Student Learning Outcomes Definition

SLOs are statements that specify what students will know, be able to do or be able to demonstrate when they have completed or participated in a Course or Program. SLOs specify an action by the student that must be observable, measurable and able to be demonstrated.

An understanding of SLOs should not confused with objectives.

Grades are objectives.

SLO's are outcomes.  

(Download a one-page PDF on SLOs are NOT Grades and also a one-page SLO Stuff PDF.)

Objectives - Grades Outcomes - SLO's
Objectives are intended results or consequences of instruction, curricula, programs or activities. Outcomes are achieved results of what was learned - the evidence that learning took place.
Objectives are focused on performances that all students are expected to demonstrate at the end of instruction, for example the normal distribution of grades.

Outcomes are single student-centered and describe what it is that the student should learn. SLOs are not grades, but observable skills.

SLO Examples     

Well-written SLOs use action verbs, the present tense, and avoid the un-measurable concepts of "appreciate" or "aware" or "understand." How does one measure appreciation or understanding? They also exhibit academic rigor, a quality that takes the SLO out of the realm of something that is understood by most people, and becomes a measurable outcome of academic study.

SLO Example Reasons
Poor:  The student will acquire an understanding of Spanish language literature. Uses the future tense, acquire an understanding are not measurable verbs. Spanish language literature is too broad. This SLO lacks academic rigor.
Better:  Interpret Spanish poetry in the cultural context of its period. Interpretation can be measured in a paper, a test, or an oral presentation. Narrowed down to poetry, and within historical context.
Better:  Compare Catalan, Galician, Jewish and Arabic traditions in Spanish literature. Comparisons can be measured in a research paper, an essay, test or oral presentation. Student must be aware of academically accepted traditions in Spanish literature in Spain.
Best:   Distinguish between Anti-Barroquism, Neoclassicism, and pre-Romanticism of the Spanish Enlightenment. Student can distinguish between highly specialized movements in Spanish literature at a specific period in history. Could be a research paper or questions on a final. An example of the highest level of academic rigor.

Where Are the SLOs?

Course Student Learning Outcomes (CSLOs) are found in each Course's syllabus.

Program Student Learning Outcomes (PSLOs) are found in the Course Catalog and in this Website.

The list of Institutional Student Learning Outcomes is available in this Website and in the Course Catalog.

Oxnard College uses the application eLumen to store SLOs and the resulting metrics. Each individual student is assessed on a scorecard basis. Because students are assessed individually, the application can break down the reporting based on gender, ethnicity and race. The source of the eLumen data is the Banner grading system.

So what is Oxnard College doing about SLOs?

To begin to incorporate student learning outcomes at Oxnard College, an implementation plan was drafted.  Beginning in Fall 2005, the Learning Outcomes Team (LOT) was formed and charged with overseeing the implementation plan.  This team consists of faculty, classified staff, and administrative representatives from across the college in both instruction and student services.The integration of Student Learning Outcomes will take several years to realize, but the ultimate goal is for Oxnard College to become an institution where student learning truly drives how the College plans, allocates resources, and evaluates its effectiveness.

In its role as the body that makes recommendations regarding creation, assessment and revision of Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) based on collected data, the LOT Committee provides guidance, advocacy and oversight in the development of such SLOs at the Course, Program and Institutional levels, assisting Oxnard College in the fulfillment of its mission.