements need to be made, you can modify the assessment, the rubric, or even the SLO itself.
Whatever you decide to do, put your plan into writing.