Academic Senate
2008-2009 

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May 21, 2009

 

SLO Resolutions

 

Resolution 1: The MPC Academic Senate Is Committed to Implementing an SLO-Assessment Process as One Way to Improve Student Learning

 

Whereas, the MPC Academic Senate is committed to academic excellence and the improvement of student learning as reflected in the 2007-2010 MPC Institutional Goals,

 

Whereas, the MPC Academic Senate recognizes that there are many ways to improve student learning,

 

Whereas, implementation of an SLO-assessment process is required by the accrediting agency in order to reaffirm accreditation,

 

Resolved, that the MPC Academic Senate recognizes that the implementation of the SLO-assessment process is a useful and beneficial way for MPC to improve student learning, but not the only way to improve student learning,

 

Resolved, that the MPC Academic Senate recognizes the utility of developing SLOs as a way for instructors to focus attention on the core abilities expected of each student as they exit each course,

 

Resolved, the MPC Academic Senate commits to devising and implementing SLO-assessment processes in ways that honor the primacy of MPC faculty in academic and professional matters, prevent unwanted outside groups or agencies from influencing the ways that assessment of student learning is conducted, and benefit student learning to the greatest degree.

 

 


Resolution 2: Clarifying the Distinction between Objectives and Student Learning Outcomes

 

Whereas, each course offered by MPC has objectives that are defined and described by the MPC document “Curriculum Basics: the CAC Handbook” as explaining “in measurable terms what students will be able to do” upon completion of the course

(p. V-4 and VIII-15, http://mympc.mpc.edu/Committees/CAC/Pages/CACHandbook.aspx ),

 

Whereas, the MPC document “Curriculum Basics: the CAC Handbook” emphasizes the requirement for critical thinking to be evident in the objectives of college level courses,

 

Whereas, the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, in their document “The Course Outline of Record: A Curriculum Reference Guide, 2008” recommends that (direct quote):

(p. 24, http://www.asccc.org/Publications/Papers/Downloads/PDFs/Curriculum-paper.pdf ),

 

Whereas, both the MPC Curriculum Advisory Committee and the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges have, as the result of much dialog, adopted standards of quality aligned with California law (the California Education Code) and a set of guidelines that help implement California law (Title 5, Division 6) that stipulate requirements for a community college course,

 

Whereas, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) defines SLOs as the “Knowledge, skills, abilities, and attitudes that a student has attained at the end (or as a result) of his or her engagement in a particular set of collegiate experiences.”

(p.29, Accreditation Standards—ACCJC Standards Glossary, http://www.accjc.org/pdf/ACCJC_NEW_STANDARDS.pdf),

 

Whereas, ACCJC accreditation standard IIA2h states that, “the institution awards credit based on student achievement of the course’s stated learning outcomes. Units of credit awarded are consistent with institutional policies that reflect generally accepted norms or equivalencies in higher education,”

 

Resolved, that the MPC Academic Senate recognizes that the primary difference between SLOs as envisioned by the ACCJC and objectives as described by the MPC Curriculum Advisory Committee for use on the MPC Course Outline of Record, is one of number, with a lower number advised for SLOs (<~4) and a greater number allowable for objectives (<~15),

 

Resolved, that the MPC Academic Senate recognizes that for courses with a large number of objectives on their MPC Course Outline of Record (>~5), that the course SLOs should be based on these objectives,

 

Resolved that the MPC Academic Senate recognizes that for courses with a small number of objectives on their MPC Course Outline of Record (<~4), that these objectives are equivalent to SLOs as long as they are written according to standards articulated by the MPC Curriculum Advisory Committee.

 

  

Resolution 3: Recommendation that MPC Faculty Use Broadly Defined SLOs and/or Specifically Defined Objectives, as Appropriate, When Engaging in the SLO-Assessment Process to Improve Student Learning

 

Whereas, MPC recognizes that the primary difference between course-level SLOs as envisioned by the ACCJC and course objectives as defined and described by the MPC Curriculum Advisory Committee for use on the MPC Course Outline of Record, is that objectives articulate a greater number (>~5) of specific student skills or abilities, and that SLOs articulate a fewer number (<~4) of broad student skills or abilities,

 

Whereas, the ultimate goal of the SLO-assessment process is to prompt dialog that leads to improvement of student learning,

 

Whereas, assessing student attainment of and engaging in associated dialog about either broadly defined student learning outcomes or more specifically defined objectives could both lead to improvement of student learning,

 

Whereas, the MPC Academic Senate wants to encourage wide-spread participation in the SLO-assessment process by broadening the kind and range of student skills and abilities that faculty members may choose to investigate when engaging in the SLO-assessment process,

 

Resolved, that the MPC Academic Senate recommends that faculty members use broadly defined SLOs and/or specifically defined objectives, as they deem appropriate, when engaging in the SLO-Assessment process to improve student learning.

 

  

Resolution 4: Broadly Defined SLOs and/or Specifically Defined Objectives Should Be Included On Each MPC Syllabus.

 

Whereas, MPC recognizes that the primary difference between course-level SLOs as envisioned by the ACCJC and course objectives as defined and described by the MPC Curriculum Advisory Committee for use on the MPC Course Outline of Record, is that objectives articulate a greater number (>~5) of specific student skills or abilities, and that SLOs articulate a fewer number (<~4) of broad student abilities.

 

Whereas, ACCJC accreditation standard IIA6 states that, “In every class section students receive a course syllabus that specifies learning objectives [emphasis added] consistent with those in the institution’s officially approved course outline,”

 

Resolved, the MPC Academic Senate recommends that course objectives, as defined and described by the MPC Curriculum Advisory Committee and recorded in the MPC Course Outline of Record, be included on each syllabus for each section of every MPC course,

 

Resolved, the MPC Academic Senate recommends that SLOs may be included on a class syllabus if the class instructor thinks that such inclusion might improve student learning.