Writing Course SLOs
Since SLOs document student learning that is already happening, using tools you already use, a good place to start is with the existing course objectives and a look at your syllabus for assessment tools you already use. Don't focus on content, but think about what students should be able to do with what they've learned. What can they produce to show faculty that they have learned to apply their new knowledge?
- Describe the broadest goals for the class (higher-level thinking).
- Require students to synthesize many discreet skills or areas of content.
- Ask them to produce something - papers, projects, portfolios, demonstrations, performances, etc.
- Look at your syllabus and major assignments - what are students being asked to demonstrate in the assignment?
- Use action verbs and focus on what students can do.
- Make sure the SLO aligns with other courses in a sequence, if applicable.
- Don't use the word "understand" - go for higher level skills.
- Don't make the outcome something that is difficult or impossible to assess.
- Don't use student attitudes unless it is crucial to your course and you can figure out how to assess it.
What is a Good SLO Statement?
When you submit your SLO to the curriculum committee, it will be evaluated with a checklist consisting of the following:
The SLO Statement:
- Describes a behavior or skill beyond recitation or recall of content knowledge
- Uses action verbs from Bloom's Taxonomy Level 3 or higher
- Described an overarching outcome rather than something minute; it is global in scope
- Describes a real life skill that students will use beyond the end of the course or the program
- Describes an outcome that is amenable to assessment using a scoring rubric or some other method of evaluation
Sample Course SLOs
The following are examples of SLO statements. The ones that are from Valley College are so noted. You can also look on the LAVC curriculum website to see the course SLOs that have been posted.
Forensic Anthropology - analyze skeletonized human remains to determine sex, age at death, height and genetic ancestry.
Microsoft Word - Analyze communication requirements and produce professional-quality business documents.
Journalism - Construct visually attractive and readable newspaper pages.
Acting - select, analyze and perform selections utilizing skills of memorization, vocal projection, spatial awareness, stage directions and physical expression.
Composition - write essays demonstrating academic rhetorical strategies and documentation.
Critical thinking - write evidence-based essays demonstrating logical reasoning and argumentative skills.
Architectural Drawing (LAVC) - develop a complete set of architectural drawings for a single-family dwelling.
Foreign Language 1 (LAVC) - using the vocabulary and structures learned, perform elementary everyday communicative functions in the target language orally and in writing.