From: Diane Boynton
Sent: Thursday, April 24, 2008 11:47 AM
To: Alfred Hochstaedter
Subject: Faculty Senate and SLOs

Fred:  As you can imagine, I am concerned about how my approach to SLOs will be perceived by the senate. Thus, I would like you to share the following with the Senate before showing the materials I gave to you.

 

  1. As an instructor, I abhor SLO theory. I believe it was designed by people who have little to no understanding of what constitutes education, the great dance between teaching and learning. I believe that SLO theorists have reduced education to the following equation:

 

SLOs + Assessment + Analysis + Improvement = Student Learning

 

As I see it, such an equation removes the most important aspects of education:  the teacher and the student. I believe a better equation is as follows:

 

Teacher + Curriculum + Student + Environment = Student Learning

 

Teacher includes:  knowledge, experience, instructional skills, classroom management skills, personality, creativity, and physical and mental health.

Student includes:  knowledge of subject, self motivation, language proficiency, disposition, social support, social skills, talent, and physical and mental health.

Environment includes:  physical, social, intellectual (in the classroom, on school grounds, at home)

 

  1. As a member of MPC, I want to help MPC make it through Accreditation. I don’t want us to be put on notice. So I want to figure out how best to meet the spirit of the law, if not the letter of the law. I will do what I HATE because I must, not because I see value in the doing. With that in mind, I believe ALL of us—as members of MPC—must do the following:
    1. Create 1-4 SLOs for every course and every program.

                                                               i.      This should be done at the departmental level.

                                                             ii.      SLOs should be written with an eye on the course objectives. Note the following example:

 

 

 

Course Objectives

SLOs

ENGL 50

·     Complete all 10 checkpoints in the manual satisfactorily.  Write a paper on the computer that demonstrates learned editing skills

·     Demonstrate critical thinking skills through practicing general principles discussed in the text and applying them to the production of a written report at the end of the semester.

·     Demonstrate basic research word processing skills including how to format a paper to MLA standards, create a works-cited page, and properly perform various textual documentation tasks.

·     Create and format a document using Microsoft Word

·     Attach a document to e-mail

·     Understand the basic format for standard MLA-style research citation

ENGL 325

·     Complete all mastery chapter exams at 80% or better after practice and study.

·     Write avoiding run-ons and fragments and with good use of coordination and subordination.

·     Correctly use English grammar in their writing samples.

·     Correctly punctuate English sentences.

·     Demonstrate knowledge of the basic parts of the sentence

·     Correctly utilize beginning grammatical concepts in one’s writing

ENGL 326

·     Pass chapter tests with an average of 80%.

·     Write compound and complex sentences without difficulty and show an understanding of grammatical rules and terminology.

·     Punctuate sentences correctly.

·     Write coherent and unified paragraphs using complex sentences.

·     Write short, structured essays.

·     Demonstrate knowledge of compound and complex sentences

·     Identify and correct sentence fragments

·     Understand the fundamental components of the paragraph

 

    1. Create an assessment page linking the SLOs to assessment used in the classroom. Assessment could be essays, exams, activity sheets, a product, demonstration, etc.

                                                               i.      This page needs to be completed by ALL faculty, since assessment tends to be individualized… thus far. It must also be completed for each course.

                                                             ii.      This page provides the overview for the supporting materials in an SLO binder. Supporting materials include copies of exams, assignment handouts, etc.

    1. Create a pedagogy impact page linking SLOs, assessment and impact on pedagogy.

                                                               i.      This page needs to be completed by ALL faculty for all courses every semester. Each page would be added to the SLO binder.

 

In doing this, I am NOT agreeing that SLO theory is right and good. In fact, I believe that every piece of paper we generate should include the following statement:  “Most faculty members at MPC object to SLO theory as reductive, inhumane, and corrosive of academic freedom. They do not see SLOs as educationally productive or pedagogically sound. Their participation in the project is under duress and solely for the purpose of accreditation.”

 

At your service,

 

Diane