FAQs

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What are SLOs (Student Learning Outcomes)? And who's involved?

SLO = Student Learning Outcome

SLOs exist at multiple levels, generally at different levels of detail. SLOs are learning outcomes that we expect students to receive after they have completed a class, program, degree, or path of study at City College. Assessment plans are in place to evaluate our success in helping student achieve these outcomes.

Although the initial impetus for assessment began with SLOs, all areas of the college, including services, can benefit from setting outcomes they want achieved by their work (outcomes that those they serve will achieve). Thus outcomes assessment (rather than just SLO assessment) is the language we use to describe all levels of our efforts across the college.

Outcomes are developed and assessments take place for the following areas:

  • Student Learning Outcomes (for courses, instructional programs, counseling, and workshops)
  • Student Service Outcomes (for additional services provided to students, such as transcript procurement, registration, and financial aid)
  • Admininstrative Unit Outcomes (for services provided to faculty, staff, vendors, external organizations, etc. to produce an environment of learning for our students)

Often the term SLO will be used as a shorthand for all the outcomes assessment work currently happening at CCSF.

Are all CCSF employees conducting outcomes assessment?

Yes! All CCSF employees are contributing to courses, programs, and/or services. As such, all employees should be involved with assessment, discussion of results, formulation of improvements plans, and keeping records. Each employee's role will vary from minor to major depending on their level of responsibility within their department or unit. There definitely needs to be one person or a group of people coordinating the effort. But everyone should be involved at the level they are capable. Documents to help: CCSF SLO Handbook.

What are Institutional Student Achievement Outcomes?

ISAOs cover basic outcomes for student achievement including such thing as transfer rates and degree completion.

What are Institutional Student Learning Outcomes?

ISLOs cover basic outcomes expected for students who completed their educational goals at CCSF. They include things like: think critically, communicate clearly, demonstrate global awareness and appreciation for diversity, and manage personal and career goals.

How do MLOs, SLOs, PLOs, GEOs, and ILOs relate?

SLO = student learning outcome

SLOs exist at multiple levels, generally at different levels of detail. The most detailed are the Course SLOs (also known as MLOs or major learning outcomes, as they are called in our course outlines). The next level higher are program-level SLOs (PLOs) and general-education SLOs (GEOs). PLOs are specific to a disclipline, major, or certificate. GEOs are specific to an entire area of study to satisfy the CCSF A.A. degree. ILOs are student learning outcomes at the highest level and cover study programs throughout the college.

What is a Course Coordinator?

Course Coordinators are individuals who are responsible for gathering and summarizing efforts of all instructors of the same course, maintaining records on the course, and completing online reporting forms for a given course. Course Coordinators would also be responsible for getting together a group of instructors and coordinating SLO assessment for a particular course, including facilitating discussion of assessment data, outcomes, and improvement plans.

  • If a course has only one instructor, regardless of the number of sections, that instructor is the course coordinator.
  • If a course has multiple sections, instructors need to coordinate efforts for one submission. While there can be multiple course coordinators, the department dhair should designate one instructor who will be in charge of submitting the online reporting form.
  • There are a number of different departmental models used for coordinating course SLO efforts. Follow the model that works best for you.
  • For more information, click here.

What about Course SLOs -- what are our requirements for publishing these?

Course SLOs should be published and available publicly on your department's assessment website. In addition, course SLOs need to be advertised and conveyed to each student in a course through the class syllabus. (Although it is recommended you include a list of all SLOs, you can also include a link to the website where your course SLOs are published).

What should our students know about this process?

According to ACCJC standards, our students should: "demonstrate awareness of goals and purposes of courses and programs in which they are enrolled."

How often do courses need to be assessed?

All courses offered in a particular semester require an assessment plan to be developed and an online reporting form to be submitted. It is not required that there be assessment activities for every course every semester. However, plans must be developed and a timeline for assessment must be indicated. The benchmark for the college is that all AUOs/SLOs are assessed at least once every 3 years.

Do all course instructors have to use the same SLO assessments?

No, all course instructors do not have to use the same assessments. However, it is recommended. Using the same SLO assessment tools allows for a consistent evaluation of SLO achievement by students across teaching styles. If different instructors will be using different assessment methods, there should still be coordination of the efforts. The same SLOs should be assessed by all instructors. Data should be reviewed and discussed by all instructors of the same course. Plans for improvement can also be different for each section and instructor. But all the information -- assessments, data, discussion, and plans -- needs to be collated and entered into the online forms once for each course.

What are our currency requirements regarding Course Outlines?

Use data you gather in your assessment process to inform any rewriting of course outline student learning outcomes. Be sure these outlines are updated at a minimum every 6 years.

What is a Program Coordinator?

Program Coordinators are individuals who are "in charge" of coordinating SLO assessment for a particular program, including facilitating discussion of assessment data, outcomes, and improvement plans. The Department Chair should designate program coodinators for each department program.

What is an Instructional Program?

Programs are defined as:

  • Credit or noncredit certificates,
  • Majors, and
  • Disciplines that do not otherwise have a certificate or major

For example:

  • Dental Assisting has two programs: the major and the certificate
  • Music has one program: the Music program
  • Behavioral Sciences has three programs: the Anthropology Discipline, the Psychology major, and the Intro to Human Services Certificate (covering Sociology)

Please note that this expansive definition of “program” is for the purposes of our SLO processes and will not impact other processes, such as program review.

What is mapping?

Mapping is a tool of curriculum alignment. For example, mapping courses to program SLOs ensures that the program outcomes are aligned with the courses in that program. Mappings for all Instructional Programs were completed in Fall 2012 and must be updated through the Curriculum Committee when programs are updated or newly created.

How many online forms do Academic Programs submit every year/semester?

Once we are in ongoing cycles of SLO assessment, each semester, you will need to submit reporting forms as follows:

  1. Course Assessment Review and Tentative Plans (submitted by end of each semester by Course Coordinator on behalf of all faculty who teach the course)
  2. Program Assessment Review and Tentative Plans (submitted by end of each semester  by Program Coordinator on behalf of the department)

Can we edit our online reporting-form entries?

After you choose SUBMIT, as long as you keep your browser window open, you can go back and change your answers by choosing the "edit submission" link. Also, since a password is now required, and you login with your CCSFMail (Google) account (@mail.ccsf.edu), you will get a copy of your entry through email. You can follow the link in that email to return to your entry at any time and edit it again. Also, as with past versions of the form the most recent submission of a given course or service area is the one that will appear in the online data review.

What do we report on for last semester, when we just gathered our data?

The online reporting forms that are due to be completed by end of each semester are snapshots of an ongoing process that you will be documenting and tracking through your own templates and notebooks and files and website. The online reporting forms will be completed once a semester and will capture wherever you are in the process and in no way require you to be at one particular place. They should be low stress. Here's what these online reporting forms will require once a semester, at the start of the semester:

  • Review of activities completed during the previous semester (such as assessments and/or analysis and/or changes made)
  • Tentative plans for activities for the upcoming semester (such as data review/analysis and/or implementing changes and/or assessment)

How does Fall 2012 SLO compare to new forms for Student Development?

Transition from Matrix to Assessment and Review Plan

Student Development completed a 13-item matrix in Fall semester. Recorded within the matrix were such items as the process used to both measure and assess SLOs, changes to make as a result of  findings, and the timeline to implement revisions and modifications. To continue this process in Spring 2013, both Student Services and Instruction will transition data gathered on matrices to the Assessment and Review Plan (online reporting form) displayed on this webpage. Listed below are steps to follow to consolidate data gathered on the matrixes in Fall 2012 into plans for Spring 2013. The glossary below will compare terminology used on the matrix with terms now used within the Assessment and Review Plan:

Matrix Terminology (Fall 2012) vs Assessment and Review Plan (Spring 2013)

  • Fall 2012 SLO = type of Outcome (generic term used to be inclusive of service outcomes + SLOs)
  • Fall 2012 Measure = Assessment Method (what, how, who, when, where)+ Criteria (expected achievement, individuals included)
  • Fall 2012 Assess = Analysis (results, key findings, conclusion) -- Taking the results of the assessment, now review and analyze the findings and come to conclusions about what works well and what doesn't.
  • Fall 2012 Matrix = Template -- A guide to assist you in collating outcomes-assessment data and results and setting future plans. The template is your record-keeping document and can be presented online through your assessment website. Summaries of these data will be entered through an online reporting form once per semester.
  • Fall 2012 Changes = Action -- Revisions you plan to make to your service, course, or workshop.
  • Fall 2012 Timelines = Re-evaluation date -- Closing the loop -- when will you go back to the beginning