Learning Outcomes and Assessment

Want help? Get ideas and review resources.

 

City College strives to create a culture where outcomes assessment continually improves the quality of student learning and institutional effectiveness. Members of each department and program engage each other in the development and assessment of outcomes. Dialogue within and amongst departments and programs moves the college forward to meet the evolving needs of our students through instruction, curricula, programs, and services.

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)
  • General Education Learning Outcomes (for all CCSF general education outcomes in Communication & Analytical Thinking, Written Composition, Natural Science, Social Sciences, Humanities, History, Health, and Multicultural Studies).
  • Institutional Learning Outcomes (for the four institutional outcomes of Critical Thinking & Information Competency, Communication, Cultural, Social & Environmental Awareness, Personal & Career Development).

Updates from the SLO Coordinator

December 10, 2014

Please read updates on Get It Done day, correctly staging courses/programs/units in assessment reports, and the next APT meeting on Institutional Set Standards. 

Get It Done Day

Get It Done Day is this Friday from 11-5 in Batmale 313. Get It Done Day is a supportive, peer fueled day to complete assessment progress reports. Knowledgeable SLO faculty and staff are on hand to assist you with the report (or assessment in general).  Assessment Reports are due for every course, program, student service and administrative unit by Jan 5th—but Get It Done this Friday!  The link to the Assessment Reporting Form is on the MyCCSF page or at www.ccsf.edu/slo (form link in upper right hand column).

Correct Staging

When filling out your assessment reports, take care to correctly and accurately stage your course/program/unit. Once a course reaches a stage it never goes backwards! Assessment stages are like colored belts in karate. Your course, program, or service advances from one stage to the next higher stage, until reaching the highest level. Once a black belt, the highest stage, there’s no going backwards. You’re at that level from then on.

At CCSF our stages move up in number. Stage 1, the lowest, is where you could imagine a new course, program, or service starts – with defined outcomes. Stage 2 is reached when you are conducting the first assessment of the students or served constituents.Stage 3 is reached when the data from the first assessment are being analyzed and discussed with decisions being made about future steps. Stage 4 is reached when changes are implemented. If no changes are deemed to be required, then stage 4 is skipped.Stage 5 is when the course, program, or service is reassessed. If there were no changes made, the assessment is just a way to ensure the outcomes are still being achieved. If changes were made, the assessment checks whether or not the changes are making a positive difference. Once stage 5 is reached, the loop is closed, so to speak.

Why do we have these assessment stage designations at all? The accurate reporting of assessment stages are absolutely necessary for the SLO Coordinators to be able to quantify our progress to our accrediting organization. We were supposed to be at stage 2 or higher for all courses, programs, and services by Fall 2012. To achieve completely the SLO standards, we need to be at 5. So keep moving forward, and report accurately!

APT meeting on Institutional Set Standards

Discussion about our Institutional Set Standards for Achievement will take place next week. Members of the Assessment Planning Team are meeting to analyze last year’s data in comparison to our Institutional Set Standards. Anyone is welcome to attend and contribute.  Institutional standards are set for course completion, degree completion, certificate completion and transfer.  See ours in the CCSF Institutional Assessment Plan.

Assessment Planning Team meeting, Tuesday December 16th from 11-12:30 on R 518. 

Thank you for all your hard work,

Kristina Whalen

SLO Coordinator 

December 3, 2014

SLO coordinators and other higher education leaders across the State (and beyond) have been closely watching the implementation and interpretation of the new ACCJC Accreditation Standards, particularly the standard’s new prescription that BOTH assessment and achievement data are disaggregated to identify potential equity gaps. CCSF is no exception. We have been monitoring and participating in these discussions. In today’s SLO Update, I’d like to share information about the standards and steps being taken by our campus leaders to ensure our compliance with assessment standards.

First, the new ACCJC standards require that the “institution disaggregates and analyzes learning outcomes and achievement for subpopulations of students” (I.B.6). For years, the institution has disaggregated achievement data (what student puts in their pocket degree/certificate completion, etc.) but disaggregation of learning outcomes--acquired knowledge, skills, values--has only occurred in isolated pockets. CCSF is not alone. Reports from our Academic Senate President after attending the recent ASCCC (Academic Senate for California Community Colleges) Plenary details how institutions are grappling (some stunned) with the implications of standard I.B.6*.

How is the Standard being interpreted? As reported by the Senate president Lillian Marrujo-Duck, it is expected that outcome assessment data will need to be tied, in some way, to confidential student information. Schools that are already analyzing learning outcome data in this manner are entering SLO measurements much like they would a grade sheet. One of the first schools to pilot an ACCJC site visit with the new standards, Napa Valley College, conferred with interested Community Colleges via a Webinar on November 18th.  They confirmed that the Commission does expect assessment data to be broken down by sub populations. It was also acknowledged that this requirement marks a cultural shift in assessment and one they could not currently meet. We will be watching the ACCJC response to NVP carefully.

How is CCSF responding? A myriad of options are being considered, all with an eye toward maximum sustainability and minimal additional workload. Foremost, our SLO Technical Coordinator, Katryn Wiese, as well as institutional leaders in the Office of Research & Planning, the Office of Instruction, and our Chief Technology Officer are working closely with our contracted vendor to develop the new CurricUNET Meta software with the capabilities to conduct this required analysis. That implementation is currently in progress, but moving slowly due to constraints of the vendor -- Governet. The one benefit to that slowness is that it gives us time to adapt to these new changes and ensure we implement something meeting current and evolving SLO assessment standards. Governet is committed to meeting these standards as well, as they have many many contracts among California community colleges.  

We are also exploring other options to meet the disaggregated student issue, including alternative software, a Banner Bolt-On (to use an interface similar to what we currently use for entering student grades), and Moodle-based solutions. It is too soon to pick a solution, but all are being carefully vetted.

So what does all this mean for you now? What can you do? It is our plan to implement these new disaggregated SLO standards thoughtfully and considerately, in small groups and then expanding to the entire college. Here are steps you could take now:

1. If you aren't already, start changing the way you collect your SLO data so that it includes student ID. That means that anyone using anonymized assignments will need to change those so that student ID is captured. Ideally these assignments are a regular part of the class, but carefully connected to SLOs.

2. Collate and record your data by student and maintain those records in your own storage system (and be sure to protect them as you would grades -- these should NOT be publicly available).

3. Aggregate your data as you have been doing to date and enter that aggregated information into the online SLO progress reporting (which is public).

If you feel frustrated that processes and expectations are in flux, your reaction is certainly justified. However, standard I.B.6 reflects one of the core value of our institution--social justice. Analyzing learning outcomes data by student subpopulation can make assessment more meaningful and provide additional rich college-wide discussions of student learning in all areas of the college (noncredit and credit). While we have been largely focused on how many students are proficient at our outcomes, we haven’t looked all that extensively at which subpopulations of students are obtaining specific outcomes. Conducting this analysis will help us identify where gaps in knowledge and skills may exist for a certain subpopulation (even though they might still pass the class). Subpopulations can be broken up by a number of demographics, including age, gender, ethnic background, and experience. We can track students through basic skills and better connect their performance later in general education classes. Discussions we can have around these data include where our curriculum might need more cultural competency, best teaching practices shown to be effective for reaching certain subpopulations, and how best to tailor student support. Remember, achievement indicators like the Statewide Student Success Scorecard only provide data for a little over half of our student population.  At CCSF we care about every student!

In all, this new standard, while logistically puzzling, will help us realize our vision as an inclusive, diverse, teaching and learning community.   

( *It should be noted that faculty across California successfully provided input on the new Standards. In fact, Phillip Smith, of Los Rios and ASCCC officer at the time, organized faculty feedback and reported last May that the ACCJC included 38% of ASCCC suggestions outright and accepted another 21% partially. All in all, ACCJC accepted 59% of the ASCCC suggestions to some degree. For standard I.B.6 faculty leaders proposed a change to the format of the standard but not the content. )

Kristina Whalen

SLO Coordinator

November 26, 2014

Every day, as SLO Coordinator, I interact with the amazing work being done on behalf of our students by CCSF faculty, staff, and administrators. I’m truly grateful.

Progress Report Deadlines and Quality

When we return in December, end of the semester deadlines will dominate. Jan 5th is the deadline for assessment progress reports for all courses (offered this semester), programs, student services, and administrative units. Get It Done Day is December 12th from 11-5 in TLC Computer Lab (Batmale 313). Come by and complete your report with friends, gather ideas and inspiration from colleagues, and receive hands-on support from members of the SLO Committee. Head into finals week with assessment reports checked off the to-do list. Assessment Progress Reports are a time to showcase the teaching and learning growth of our students. Please take the time to complete a detailed and rich report. To help you complete that task, I urge everyone to read the Spring 2014 Validation Summary Brief completed by the SLO Committee. A 10% sample of course and program progress reports was scored as robust, adequate, or lean. Suggestions for improving our progress reporting are included.

General Education Assessment

Results from General Education courses in Humanities and Communication are being reported and discussed on December 5th from 12-2 in MUB 140. GE Area E (Humanities) work group members will present findings from 12-1pm and GE Area A (Communication) work group will follow from 1-2pm. In-coming GE Work Group members for areas B (Written Composition), D (Social Sciences), and H (Ethnic, Women, and LGBT Studies) are coming to dialogue with outgoing members. Please join the discussion on the results of student learning in these areas and help us formulate recommendations that will gain traction across the college. 

SLO Basics Workshop Rescheduled

The work shop cancelled for the Visiting Team Listening Session has been rescheduled for December 8th from 3-4 in Cloud 257. Please RSVP to kwhalen@ccsf.edu.

Enjoy your break,

Kristina Whalen

SLO Coordinator

November 20th

The November issue of SLO HIGHLIGHTs is brought to you by the letter "E". This month details the highly coordinated (and awe inspiring) assessment efforts of the English Department. Read how English, at every level, has organized outcome measurements and how these assessment results continue to improve highly acclaimed innovation in Acceleration. Read for ideas and inspiration. Also, we continue to look at assessment activity at Center locations. Check out the Evans Center. 

December 5th, 12-2, MUB 140. Please attend the Area A and E campus Forum. Results from the campus-wide assessment will be discussed. Workgroup members, comprised of faculty teaching in these GE areas, have been toiling to refine outcomes, coordinate data collection, and analyze results. We now need your help completing the report's list of recommendations. If you teach Area E and/or A courses, come and engage! 

Area A 12-2 and Area E from 1-2. 

Get It Done Day is December 12th from 11-5 in the TLC Computer Lab, Batmale 313. Experienced SLO coordinators will be there to help you complete your end of the semester reports. Let's work together to Get It Done! 

 

November 13, 2014

A SLO Basics Workshop is being held on November 18 from 3-4:15 in Cloud 257. Although this is a repeat of the September workshop I have made some improvements based on participant feedback! If you would like to learn how to create quality outcomes, techniques for assessment, and how to navigate the assessment expectations on this campus, please RSVP to kwhalen@ccsf.edu by November 16th.

It’s that season again! Not the holiday season—Program Review season! As departments and units review last year’s program review, data on the program review website, and bi-annual assessment reports, the SLO Committee would like to underscore some recommendations in the SLO Impact Report that could make a difference for Program Review. The SLO Impact Report reviews, summarizes, and offers future suggestions for question #4 in Program Review (the one that deals with assessment).

For your convenience, here are the suggestions offered in each unit:

Instruction

  • Use Q4 as a time to reflect broadly about a year’s worth of assessment data. The response should be analysis tying the two semester reports together.  Avoid pasting links to your assessment reports in Program Review.
  •  The center of gravity for assessment should be student learning and the classroom. Be sure to describe student competencies at the course and program level. Avoid a response that only focuses on the assessment rubrics, test, surveys etc.
  •  Provide rich details on concrete changes and connect those changes directly to assessment data.

Student Services

  • Keep it up! Last year’s Program Review were generally excellent.
  • Point more directly to data when describing improvement

Administrative Units

  • Use Q4 to talk only about last year’s progress. Avoid duplicate responses from prior years.
  • Closely tie improvements to assessment data (even if that data may have been provided by external sources).
  •  Be sure the activities highlighted in Q4 are assessment activities

Thanks in advance for your diligence and analysis. ​

November 4, 2014

Last call for feedback to Area E refined GE outcomes. Big thanks to those that have already chimed in (with some really compelling suggestions). Take the GE Area E Outcome Survey. Click below to start survey. Ends Wednesday at noon. 

GE Area E (Humanities) Outcomes Refinement Survey

A SLO Basics Workshop is being held on November 18 from 3-4:15 in Cloud 257. Although this is a repeat of the September workshop I have made some improvements based on participant feedback! If you would like to learn how to create quality outcomes, techniques for assessment, and how to navigate the assessment expectations on this campus, please RSVP to kwhalen@ccsf.edu by November 16th.

In the SLO Committee, GE Area work groups, and at Student Service Development meetings I’ve been talking about the Affective Domain. In outcomes assessment literature these outcomes measure what a student feels (self-confidence, self-efficacy) or values (social responsibility, integrity). While we might be tempted to shy away from these outcomes because they are hard to measure, scholarship suggests they shouldn’t be overlooked.  Rebecca Cox, author of The College Fear Factor, considers how students manage the risk of failure as they enter community college and how it shapes their behaviors. In one study she looked at data drawn from sections of a beginning composition course. The data produced many insights but the one that stood out to me was the following: The students completing the course didn’t name writing or reading skills as their most frequent or important outcome. Cox writes, “To the contrary, the most significant outcomes were pride in completing a difficult course, and new found confidence about their ability to succeed.” Confidence was the number one outcome for 70% of the students completing the section’s studied.

On the heels of reading Cox, I attended the Strengthening Student Success Conference last month and followed the panels themed around the Affective Domain. Diego Navarro of Cabrillo College’s work with the ACE foundation demonstrates that the Affective Domain can indeed be measured. In fact, after defining the characteristics of Self-Efficacy and Mindfulness, his preliminary research findings point to significant gains in completion of core courses after students were exposed to curriculum with affective outcomes. For example, they were twice as likely to complete transfer level English.

CCSF’s Institutional Level Outcomes reflect our commitment to the affective domain. Our fourth ILO, on Personal and Career Development, states that students will “demonstrate self-reflection and confidence” and “value lifelong learning.” As you continue to refine and align outcomes with these institutional goals, an ever growing body of research underscores the importance of the Affective Domain, especially for community college students. For this reason, these outcomes should be woven into our courses, programs, and units. 

Kristina Whalen

SLO Coordinator

SOURCES: 

Read Rebecca Cox.

Presentation by Diego Navarro.

October 22, 2014

The GE Area E work group seeks your feedback on proposed changes to General Education Learning Outcomes (GELOs) from Area E -- Humanities, which are under review as part of the GE college-wide assessment plan. After this survey (link at bottom of this email) closes, the work group will pull together all the comments and use them to make final recommendations before bringing suggested revisions to the Academic Senate and Bipartite for approval.

 

The suggested revisions were made by the Area E work group comprised of faculty in Philosophy, Foreign Language, Speech Communication, Interdisciplinary Studies, Humanities, and Architecture. The group has been meeting since Spring 2014.  Notes on the group's deliberation may be found here​.    

 

Current GE Area E Outcomes:

Upon completion of this coursework, a student will be able to:

1. exhibit an understanding of the ways in which people through the ages in various cultures have created art

2. demonstrate an aesthetic understanding

3. make informed value judgments

4. create an example of linguistic expression or philosophical reasoning

5. contribute to the disciplines of fine and performing arts and analytical or creative writing

 

Below are proposed revised outcomes:

 

Proposed GE Area E Outcomes

Upon completion of this coursework, a student will be able to:

1. Exhibit an understanding of the ways in which people in diverse cultures through the ages have produced culturally significant works.

2. Communicate effectively the meanings and intentions of creative expressions.

3. Use analytical techniques to assess the value of human creations in meaningful ways.

4. Develop an understanding of the human condition through language, reasoning, or artistic creation to gain self-efficacy.

 

List of Approved GE Area E courses

 

Click below to start survey

GE Area E (Humanities) Outcomes Refinement Survey

Thank you for participating

GE Area E Work Group

 

October 15, 2014

The October issue of SLO Highlights is ready. This month’s issue features the Art Department. Be inspired by the instructional assessment history, processes, and incredible collaboration among Design faculty. Also, read about the high degree of student satisfaction at the Mission Center via their thorough assessment of the Center’s outcomes. Both stories, capturing both SLO and AUO assessment, are powerful examples of continuous improvement and meaningful assessment across the college.

Mapping 101 Workshop is October 20th from 12-1PM in Cloud 102. Learn how mapping is a process that can aid seamless SLO assessment, help Program Learning Outcome assessment, and create more alignment between courses, program and institutional level outcomes. Please RSVP kwhalen@ccsf.edu if you plan to attend.

Thanks to those that have already agreed to serve of Spring’s GE Area B, D, & H work groups! We still need a few more helping hands. Please let me know if you are willing to steer outcomes assessment (and possible outcome refinement) in Area D: Social and Behavioral Sciences; Area H: Ethnic Studies, Women’s Studies & Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies; or Area B: Written Composition.

Last week I was at the Strengthening Student Success Conference. Organizers and attendees were touting Elizabeth Green’s book Building a Better Teacher. I’ve ordered my copy and have found it very engaging. It makes important connections between assessment and professional development. Moreover, it does an excellent job navigating two polemical academic camps—those that demand unreasonable levels of teacher accountability and those that want untenable levels of teacher autonomy.  I’ll be passing along, in the coming weeks, other insights gained at the conference.

Kristina Whalen

SLO Coordinator

 

 

October 2, 2014

No SLO Drop-in Help Lab next week

As I attend the Strengthening Student Success Conference, there will be no Drop-in SLO lab next Tuesday, Oct 7th.

Professional Development opportunities

Two workshops related to Outcomes Assessments are scheduled.

Workshop #1 Mapping 101; October 20th, 12-1 PM in Cloud 102. Learn how mapping is a useful tool, both for program design and assessment. Learn how to set up a curriculum map for a program (maps course outcomes to program outcomes), properly map courses and programs to GE and ILO outcomes, and how to use maps as an aid for program level assessment.

Workshop #2 SLO Basics, November 18th,  3-4 Pm in Cloud 257. *Repeat*  If you missed the September workshop, no worries. This “crash course” teaches effective design of SLOs & PSLOs, how to assess and use data to make meaningful change, and report results by the Jan 5th deadline.

Institutional Assessment Groups forming now for Spring 2015

Now Forming: GE Area Assessment Groups! In spring 2015, the College will conduct outcome assessment measurements on GE Area D (Social & Behavioral Sciences), GE Area H (Ethnic Studies, Women Studies, and LGBT Studies), and GE Area B (Written Composition). If you teach courses in these areas and wish to contribute to the evaluation of learning across the courses in the GE Area—perhaps refine the outcomes--please RSVP your interest to Kristina Whalen kwhalen@ ccsf.edu. The groups will have an organizing meeting in early December. Work begins in spring 2015. What’s involved? Look at the General Process Followed for GE Assessment website. See the approved courses on the GE Worksheet.

Assessment Website Updating nearing Completion

Katryn Wiese and I wish to thank the college community for updating departmental and unit websites in advance of the Accreditation Self-Study’s release to a visiting team. We have only a few websites left on our list! We appreciate your attention to detail, your diligence in attending help sessions or answering emails, and your grace in the face of grueling workloads. Updates made to assessment webpages should make them easier to maintain (less hassle for you!). For example, past assessment progress reports and program reviews are now in a centralized archive. Going forward,  each individual page does not need to updated with these items. Again, thank you for completing this important task.  

Kristina Whalen

SLO Coordinator