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LSC-PA Faculty Development Day
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LSC-PA Faculty Development DayApril 21, 2011

Writing Course-Level

Student Learning OutcomesSlide2

In Context

This semester we have worked hard to create and support Program Student Learning Outcomes, and we have even worked on General Education/Core Curriculum Student Learning Outcomes.

Now it’s time to move into

Course-Level Student Learning Outcomes.Slide3

Expected Learning Outcomes, Defined

An expected learning outcome is a formal statement of what students are expected to learn in a course.

Expected learning outcome statements refer to specific knowledge, practical skills, areas of professional development, attitudes, higher-order thinking skills, etc., that faculty member expect students to develop, learn, or master during a course (


, 2004).Slide4

Simply Stated

Simply stated, expected learning outcome statements describe:

What faculty members want students to


at the end of the course.


What faculty members want students to

be able to do

at the end of the course.Slide5

Three Major Characteristics

Learning outcomes have three major characteristics:

They specify an action by the students that is



They specify an action by the students that is



They specify an action that is

done by the students

(rather than by the faculty members).

Effectively developed expected learning outcome statements should possess all three of these characteristics (


, 2004)Slide6

Tips for Developing

Expected Student Learning Outcomes

Limit the Course-level SLOs to 5-8 statements for the entire course. (More detailed, specific outcomes can be developed for individual units or assignments within the course.)

Base the Course-level SLOs on the Program SLOs, which are derived from the Institutional Mission and Goals.Slide7

Focus on knowledge and skills that are central to the course topic and/or discipline.

Focus on overarching or general knowledge and/or skills, rather than on small, trivial details.

Focus on the learning that results from the course rather than describing lessons or activities in the course.

Tips for Developing

Expected Student Learning OutcomesSlide8

Create statements that are student-centered rather than faculty-centered. (“Upon completion of this course, students will be able to list the names of the 50 states” rather than “one objective of this course is to teach the names of the 50 states.”)

Use active verbs from Bloom’s Taxonomy to start the Student Learning Outcome statements.

Tips for Developing

Expected Student Learning OutcomesSlide9

Additional Considerations

You might also want to consider the following questions as you consider your SLOs:

Is this course required or an elective?

Is the course required for some and elective for others?

Does the course have a prerequisite or is it a



Is this an introductory course or does it build on others?

What is the value of taking this course?

What do I want students to know in 5 years as a result of taking this course?Slide10

Writing Effective Learning Outcome Statements

When stating expected learning outcomes, it is important to use verbs that describe exactly what the learners will be able to do upon completion of the course.

Use your Bloom’s Taxonomy list for help choosing verbs. Avoid beginning SLOs with vague verbs that are not measurable, such as



be aware of









, and

become familiar with


Some Weak and Strong Examples

Weak: The students will understand basic human development theory.

Better: The students will be able to identify and describe two major theories of human development.

Weak: The students will appreciate music from other cultures.

Better: The students will be able to identify the characteristics of music from other cultures.Slide12

Bloom’s Taxonomy, Redux

Remember, Bloom’s Taxonomy identifies verbs for different levels of thinking skills. Some verbs indicate basic cognitive skills while others indicate complex, higher-order or critical thinking skills.

Refer to your Bloom’s Taxonomy handout for ideas about which verbs to use as you write your SLOs. Also, refer to the handout entitled, “Anderson and


Adaptation of Bloom’s Taxonomy” for definitions of different levels of thinking skills.Slide13

Assessing SLOs

As you create or re-create your classes for next semester, be sure to keep in mind both the Course-level Student Learning Outcomes and the Program Student Learning Outcomes.

You want to be sure to include formal evaluation or assessment of the SLOs throughout the semester.Slide14

Assessing SLOs

Some formal evaluation or assessment techniques:

- Exams - Quizzes

- Papers/Essays - Homework

- In-Class Activities - Graded Class Discussions

Some informal evaluation or assessment techniques:

- Non-Graded Quizzes - Active Learning Techniques

- Polling/Surveying - Personal Response Journals

Extra credit activities should not be used for assessment.Slide15

More Than SLOs

It is important that you realize that your course may include material that does not necessarily meet any formal student learning outcome.

In other words, you can include material in your course, on your tests, in your assignments, and in your presentation of information that is not covered by an SLO. You just need to ensure that you present material that is covered by the SLOs.Slide16

Intentional Instruction

As you write or re-write your exams, assignments, homework, or other activities, be sure to keep the Student Learning Outcomes in mind.

Create new assignments to produce outcomes as needed.

Revise old assignments to produce outcomes.

Be intentional in delivering material that leads to the desired outcomes.Slide17

What To Do


We will create the SLOs for one course. If more than one faculty member teaches the course, you should get together and come up with common SLOs.

Before the Semester Ends:

You should create the SLOs for each of the classes you will be teaching in the summer or fall.

Before Your Next Teaching Semester:

You should determine how your assignments and exams measure the SLOS (TEST and PROJECT MAPS!!!).Slide18

Send ‘Em In

Before your next teaching semester:

Send David a PRINT (word-processed) copy of your Course-Level Student Learning Outcomes. Just have them put into his campus mailbox.

If more than one person teaches the course, send only one copy with everyone’s name on it.

Do NOT email copies. Print copies only, please.Slide19

Include In Your Syllabus

In your syllabus for summer, fall, and forward, please include:

The applicable Program Student Learning Outcomes

The Course-Level Student Learning OutcomesSlide20

That’s All, Folks!

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LSC-PA Faculty Development Day - Description

April 21 2011 Writing CourseLevel Student Learning Outcomes In Context This semester we have worked hard to create and support Program Student Learning Outcomes and we have even worked on General EducationCore Curriculum Student Learning Outcomes ID: 447511 Download Presentation

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