Assessing Student Learning Outcomes: Course, Program and Institution
Course Student Learning Outcomes (CSLOs) serve as the basis for all learning assessments at Bates. It is only at the course level that instructors directly observe student learning. Hence, it is at the course level that instructors can assess the extent to which students are meeting learning outcomes.
Every CSLO must be aligned with at least one Program Student Learning Outcome (PSLO). Every PSLO and Institutional Student Learning Outcome (ISLO) must be addressed by at least one CLSO and most will be addressed by several CLSOs.
To help faculty assess the ISLO areas in their program, the Assessment Committee developed several resources. The graphic below shows the relationship among course student learning outcomes (CSLOs), program student learning outcomes (PSLOs) and institution student learning outcomes (ISLOs):
Glossary of Terms
Bloom’s Taxonomy: This learning taxonomy provides action verbs based on each level of understanding. This assists instructors when creating lesson and course objectives. Levels of the taxonomy are Remember/understand (R/U), Apply/Analyze (A/A), Evaluate/Create (E/C). Bloom’s Taxonomy – BatesTech – BatesTech
Formative Assessment: The goal of formative assessment is to monitor student learning to provide ongoing feedback that can be used by instructors to improve their teaching and by students to improve their learning.
ISLO: Institutional Student Learning Outcomes are expected of all graduates. They are Human Diversity, Effective Communication, and Critical Thinking. These SLOs should be built into the curriculum of each program and course. The Assessing College-wide Learning Outcomes web page defines the indicators for each outcome. Teaching and Learning – BatesTech – BatesTech
CSLO: Course Student Learning Outcomes are a formal statement of what students are expected to learn in a course. Course learning outcome statements refer to specific knowledge, practical skills, areas of professional development, attitudes, higher-order thinking skills, etc.
PSLO: Program Student Learning Outcomes are defined as the knowledge, skills, abilities, or attitudes that students have at the completion of a degree or certificate. This level of outcomes assessment has the greatest potential to improve student pathways and overall achievement.
Summative Assessment: The goal of summative assessment is to evaluate student learning at the end of an instructional unit by comparing it against some standard or benchmark.