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Writing Outcomes

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Writing student learning outcomes is a process that involves as many members of the program as possible.

  • Begin with a brainstorm session in which participants describe what an ideal student should know and what they should be able to do upon completion of a course, certificate, degree or service in the program.
  • Focus on what the student can do. Don't address what was taught or presented, but address the observable outcome you expect to see in the student. Focus on big-picture, overarching concepts, skills, or attitudes.
  • Limit your outcomes to the 4-6 most important things a student should learn from your program and courses. These will represent the learning that will formally assess on a regular, ongoing basis.
  • Consider utilizing internet sources for examples of discipline and program specific student learning outcomes.
  • Use active verbs. Bloom’s Taxonomy provides a list of possibilities. Be sure to place an emphasis on higher-order thinking skills.
  • Explore the SCANS Skills and Competencies.
  • Share the product of your brainstorm with members of your program, including and classified staff where appropriate. Collaborate on developing a definitive set of outcomes that reflect your discipline or service area. Consider how they reflect the characteristics of the students involved.
  • Enter your outcomes in Tracdat.
  • Modify as you learn from experience. Remind yourself and communicate to others that you are actively improving your student learning outcomes as a part of the process of assessment.
  • Use a checklist to consider how you have developed and structured your SLOs.

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