Student Learning Outcomes Statements
Student learning outcomes statements clearly state the expected knowledge, skills, attitudes, competencies, and habits of mind that students are expected to acquire from an educational experience. Transparent student learning outcomes statements are:
• Specific to institution-level and/or program-level
• Clearly expressed and understandable by multiple audiences
• Prominently posted or linked to multiple places across the website
• Updated regularly to reflect current outcomes
• Receptive to feedback or comments on the quality and utility of the information provided
The Texas A&M University System
The Empower U website from the Texas A&M University System’s is the July 2020 NILOA Featured Website! In developing the website, the system relied on NILOA’s Transparency Framework and its components to guide the types of information made available to visitors. Institutions in the Texas A&M University System share a common set of student learning outcomes, and are encouraged to pursue an assessment culture of improvement; emphasizing a commitment “to responsible assessment practices that stress fairness and equity, and transparency.” Website visitors can find information on the six system-wide learning outcomes: Ethical & Social Responsibility, Globalization & Diversity, Specific Knowledge, Integration, Communication, and Problem Solving & Critical Thinking. This includes a description of each outcome and an overview of the multiple measures that will be used as sources of evidence for each outcome.
Information regarding how different system universities engage in assessment and quality enhancement from an evidence-based and continuous improvement perspective can also be explored; including those of the Texarkana, Central Texas, and Prairie View campuses. Finally, cache of “data about current student enrollment, graduation rates, degrees awarded, and financial metrics for all universities within The Texas A&M System” can be found on the site. For these reasons, the Empower U website is a NILOA Featured Website in the category of Communication. The site also serves as an example of the Transparency Framework Student Learning Outcomes Statements component.
Las Positas College
Las Positas College’s Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) webpage is the September 2019 NILOA Featured Website! The website provides a rich range of materials on student learning outcomes (SLOs) and assessment. For instance, website visitors can find tips on how to write institutional, program, and course outcomes. As both a good practice of transparency and to serve as an example for others, the institution has made available its own current SLO statements for the course-, program-, and institution-level; along with SLOs for student services. Relatedly, there is a FAQ-style page that helps explain SLOs to students. In addition, the SLO Handbook offers a useful introduction and guide to learning outcomes and assessment. Website visitors can also find several assessment results for outcomes at the institution-level, program-level, and student services ranging from 2013 through 2016 as well as an archive of prior results and assessment related information.
There are plenty of useful general assessment resources, as well. For one, Las Positas offers an informative Assessment Tools guide that discusses the benefits and challenges associated with various assessment tools. Supporting this document is the college’s own assessment philosophy which can be used to start meaningful conversations about the purpose and approaches to effective SLO assessment. For these reasons, Las Positas College’s Student Learning Outcomes webpage is a Featured Website in the category of Centralized Assessment Repository aligning with the Transparency Framework’s component of Student Learning Outcomes Statements.